Smoke will rise: Tony Stewart wins in first sprint car race since injury
Nearly two months ago at Dover International Speedway, Tony Stewart told the gathered media they would not know when he would make his return to sprint car racing after severely injuring his leg in a 2013 wreck.
"You won’t know when it’s coming," he said. "When I do go nobody is going to know about it. I’m going to just slide in and do it. I want to enjoy it. I don’t want it to be a cluster."
True to his word, Stewart used his weekend away from the NASCAR circuit to make his return to dirt at Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Mich.
With his team’s World of Outlaws car racing in Williams Grove, Penn., Stewart headed to the three-eighths mile dirt track nearly two hours north of Detroit.
However, Stewart didn’t just show up, he celebrated the night in Victory Lane.
If you haven't heard already, I ran my sprint car tonight and won! Felt great to run it again. Was a 2nd place car but had a little luck 🙂
— Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) July 19, 2014
— Tony Stewart Nation (@tonystewartntn) July 19, 2014
The fans showing up to their local short track were certainly in for a surprise when the three-time Sprint Cup Series champion showed up on the entry list. On social media, fans were happy to see Stewart once again back behind the wheel of a sprint car.
Pretty sweet to see Tony Stewart rippin up the dirt at the track
— Alyssa Westphal ⚾️ (@AlyssaWestphal) July 19, 2014
— sara mcmullen (@scmcmull22) July 19, 2014
Fellow members of the NASCAR community reached out to offer congratulations to Stewart, as well.
Congrats uncle moke! MT @TonyStewart: ran my sprint car tonight & won! Felt great to run it again. Was a 2nd place car but had a little luck
— DeLana Harvick (@DeLanaHarvick) July 19, 2014
@tonystewart_rcg This is to good to be TRUE!! Great job Tony, I know it was the best medicine you could ever have! Not only race but WIN!🏁🏁
— Jeff Hammond (@HollywoodJeff) July 19, 2014
@TonyStewart Welcome back, Smoke.
— Kasey Kahne Racing (@KKRdirt) July 19, 2014
— Brendan Gaughan (@Brendan62) July 19, 2014