DOVER, Del. With Jimmie Johnson winning last week at Charlotte, its time to shift focus on another legendary driver who has yet to claim a victory this season on NASCARs Sprint Cup Series.
Step right up, Tony Stewart, who isnt sweating it.
We luckily have been able to win at least one race a season my entire Cup career, said Stewart, a three-time Cup champion who starts 20th in Sundays FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway. Our track record shows that we can get it. Its just a matter of when is it going to happen?
It last happened for Stewart a year ago, in the spring Dover race. And it wasnt long after that his 2013 season ended. A few months later Aug. 5 he suffered a broken leg in a sprint car racing accident on a dirt track in Iowa. He would miss the rest of the season amidst multiple surgeries and rehab. And although Stewart has returned to drive his No. 14 Chevy in all 12 Cup races thus far this season, hes still not back to full strength.
I honestly thought I would be done with all this by now, said Stewart, who is 22nd in the points standings and has just two top-five finishes this season. As far as rehab, pain, all that stuff, I thought it would be done. I thought we would be healed 100 percent by now.
When you havent gone through something like this, you dont know what to think and dont know how to feel about it. If it ever happens again, I will have a better idea of how to answer that.
The ongoing physical therapy isnt something Stewart who has never been known as a workout buff anyway enjoys.
I hate it, he said. You sweat. You get out of breath. It is crazy. Then you feel sore. I dont know anything about this that is good. But I know at the end of the day its going to make me feel a lot better.
Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, is his own boss. Thats why he had nobody to answer to when he again got in a sprint car a winged, open-wheel machine at Gastonias Carolina Speedwaylast week. Stewart didnt race the car, only taking it out for a few test laps.
Its my life, Stewart said. Im going to live my life. Its nobody elses decision but mine. I think there are a lot of worse things I could be doing in my life than what I choose to do.
It was fine. It was just like when I got in the Cup car. It felt like I hadnt been out of it.
Stewart said it wont be long before he returns to racing sprint cars. And, while standing outside his hauler in Dovers garage, he seemed to enjoy verbally sparring with reporters on when that might happen.
I will be able to tell you how it went, lets put it that way, said Stewart. You wont know when its coming. When I go, nobody is going to know about it. Im going to slide in and do it. I want to enjoy it. I dont want it to be a cluster.
Scott: 704-358-5889; Twitter: @davidscott14
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