By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
FORT WORTH, Tex. – It was a chipper Tony Stewart who lingered after Thursday night’s Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame dinner, answering questions from reporters and posing for selfies with a succession of admirers.
Unabashedly eager to return to his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet for his final season in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing, Stewart is at the mercy of his doctors, who will run scans on the injured driver at the end of April.
“I feel great,” said Stewart, who suffered a burst fracture of his first lumbar vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident in late January. “I’ve been doing everything the last week that I wanted to do… If you step off a curb wrong or you step too hard, you’re definitely reminded that you have these rods in your back.
“Other than that, I feel really well. It’s just a matter of waiting till they… I’m anxious to get the scans. It’s driving me crazy wanting to see what it looks like and then listening to the diagnosis and when they think they’re going to let me go.”
Stewart attended the dinner at Texas Motor Speedway to receive the General Thomas Sadler Award for his work on behalf of Speedway Children’s Charities. Stewart has raised approximately $1.5 million through his annual “Smoke Show” at TMS.
Former driver and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton was the guest of honor as the 2015 inductee into the Hall of Fame. Martin Truex Jr. received the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award. Erik Jones was honored as TMS Racer of the Year, and Wood Brothers Racing co-founders Glen and Leonard Wood were added to the rolls of the Bruton Smith Legend Award.
Image: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images