Stewart updates recovery: "It's like being a caged animal right now"

In a surprise Periscope session, a recovering Tony Stewart updated his recovery and revealed new accident details as he answered fan inquires.

While walking on a treadmill, he kicked off the impromptu Q&A session with: "I just didn't want everybody to think that while everybody was at Daytona, I was sitting on my ass here in Charlotte."

He had circumstances like mine that are just out of your control that just put him out. It's nice to take something negative on my side and be able to do something positive for somebody else

Tony Stewart on Brian Vickers

Tony Periscoped for roughly 47 minutes and was in good spirits as he fielded questions from fans as thousands tuned in. He divulged some more details regarding both his accident and his continued recovery.

"We're doing much better, starting to get the pain under control," he remarked, later adding that he's had to endure back spasms that have kept him up at night.

Rehab details

"Same guy that’s doing my rehab is the same guy that did my leg and the same guy who got Kyle Busch up and going again," he revealed. "It's good to stay with somebody that we know and trust."

He went on to say that he's supposed to be on a treadmill two to three times per day and that he has a brace, but only needs to wear it when riding in a car. "They either want me laying flat on my back or walking. They don't want me sitting up or standing in one spot.

"We've been through a lot worse than this ... This is just another bump in the road."

Stewart fell some 20 feet in accident

Stewart explained that when he injured his back (sustaining a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra), he went over the lip of a dune, unaware that there was a sharp drop-off of 20 to 25 feet on the other side. "I went over the lip of that dune. I didn't think it was straight down on the other side."

Smoke also stated that he was stranded alone for nearly two hours, adding, "It's hard to make a story about breaking your back while running 5mph sound cool. I've never been hurt so bad running 5mph in my life."

Outside of rehab, the three-time Sprint Cup champion has kept himself occupied by watching TV, racing R.C. cars, and visiting his crew at the shop before they left for Speedweeks.

"It's like being a caged animal right now," he remarked.

Smoke quashes 2017 rumors

Stewart killed off rumors he might race in NASCAR in 2017, and give himself one last chance at scoring that elusive Daytona 500 victory.  

"This is just a missed deal at Daytona," he said. "You'll see us there next year, but in a whole different role. Not doing another season since this happened. I made my decision and that's it.

"[But] since this is the last year, I'll make sure I put everything into it I can."

Vickers "deserves a good car"

Eventually, Stewart's Periscope session ran over the Stewart-Haas Racing press conference that confirmed Brian Vickers as his replacement at Daytona. Fans were treated to a unique situation, watching a live-stream of Stewart while he watched a live-stream of the presser.

"I'm real confident with Brian in it," commented Stewart, adding that Vickers visited him a few days ago. "It's pretty cool to see how excited he is to get back into a car. He definitely deserves to be in a good car. He is a good racecar driver.

"He had circumstances like mine that are just out of your control that just put him out. It's nice to take something negative on my side and be able to do something positive for somebody else with it."

You can watch a replay of Stewart's Periscope sessions here and here

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing
Article type Breaking news