UPDATE (11:10 p.m. ET): Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart has made a victorious comeback to sprint car racing this evening at the Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Michigan.
The track’s Facebook page confirmed that Stewart won tonight’s feature:
The event was Stewart’s first sprint car race since he broke his leg in a crash last August at the Southern Iowa Speedway. The injury caused him to miss the final 15 races in the 2013 Sprint Cup season.
This past May, Stewart vowed that his first sprint car race after the accident would occur when people least expected it.
“I will be able to tell you how it went,” he said at the time. “Let’s put it that way. You won’t know when it’s coming. When I do go, nobody is going to know about it.”
But with the Sprint Cup Series taking this weekend off, word got out that “Smoke” would be racing tonight in Michigan.
Scot Johnson, sports director at local station WNEM-TV, was able to confirm Stewart’s participation:
And soon enough, fans and media members alike began to post both videos and photos of him rounding the track in practice earlier today: