Stewart: 'It's My Life'
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on May 30, 2014 | 1:53 P.M. EST
Stewart plans to continue driving sprint cars and won’t let anyone talk him out of following his passion. (Photo: Getty Images)
DOVER, Del. – Tony Stewart plans to continue driving sprint cars and won’t let anyone talk him out of following his passion.
Stewart was sidelined with a broken leg last year after his early-August crash while racing a sprint car in Iowa. There's been speculation whether the three-time Sprint Cup champion would curtail his short-track open-wheel schedule in the aftermath of the accident.
However, Stewart has reiterated that he has no plans to stop sprint car racing and recently got back behind the wheel in a test session at an undisclosed location.
"It was fun," Stewart said of the test while addressing the media Friday at Dover International Speedway. "It felt good. We actually did a full-blown test. It wasn’t just going out and making laps. We got a chance to run through a lot of shock stuff and setup stuff. Ready to go again."
Stewart said he’s working toward getting back to being able to compete in a sprint car but will keep his future plans private.
"I'll tell you how it went," Stewart said when asked when he’d be on dirt next. "Let’s put it this way. You won’t know when it’s coming. 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. Judging off how many people showed up just to talk to me about going and testing for a couple of hours, I can imagine what the group is going to be like after I run my first race."
Stewart is still surprised with how much attention his injury while racing a sprint car generated. He pointed out other drivers in the Sprint Cup Series have gotten hurt in a variety of ways and wondered why there has been so much focus on what happened to him.
"I’m smiling because I'm laughing at you guys. It’s like, 'My God, I went and tested a sprint car!' " Stewart said to the assembled media behind his hauler. "I still laugh about how big a deal this has all been made. 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. It’s bigger news than the guy that had the same injury I had falling off a bicycle last week. I chuckled."
Stewart also put to rest any speculation he would be pressured to give up his passion for sprint cars.
"Nope, it’s my life," he said. "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."