Smoke will rise: Tony Stewart wins in first sprint car race since injury

Tony Stewart made a triumphant return to sprint car racing Friday night as he won his first race back since injuring his leg last August. 

Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images

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. 

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. 

Fellow members of the NASCAR community reached out to offer congratulations to Stewart, as well.