Tony Stewart Ready To Race
Tony Stewart, who is one of NASCARâs premier drivers, missed almost half of the seasonâs races due to a severe leg injury in August. However, he is now 20 pounds lighter, has a titanium rod implanted in his leg and is ready to race.
Usually Tony arrives at his car late, but he was 20 minutes early for his practice session. He buckled in, put on his helmet and sat for ten minutes in his number 14 Chevrolet race car. âEvery five minutes, I was looking at the clock. That’s a long time to be staring at the clock. That’s not going to be a habit,â he told his new crew chief Chad Johnston.
In a practice session last Friday, Stewart ran 50 pain-free laps equaling 125 miles around the circuit. âThereâs zero percentage of pain in the car. That was nice. I thought we would have some kind of ache or pain, but it was like putting on an old pair of shoes again,â Stewart said, according to the Washington Post.
Stewart stood in front of his car surrounded numerous media personal, cheering fans and his father Nelson who said it, âalmost reminds me of when he ran the (Indianapolis) 500 for the first time.â
âToday in the big picture was just another practice day, but obviously it was a little bigger than normal,â Tony responded to the attention.
âIf I didnât think that Greg Zipadelli would absolutely kill me, I would probably want to go race at Volusia tonight. It felt that good. I donât think Zippy would be the only guy â I think the entire organization would probably duct tape me to the flag pole on the front stretch just so I couldnât go,â he added. Volusia is a nearby dirt track. Tonyâs injury occurred last year at a dirt track in Iowa.
Tonyâs race team built him a simulator that included a steering wheel, steering column, seat and pedals to mimic the throttle pressure of his racecar. Kevin Harvick, who will be Tonyâs new teammate this year, ordered a pad to prevent Tonyâs knees from banging into the steering column.
Stewart, âwas like a crazed lunatic. You could see that look in his eye. He looked at me and said, âIâm ready to … Race!â Harvick said after they attend a meeting with their sponsor.
âWhen you hear the quote, âItâs a seat-of-the-pants feel,â you feel it in your core. Everything that is processed through your brain is between your core as far as feeling whatâs going on. Your hands and arm are feeling pressure in the steering wheel. But as far as from your legs down, youâre not really feeling that sensation. Itâs more of what your brain is telling your legs to do. If we had to have an area to have an injury, my right leg was probably the one.â Tony stated.
Image Credit: Raceconn / Wikicommons