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Tony Stewart calls injury a small bump in the road

Published On: Sep 04 2013 08:14:27 AM EDT
NASCAR driver Tony Stewart

Dan Sweeney/WDBJ7

Stewart-Haas driver and owner Tony Stewart

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (AP) -- -

An upbeat Tony Stewart says he views his broken right leg as "a small bump in the road" and believes he's on pace to return to racing in time for next year's Daytona 500.

The three-time NASCAR champion made his first appearance Tuesday since his Aug. 5 injury in a sprint car crash in Iowa. He underwent two surgeries on a broken tibia and fibula and has been homebound for almost a month.

Stewart used a wheelchair to get around Stewart-Haas Racing before sliding into a chair on the stage for his news conference. It's the first significant injury for the 42-year-old owner/driver of SHR, who saw his streak of 521 consecutive starts come to an end with the injury.