Tony Stewart wins in first sprint-car race since injury

Tony Stewart won in his first sprint-car race nearly a year after he had broken his leg in two places competing in the same type of car.

Stewart won the race for 360 winged sprint cars (cars with 360-cubic-inch engines) Friday night at Tri-City Motor Speedway, a 0.354-mile dirt track in Auburn, Mich.

The three-time Cup champion, who missed the last 15 Cup races in 2013 after the accident Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway, tweeted about the accomplishment.

Stewart tested a sprint car in May and had said he would continue to race the high-powered machines. He co-owns his NASCAR stock-car team with Gene Haas while he also owns a separate sprint-car racing team.

Several Cup team owners do not allow their drivers to compete in sprint cars because of possibility of injuring themselves in the open-wheel circuit. Stewart's injury occurred when a torque bar pierced his leg after his car's wheel hit the wheel of a stalled car on the track, sending Stewart's car into a flip.

"It's my life," Stewart said after he tested the sprint car. "I'm going to live my life. It's nobody else's decision, but mine. I think there are a lot worse things I could be doing with my life than what I choose to do."

Stewart vowed at that time that he would not announce when he would race a sprint car again because he didn't want the attention. Stewart has struggled in Cup this season, sitting 19th in the standings with two top-fives and six top-10s in 19 races.

"I still laugh about how big a deal this has all been made," he said in May. "We had Cup drivers get hurt last year. One had a broken wrist, one had a broken back and nobody said anything. It was all minor news. I've made more news by getting hurt in a dirt car than any of these guys." Sporting News

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