Tony Stewart, still recovering from the last of three surgeries to repair his leg, will be in the Expo Hall at Memorial Coliseum even though he can't drive his black #2 Munchkin midget in the 16th Rumble in Fort Wayne, IN. Event organizer Tony Barhorst has declared the weekend "A Salute to Tony Stewart" in honor of Stewart's devotion to short-track racing, and he'll sign autographs for a couple of hours today and Saturday. In between, he'll watch his pal Lou Cicconi, the 2013 International Supermodified Association champion, wheel the Munchkin around, and wish it could be him.
"You know, when I first got hurt, I was hurt bad enough that it didn't really feel like that I had that sense that I was missing it," Stewart says. "But now that I'm closer to being healed, and ready to go, the more anxious I am to be in the car. But, I've got a good friend of mine that's going to drive the car, and you know, to me, I still get to go. I still get to compete as a car owner. So I'm still looking forward to it." And come February, to getting back in the car again. The last surgery was a couple of months ago, and the timetable has him back in the car in time for the Daytona 500.
And so far the timetable looks good. "It feels really good, actually," Stewart says. "I'd say the last three weeks in particular in therapy we're really making big gains. So I'm pretty happy with it." See also related feature article.