Q: As far as I can recall, a shoulder injury in 2006 in the Cup car is the only injury I can recall. How are you guys dealing with this? What's the morale? And what was your reaction, because I can't recall any other injury? Were you surprised? What's everybody feeling? What are you thinking? And is this a discussion that you guys will have with him going forward?
GREG ZIPADELLI: Well, yes. I mean, obviously I was in a hotel room in Atlanta when I got the call. We always get updates. He texts me every night after a heat race, qualifying; doesn't matter what time it is or what's going on. And when my phone went off, it wasn't a text or the call that I had expected. Honestly, like I said, he's run so many of these races and flipped in those things. I think me and him and everybody around us didn't think Superman could get hurt. This is his day.
As far as morale, everybody at Stewart-Haas, all of our partners have been extremely, extremely positive, supporting in all the things that we need to do to keep racing, and hopefully, like I said, we're certainly wishing him a speedy recovery.
Q: Zippy, obviously as someone who has worked with Tony for a long time, this possibility probably always existed even when you were a crew chief, and I just wondered how the team handled it. I'm sure even people at SHR are familiar with what Tony does in his spare time, but how has it affected the people on the 14 team?
GREG ZIPADELLI: Well, I mean, let's face it, first and foremost everybody is worried about Smoke and how soon is he going to be back. He's a crucial part of Stewart-Haas Racing. I mean, he's the man. Everybody, I think, right now has pulled together and doing whatever it takes to get this car to Watkins Glen and have the best day that we can there, and we'll kind of take it week by week.
I think it's real early to say to you anything other than that because that's truly the atmosphere and the situation that we're dealing with here. I think will people be frustrated, will people be disappointed down the road and things of that nature? I don't know, hopefully we'll do a good job of encouraging them and going to the racetrack and having good runs, and we'll make the best of the situation.
Everybody here is disappointed because Tony is not in the car this weekend, and we're all, like I said, wishing him a speedy recovery. I hate to be so generic, but in all honesty that's just really where we're at right now, you know?
Q: Max, I know this was short notice, but you did test the car. Would you consider this one of the best opportunities you will have to collect a win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series?
MAX PAPIS: Obviously it was a very short notice, but as I always say, if things are written, they are written, and in one way the things I'm the most proud of is that through the years, when I sat in the NASCAR car for the first time in Daytona in 1996, I'm sure none of you guys and even me would have ever imagined an Italian guy could have been sitting in a car. Now I have this opportunity, I'm going to do the best I can.
Obviously I'm not going to go out there to run 20th or 25th. I'm going to go out there to make everyone proud and do the best job I can, and I know that my best job is pretty good. I have confidence in what I can do, and I have confidence, as well, that my personality and my spirit, it's something good for this team.
Like in circumstances like this, I believe that the joy that I bring in my heart and I joy that I have for the sport hopefully is going to bring up the morale of everyone in the organization, and obviously if we add this to a good result it would be even better.
Racecar drivers are athletes, so you can't cut the wing of us in a way. You can get hurt walking on the street or doing something like that, and we are good in what we do, and Stewart is good at what he does because he is Stewart. He's a guy that is one of the unique guys that can go and drive anything.
I think at the end of the day, you can make out of this like big things or you can make out of this like something that happened and could have happened in your garage or driving out of the street or hurting yourself walking out here. It's just a matter of a situation.
The things that I enjoy to watch here in this organization is how fast everyone reacted and how decisions were made and intelligent decisions were made, and I think this proves the spirit of doing things right is all around here.