Stewart: Flip being overblown

LONG POND, Pa. --- Three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart says too much is being made of him flipping five times in a Sprint Car during a Monday night dirt race in Canada.

"Oh my God,'' Stewart said Friday when asked how he felt after an accident that looked "really nasty to us mortals'' who don't race. "You mortals need to watch more Sprint Car videos and stuff.

"It was not a big deal. It's starting to get annoying this week about that. That was just an average Sprint Car wreck. That was not a big deal.''

Stewart addressed the accident in which he escaped unscathed for the first time after the first Cup practice at Pocono Raceway, where he is 11th in points heading into Sunday's race.

The incident was the second in a week for Stewart in a sprint car. Last Tuesday at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park, he was involved in a crash that sent 19-year-old Alysha Ruggles' car airborne. She suffered a fracture in her back, according to a statement on her Facebook page.

"I promise you, if there is something to report I'll let you know,'' Stewart said. "I'll guarantee you there were 15 to 20 guys across the country that flipped just like that and were fine just like we were.''

Stewart refuses to back down his schedule despite two recent deaths in sprint cars. But Monday's crash did force him to withdraw from this weekend's races at Williams Grove Speedway near Mechanicsburg, Pa.

The car he wrecked was the same one he planned to drive.

"That was the worst part of the week when I was told I wasn't going to be allowed to race this weekend because we only had one new car left,'' Stewart said.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.