Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tony Stewart addresses his fans about his recovery from injury

Injured NASCAR driver Tony Stewart used the Periscope app Friday morning to talk with fans as he walked on a treadmill at his home in the Charlotte, N.C., area.

Stewart will miss the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway after breaking his back in a dune buggy crash Jan. 31 in Southern California.

"We are doing much better," Stewart said on the app. "We're starting to get the pain under control, and I just didn't want everybody thinking that while everybody was in Daytona today that I'm sitting on my (butt) here in Charlotte."

On Friday, Stewart-Haas Racing officially announced that Brian Vickers will fill in for Stewart at Daytona, both in tonight's Sprint Unlimited exhibition race and in the Feb. 21 Daytona 500.

Unless he changes his mind about retiring after this season, Stewart will finish his career 0-for-17 in the Daytona 500.

Stewart said his dune buggy was going only 5 mph when it plunged over a steep, 20-25 foot dip in a dune and "face planted."

"It's pretty hard to make a story about breaking your back sound cool when you were only going 5 mph," he said. "I've never been hurt so bad only going 5 mph in my life."

Stewart, who answered fans' questions and comments, showed six small incisions on his lower back where two small rods and six screws were inserted in surgery. He said he expects the rods and screws will be removed this year.

Stewart, 44, said he uses the treadmill two or three times a day and has lost 22 pounds since Dec. 1 (10 since the accident).

It's the third time in recent years Stewart has been hurt. He broke his leg in 2013 during a sprint car race and missed 15 Cup races. He missed three races in 2014 after he was involved in a sprint car collision that claimed the life of another driver on a dirt track in upstate New York.

Sprint Unlimited: Jimmie Johnson got the pole position in a random draw for tonight's exhibition race (8:15, Ch. 13) at Daytona. He starts next to Brad Kese­lowski in the 25-car field for the 75-lap race. The field includes all 2015 pole-sitters, former Sprint Unlimited winners, former Daytona 500 pole-sitters, last year's Chase for the Championship drivers not already qualified, plus two more entries based on 2015 points.

Tony Stewart addresses his fans about his recovery from injury 02/12/16 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2016 9:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    Judging by those who were asking for them before Saturday's giveaways, those who tried to get an extra one or two once inside the Trop and those who quickly slipped theirs on before finding their seats, the DJ Kitty Onesie might be the Rays' most popular giveaway. Ever.

  2. Rays vs. Rangers, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Rangers

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Florida; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Jake Odorizzi #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  3. Gators pick up commitment from 5-star QB Matt Corral

    Blogs

    Florida has picked up a major commitment toward its 2018 recruiting class, getting a pledge Saturday night from quarterback Matt Corral, rated a five-star recruit by Rivals and Scout.

  4. Warren Sapp has firsthand advice as Bucs try to toughen up

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was a molten morning, surface of Mercury, on the football field at Skyway Park, near Tampa International Airport. Bucs Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp was working with some Bucs defensive linemen. HBO Hard Knocks crews followed them. Training camp was a week away. Sapp pointed to Bucs …

    Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp made it clear as a rookie that he wasn’t backing down from anyone, mixing it up with the Dolphins during summer scrimmages. [Times file]
  5. Rays Tales: With Rays surprising buyers, a look back at previous deadline deals

    The Heater

    The buildup to this July 31 trading deadline is different for the Rays, for the rudimentary reason that they are working — feverishly, from what we hear — to add on to a team they feel has a legitimate chance to make a playoff run.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) throws a strike to open up the first inning of the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 25, 2014.