He has been out of a race car since tumbling in his sprint car and breaking his right leg during a race at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa on Aug. 5, but his fans haven’t forgotten his presence in the sport of NASCAR.
Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart will be the driver featured on the cover of the NASCAR ’14 game scheduled for release in early 2014 for PS3 and for Xbox 360.
Fans were the driving force behind the decision as they took to social media and voted for the driver they wanted to see on the cover of the video game in the “Drive for the Cover” campaign. It came down to a duel between Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart and over 700,000 fans voted for “Smoke” (Stewart’s nickname) to grace the cover of the game’s jacket.
This isn’t the first time Stewart has been on the cover of the popular game. He has been on the officially licensed NASCAR game twice already, but this was the first time fans got to vote for his representation on the cover. They made it clear that they miss Tony Stewart’s unique personality and seeing him drive the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing every week around the premiere tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit.
“Being selected by the fans to be on the cover of NASCAR ‘14 is a huge honor,” said Stewart, co-owner and driver for Stewart-Haas Racing. “It’s been a long couple of months, but my fans’ passion has been one of the driving factors in helping me rehab and my ability to prepare for returning to the race car in February.”
Smoke dominated every round of the contest.
Tony Stewart has undergone extensive therapy in order to get back behind the wheel of the No. 14 to start the Daytona 500 on Feb. 23, but he’s following doctor’s orders to ensure that all is well before he takes charge of the driver’s seat. Stewart has had three surgeries since his accident and is determined to do his best to be in the best health when he returns to the racetrack.
NASCAR veteran, Mark Martin, will help test Stewart’s car before Daytona in January and provide feedback until Stewart returns.
It was announced earlier that Stewart will have a new crew chief for the 2014 season. Chad Johnston, former crew chief for Martin Truex, Jr. and Michael Waltrip Racing, will call the shots for the 14 team. Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick are joining Danica Patrick and Stewart this season and the quartet will make up the driver field for Stewart-Haas Racing this coming season.
While he can’t race in event, he will be honored during the annual “Rumble in Fort Wayne” on Dec. 27 and 28 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The “Salute to Tony Stewart” will mark the 16th annual indoor midget races at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center where he will field two Munchkin chassis in the event driven by Mike Fedorcak and Lou Cicconi, Jr.
Stewart has won nine features in The Rumble in the past. Stewart, who grew up in the Columbus, Indiana area, will participate in a free, two-hour autograph session each day of the Rumble Series. Over 300 cars race in various levels of competition at this well-known Hoosier extravaganza.
For more information about this event, call (317) 418-3206 or visit www.rumbleseries.com.