AUBURN, Mich. – Tony Stewart made his return to sprint car racing Friday night, winning the Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP event held at Tri-City Motor Speedway.
It was Stewart’s first sprint-car race since breaking his right leg in a crash on Aug. 5, 2013 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Stewart made his first start in a sprint car since the injury a memorable one by moving up from the fifth starting spot and inheriting the lead after Dustin Daggett drove off the backstretch. The win was Stewart’s second career SOD feature win and first since 2012.
While pulling into victory lane Stewart actually had thought he finished second, and was surprised to find out he won.
“It’s been eleven and a half months since I’ve been (in a sprint car), and I really missed it,” said Stewart in victory lane.
Randy Hannagan started from the pole and took the lead at the start of the race. Hannagan led the first five laps before Daggett took the
lead on laps six and immediately opened up a sizeable advantage. Meanwhile, Stewart methodically moved up from fifth starting spot to
challenge Hannagan for second.
Stewart moved into the runner up spot around Hannagan with eight laps to go. One lap later Daggett drove off the backstretch while negotiating lapped traffic, dropping back to third and handing Stewart the lead. From there it was all Stewart as he led the rest of the way.
Hannagan held onto the runner up spot while Ryan Ruhl moved past Daggett late in the race to take over the final podium spot. Daggett
and Gregg Dalman rounded out the top five.
Tony Stewart, Randy Hannagan, Ryan Ruhl, Dustin Daggett, Gregg Dalman, Kyle Pitts, Gavin Hunyady, Brad Lamberson, Brett Mann, Troy Chehowski, Dan McCarron, Joe Geibe, Mark Aldrich, Chase Ridenour, Craig Karazim, Chris Pobanz, Robert Huisken, Eric Smith, Tank Brakenberry.