As Stewart sits on the sidelines for an as yet undetermined length of time, Jim Utter looks back at the highs and lows of Smoke's topline career.
Also - don't miss Utter's Tony Stewart commentary.
Stewart became the first driver to win USAC’s version of the “Triple Crown,” earning championships in all three of USAC's major divisions – National Midget, Sprint, and Silver Crown.
Named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after starting from the front row.
Scored his first IndyCar win at Pikes Peak and crowned the year by winning the Indy Racing League championship.
Stewart did the “Double” for the first time – 1,100 miles on Memorial Day weekend by competing in both the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. He finished ninth in Indy, fourth at 600. Stewart took his first NASCAR Cup win at Richmond, Va., going on to become series Rookie of the Year.
Stewart won a series-high six races in the Cup series and also captured the Turkey Night Grand Prix midget car event which he called “one of his greatest wins ever.”
Ran the “Double” for the second time, finishing sixth in the Indy 500 and third in the Coca-Cola 600. He was also inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
In 2002, Stewart won the first of three Cup series championships, holding off Mark Martin down the stretch. He also took his first Chili Bowl victory.
In January, Stewart teamed with Andy Wallace (above) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in a Boss Motorsports Chevrolet to take fourth in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
In November, Stewart became the owner of one of America most legendary short tracks, Eldora Speedway.
Stewart grabbed his first Brickyard 400 win on the way to his second Cup series championship. He also earned his first victory in what is now the Xfinity Series with a win in the season-opener at Daytona.
Stewart became the first defending champion to fail to qualify for the following season’s championship Chase. He did win two of four races and the season title in the International Race of Champions.
Stewart earned his second career Brickyard 400 win in 2007 and his second victory in the Chili Bowl.
Stewart announced he was leaving Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the year and would become driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009.
In May, Stewart took his first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race win and its $1m prize. He won four races and finished sixth in his first season as an owner/driver.
Stewart stumbled his way into the Chase without a victory, then went on an incredible run, winning five of the final 10 races and earning his third Cup series championship in a tiebreaker over Carl Edwards.
In June at Dover, Stewart scored the 48th Cup win of his career. That’s the most recent time we’ve seen him take the checkered flag. He heads into the 2016 season with a 77-race winless streak.
In August, a multi-car crash while leading a sprint car race in Iowa broke Stewart's tibia and fibula in his lower right leg. Stewart would miss the rest of the NASCAR season.
In August 2014, a sprint car driven by Stewart struck and killed driver Kevin Ward Jr. at a dirt track in upstate New York. Ward, who was involved in a wreck moments before, was walking on the track while the race was under caution when the incident happened. A grand jury declined to indict Stewart but Ward’s family filed a wrongful death suit against Stewart which remains unresolved. Stewart sat out three races and failed to make the Chase for the third time in his career.
In September, Stewart announced the 2016 season would be his last as a full-time competitor in NASCAR.