One Year Later: Stewart Back in Iowa

Paul Arch Photo

Front Row Challenge Winner Brian Brown with Tony Stewart, who returned to spectate at the track where he was injured a year ago. (Photo: Paul Arch)

KNOXVILLE, Iowa - Tony Stewart is spending this week in Iowa watching one of his passions, sprint car racing.

As his World of Outlaws teams gear up for the 54th FVP Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway, Stewart is back in Iowa one year after breaking his right leg racing a sprint car at nearby Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. He returned to the track on Monday night as a spectator and watched Brian Brown take home the checkered flag in the Front Row Challenge.

"One year ago today my life changed," Stewart tweeted yesterday. "Thank you to everyone that worked so hard to get me back to where I'm at today. It's your life, live it!"

The road to recovery was a long one, but Stewart vowed to get back in a sprint car and he did that for the first time in competition last month at Tri City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Mich. on July 18 and won.

"The biggest thing was I couldn't run anymore Sprint car races," Stewart said. “It was 11 and half months before I got back in one. When you love doing something as much as racing whether it's a dirt car or a Cup car as much as I do you go from being the busiest guy in racing to all of a sudden you are horizontal on the sheets and can't move every day. It's a pretty big adjustment to your life for a while."

Although he's not racing this week in a sprint car, Stewart has about 10 races left this season.

"It was hard to find a bunch of races to go run - for some reason the sprint car schedule and the Cup schedule don't really lineup really well this year like they used to,” Stewart said. “We are still going to get a bunch in."

Tony StewartStewart was in a sprint car on Wednesday in Knoxville, but of a different kind. He raced against Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson and race fans in the second annual Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular at Slideways Karting Center to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research. (Read More | Photos

With eight wins as a car owner in Knoxville Nationals, including five of the last six with Donny Schatz, Stewart still has one item on the bucket list he would like to accomplish in the prestigious race.

"My goal one day is to try and run the Knoxville Nationals," Stewart said. "The dream for me would be just to make the A-Main here so that would be cool."

Motor Racing Network's "Winged Nation" will be live at Knoxville Raceway, streaming nightly through Saturday from 6-7 p.m. (CT) at MRN.com.

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