DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) –– Tony Stewart says he’ll be ready to race at full speed when the NASCAR season opens next month.

The three-time NASCAR champion missed the final 15 races last season with a broken right leg. He won’t be cleared to compete until Daytona International Speedway opens for preparations for the season-opening Daytona 500.

His first day in the car will be Feb. 14, one day before the exhibition Sprint Unlimited and 10 days before the 500.

Stewart said Thursday he does not expect to be feeling 100 percent when he gets back in the car, but he’ll “be able to do my job 100 percent.”

Stewart said he spent nearly three weeks at home in Indiana over the holidays and returned to North Carolina this week to resume physical therapy.

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