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Tony Stewart to miss beginning of final Sprint Cup season

Tony Stewart speaks during the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Charlotte, N.C., on Jan. 23, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Tony Stewart speaks during the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Charlotte, N.C., on Jan. 23, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart sustained a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident on the West Coast on Sunday, according to an announcement from Stewart-Haas Racing on Thursday.

As a result of his injury, Stewart is expected to miss the start of the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season. The first points-paying race of the season is the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 21. Stewart is also eligible for the Feb. 13 Sprint Unlimited exhibition race, also held at Daytona. A date for Stewart’s return to the driver’s seat of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet is unknown. According to the Thursday SHR announcement, plans have not been finalized for an interim driver(s).

Details surrounding Stewart’s accident were kept hush-hush. Limited details emerged Tuesday afternoon that confirmed he had an ATV accident on the West Coast that resulted in a back injury.

A press release from Stewart-Haas Racing Thursday stated that Stewart was transported to a local hosptial and evaluated. He was awake and alert during throughout examination. He was transported to a Charlotte, N.C., area hospital on Tuesday evening and underwent surgery there on Wednesday.

Stewart is expected to make a full recovery and return to the No. 14 car sometime during the 2016 season. The upcoming season will be Stewart’s last as a Sprint Cup Series driver.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner

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Posted by on February 4, 2016. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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