By AMANDA VINCENT
Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart is in a hosptial on the West Coast, receiving treatment for a back injury sustained in an ATV accdent on Sunday. Word of the accident didn’t come out until Tuesday. Stewart-Haas Racing is not disclosing the hospital nor the exact location of the accident. A statement from the race team says that an update will be given on Thursday.
The SHR statement reads as follows:
“Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, sustained a back injury in a non-racing accident on Sunday afternoon. Stewart was transported to a local hospital following the accident and is currently being evaluated. Stewart is awake an alert and able to move all extremities. An updaate will be provided Thursday afternoon when more information is known.”
Stewart’s last publicly known location was the Barrett-Jackson classic car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Saturday evening. Dave Moody reported Tuesday on his SiriusXM Speedway show on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that Stewart was at a West Coast desert on Sunday
A Tweet from FOX Sport’s Alan Cavanna (@CopaCavanna) specified the accident came while Stewart was riding an ATV.
“From @StewartHaasRcng: The accident happened while Tony was driving an all-terrain vehicle on the West Coast,” Cavanna tweeted.
NASCAR released a statement from Chairman and CEO Brian France.
“We have received word from Stewart-Haas Racing of Tony Stewart’s accident and injury,” France said. “On behalf of everyone at NASCAR, I wish Tony a full recovery and look forward to seeing him back in oiur sport when he’s ready to return.”
Stewart suffered a compound fracture in his right leg during a sprint car race in Iowa in 2013. That injury resulted in him being sidelined for the last 15 races of the 2013 season. In 2014, Stewart missed three races after a fatal accident in another sprint car race in Upstate New York. Kevin Ward Jr. died as a result of injuries sustained when he was struck by a car driven by Stewart in that race. The 2015 season was the first since 2012 in which Stewart ran all 36 points-paying races.
The 2016 Sprint Cup Series season will be Stewart’s last as a driver in the series. Prior to the end of the 2015 season, Stewart announced his retirement from driving in the Sprint Cup Series at the end of the 2016 season.
The official start of the 2016 Sprint Cup seaon is the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 21, but Stewart is also eligible to compete in the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race, scheduled for Feb. 13 at Daytona.
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