Understanding Stewart is to know he races, whenever and wherever he can

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One of the questions that’s been asked over the last few days since the accident Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park that ultimately claimed Kevin Ward Jr.’s life was why Tony Stewart was racing there in the first place.

The simple answer is because he can, and because he wants to.

Stewart has returned to the dirt track scene this season following his recovery from last year’s accident at Iowa where he broke his leg and was ruled out for the remainder of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

In his first race back, he won. A Michigan dirt track owner praised Stewart’s presence at the event. But Stewart understandably faced a melancholy return to Iowa in his first race back there, which occurred last week.

As time permits, Stewart races his sprint car on dirt tracks around the country. It’s something he’s done for the entirety of his career; it fuels him and ignites his passion.

As his own team boss at Stewart-Haas Racing, Stewart can make the call as to whether he wants to keep going on dirt. Even though he’s been through a rough stretch of accidents in the last year or so, he still is inclined to keep going.

So Saturday night, he went to yet another small dirt track in New York, and raced. It would have been a bigger surprise had he not gone.

Sadly, this race featured tragic consequences.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)