Tony Stewart is out at least the next month — and likely longer — as he recovers from a broken leg suffered during a crash at Southern Iowa Speedway on Aug. 5. Though Stewart needs to take extensive care of himself while recovering, Danica Patrick makes it sound like her Stewart-Haas Racing boss/teammate is improving.
“I’ve heard he’s kind of getting back in the game, you know,” Patrick said Friday at Michigan International Speedway, per USA Today Sports. “He wants to know everything that’s going on. He wants to be able to hear what we’re doing. He’s off the meds and back to life again.”
Patrick had been communicating with Stewart via text message while he was in the hospital recovering. Stewart-Haas competition director Greg Zipadelli has also been in contact with Stewart and says Smoke is still in a lot of pain. He also says that the recovery process will be slow.
“We’ve been working under the assumption that he’s out for the next month or so, or longer,” Zipadelli said Friday, via ESPN. “He went to the doctor this week, he had a decent visit — no setbacks. … I saw him on Wednesday night, and we spent some time together. … He’s in great spirits. He’s going through a transition period. The next seven to 14 days will tell a lot about how [the leg] heals, whether things take. We’ll update you guys as we can, but it’s going to be a really slow process.”
Austin Dillon is racing in Stewart’s place on the team for the time being. He finished 14th at the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday and 21st in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race. Nobody can come close to replacing Stewart both for his racing ability and personality around the track.