Tony Stewart said during Preseason Thunder that he plans to return to his race car at Daytona in February. Stewart has been out of his car since a Sprint car accident on Aug. 5, 2013, where he suffered a broken right tibia and fibula.
Stewart was asked about his health, compared to how he felt, and what doctors are now saying regarding his timeline for return.
“Not bad.” Stewart replied, ” I feel pretty good. I still have a little ways to go, but we’ve got four weeks to get ready the rest of the way. Even when we get here in February, it’s not going to be 100 percent. Physically I’m not going to feel 100 percent, but I’ll be able to do my job 100 percent, so that’s the main thing. I don’t mind it taking a little longer for the physical side to heal, as long as I can drive a race car when I need to when I get back.”
Stewart said he would like to be in a car this week, and that they are on track for him to be cleared the day before the Sprint Unlimited on February 15.
He said the hardest part is just not knowing where he is supposed to be in the recovery process, ”I mean, I’ve never had an injury like this so I don’t have anything to compare it to. I kind of base everything on a week-to-week deal, and on Sunday I kind of evaluate where I was the Sunday before and go from there.”
“It’s been kind of a challenge, I guess, from that standpoint. The physical side of it is an obvious deal. It’s getting everything healed back up and going through rehab and doing everything we’re supposed to do. But just not knowing exactly what I’m supposed to feel like, if something hurts why is it hurting. I’ve not had those experiences before. ”
Stewart said they feel like they are back ahead of schedule, even after undergoing three different surgeries since the accident.
“We were actually ahead of schedule with the therapy when we had that surgery, so it basically just pushed it back to where we were right back on schedule again, and now it just feels like we’re back ahead of schedule again. Twice we’ve been able to kind of push ahead of schedule it seems like, so pretty confident from that standpoint that that wasn’t a setback at all. ”
“It’s still a question mark of what’s it actually going to feel like when we get in the race car and try to drive wide open for lap after lap.”
Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick will join forces with Stewart this season as new drivers to Stewart Haas Racing. Danica Patrick will be returning for her second full Sprint Cup season.