Nothing can slow down crew chief Chad Johnston -- not even appendicitis.

Johnston, who is overseeing the No. 14 Stewart Haas Racing effort for Tony Stewart, spent one of his two days off from Speedweeks at Lake Norman (N.C.) Hospital having his appendix removed.

"It hurt when we were down here Saturday and Sunday," he said. "We flew back Sunday night, and Monday at work it was hurting me. I told my wife I was going to get in the tub, thinking it was just aches and pains. She talked me into going to urgent care and they sent me to the ER. They did a CAT Scan, admitted me and took it out 5 o'clock yesterday morning."

Johnston elected not to stay in the hospital as suggested. He didn't want to miss the final practice for the Duel 150 Qualifying Races. Stewart qualified 35th on for the Daytona 500 on Sunday and will roll off 18th in the first Duel on Thursday.

How is Johnston feeling?

"About how I look," Johnston said. "Not very good."