David Graham/Associated Press
Tony Stewart's team secured Kevin Harvick, one of the most consistent drivers of the past four years, and Stewart-Haas Racing may need to lean on Harvick early.
The timing is great given that Stewart's broken leg that he suffered six months ago could, conceivably, hold him back. He still hasn't regained all the mobility in that busted leg.
Stewart told USA Today Sports,
There's honestly not been one moment where I've thought, 'Do I want to get back in the car or can I get back in the car? Am I going to be OK?' It's been 'When can I get in the car?' and 'I wonder how long it's going to take to win a race.' There's never been any doubt when they tell you, 'You're going to recover 100 percent.' That's all I need to know.
Stewart, 42, can only hope his somewhat advanced age won't hinder his recovery more than it already has. Take Darrell Waltrip, who also suffered a severe leg injury in his forties.
"That injury is a huge setback for Tony at this time in his career and his life," Waltrip said. "I know it was for me. I almost lost my leg, and it had a profound impact on me. It's hard to get seriously hurt when you're older and not have it impact you. He's tough, but it's going to be tough."