NASCAR confirms Tony Stewart’s return to competition and Chase waiver

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart

Stewart-Haas Racing announced Thursday that Tony Stewart has been cleared by his doctors and NASCAR to return to racing, effective immediately. Stewart who missed the first eight races of the season will drive the Chevrolet SS fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing throughout this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway.

Stewart sustained a back injury in a non-racing accident on January 31. Stewart suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident. The L1 is the smallest and most superior of the lumbar vertebrae and is located in the lower back. It bears the weight of the upper body. Stewart underwent an operation and extensive rehabilitation. He had an one of several medical evaluations on March 9 and the three-time series champion was cleared to return for his final Sprint Cup season.

“As soon as the doctors said they were happy with my scans, I wasn’t going to wait any longer to get back in my racecar,” said Stewart, who announced last year that he would retire after the 2016 season. “I want to make the most of my last season in Sprint Cup, and I’ve been on the sidelines long enough.”


Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.