It consists of a steering wheel, steering column and pedals that are tethered to shocks that produce resistance akin to what he might experience in competition. He sits and watches television, and pulls on the wheel, and holds that pedal down, all in the effort to reteach his foot to persuade his brain to hold constant pressure, versus the back-and-forth work he experienced in therapy.
"The great thing about that [driving compartment] is it's encouraging," he said. "The hard part is having to hold it against the throttle stop and, and maintain that for minutes at a time and not move it. If you're leading the Daytona 500, you don't lift.
"That was the theory behind this -- being able to try to help create stamina in case, hopefully, we're in that scenario where we're leading the pack, and wide open all the way around all the time."
The question remains: Can he really do it? There was a slight scare in the Sprint Unlimited: the big wreck in which he was collected. He hit hard. And he walked away. But is he really capable of being the Tony Stewart we expect to see, the three-time champion who knows one way -- shut up, saddle up and ride?
"I don't have any doubt about it," he said. "I mean, there's not a moment of any day that's gone by that has made me think that we're not going to be the same guy that we've always been. I mean I still have the same smart-aleck responses and still saying the same things."
Everybody knows my name
They say it way out loud
A lot of folks f--- with me
It's hard to hang out in the crowds ...
And when your walls come tumbling down
I will always be around
Stewart said something to me this past fall that will live forever in a corner of my brain: "Emotion is the way you react to something. Passion is why you do it."
No one will ever question why he does it.