To add insult to injury, so to speak, Stewart is off to a tough start to the season. He has two finishes of 33rd or worse and best finish of 16th at Phoenix.
Sunday's race is at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, one of the most physically demanding in the series. Stewart was asked if he had any fear in returning to racing and his thoughts heading into this weekend's race.
Here is his complete answer:
“The fear was not getting back out. Being out of my Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy is what bothered me more than anything. I’ve had injuries before. I’ve had broken hands and raced dirt cars and stock cars. I’ve had broken bones that weren’t healed 100 percent and still went out and did what we needed to do. This was just a bigger setback. This was one that I didn’t have a choice of being in the car and fighting through it. This was one where the ante was up a little bit," he said.
“Honestly, there hasn’t been one day or night where I’ve sat and questioned whether it’s what I wanted to do or whether it was something I could do. It was just, when can we do it? I just want to be 100 percent, and we’re pushing toward that. The passion and desire I have for the sport, that’s never wavered, and that’s what gets you through some of this stuff.
“People that want to compete, want to compete. They fight through injuries, they persevere, they work hard to get back where they want to be, and this is no different. There’s nothing about this process that has taken away my desire to do what I want to do. You don’t live for what could happen, you live for what you can make happen.”