Tony Stewart has returned to his spot in the No. 14 Chevrolet SS after being sidelined in the first eight rounds of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season with a back injury, Stewart-Haas Racing has announced.
Stewart, AKA ‘Smoke’, has been unable to race so far in 2016 after suffering a back injury while driving an all-terrain vehicle in February. Doctors have now cleared him to race in this weekend’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond, much to the delight of SHR, Smoke and his family, friends and fans.
“For this whole team, this company, it’s awesome to see him back at a place he loves, a place he’s had success,” SHR Competition Director Greg Zipadelli told NASCAR.com. “It looks like they changed the tire back to the way it used to be, more his style and hopefully we’ll have a real sunny day come Sunday. I think it will be a great race.”
Today’s practice at Richmond marks the first time Smoke has driven the No. 14 Chevrolet SS in 2016. The practice will be important to Stewart seeing as his medical clearance came late and he was unable to even test the No. 14 car before shipping off to Virginia for this weekend’s race.
Coverage of the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond will kick off this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.