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Stewart ready for return at Daytona after leg injury

Daytona Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Tony Stewart is eager to get back in the race car and has no plans for a relief driver this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup Series champion, is expected to drive his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in Friday and Saturday's practice sessions, Saturday night's preseason race -- The Sprint Unlimited -- and Sunday's qualifying for the Daytona 500.

It will be Stewart's first time back in a race car since he suffered a broken right leg in an accident during a sprint car race last August in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He missed the final 15 races of the 2013 season.

"I'm excited about it," Stewart said during Thursday's Daytona 500 Media Day at Daytona International Speedway. "It's been a long time since August 5th. Normally, we're talking about the offseason, and it just seems like it flies by. But this has been the slowest offseason that I've ever had. I'm ready to get going again."

Stewart underwent three surgeries to repair his leg, including one where a metal rod was inserted inside his fractured tibia. He's had months of physical therapy.

"All of my therapy has been going really well, especially I would say in the last two weeks," he said. "I feel like we've made really huge gains. I don't know how we could be more prepared, honestly, than where we are right now. In a perfect scenario, everything would be healed 100 percent, and we wouldn't even be talking about it. My bone is about 65 percent healed right now."

Last month, Mark Martin drove Stewart's No. 14 car during preseason testing at Daytona. Martin also substituted for Stewart in the car in 12 of the last 13 races this past season.

Stewart is one of 18 drivers competing in The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, which is a 75-lap, 187.5-mile race. He has won it three times.

"I feel confident enough that we're not going to have to worry about anything," Stewart said. "We've planned for everything that we think might or could go wrong. And when I say, 'go wrong,' it's not going to be anything that's going to take me out of the race car. It's a matter of trying to make everything absolutely as comfortable as possible."

02/13 15:48:39 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 5
NOR 1
 
Final
TAM 4
BOS 3
Final
MIA 9
NYM 6
Final
ATL 0
PHI 7
Final
BAL 4
MIN 6
Final
STL 5
PIT 4
Final
CHC 4
MIL 2
Final
CLE 1
DET 12
Final
OAK 6
SEA 1
Final
SDP 3
ARI 1
Final
COL 10
SFG 9
Final
KAN 4
TEX 3
Final
LOS 4
WAS 6
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
DET
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
MIL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
ANA
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
TEX
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
PIT
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
ARI
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
WAS
 
Final
LOU 31
MIAMI 13
Final
DUR 5
NOR 1