NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart was transported to a local hospital after sustaining a back injury during an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle.
According to Stewart’s team, Stewart-Haas Racing, Stewart was awake and alert following the accident. He was able to move all his extremities. Stewart-Haas spokesperson Mike Arning said that more updates will be given on the driver’s condition on “Thursday afternoon when more information is known.”
Stewart is a three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who is entering his final full season in the NASCAR’s premier series this year. Following his accident, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France issued a statement saying, “On behalf of everyone at NASCAR, I wish Tony a full recovery and look forward to seeing him back in our sport when he’s ready to return.”
Stewart got his first Sprint Cup championship in 2002 after he scored ahead of Mark Martin by 28 points. That same year, he was named Driver of the Year by the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA), Eastern Motorsports Press Association (EMPA) and The Sporting News. His next Sprint Cup championship came in 2005 when he won five Sprint Cup races in Sonoma, Daytona, New Hampshire, Indianapolis and Watkins Glen. His team also finished third in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona following a gearbox problem. In 2011, Stewart earned his third Sprint Cup championship by virtue of a tiebreaker with Carl Edwards. That same year, he won five Sprint Cup point races in Chicagoland, New Hampshire, Martinsville, Texas and Homestead. He also beat out other motorsport for the SPEED Performer of the Year title.
Following the accident, Stewart received well-wishes from everyone in the NASCAR Community. Danica Patrick tweeted, “Get well soon” while Kurt Busch said he’s wishing the champion driver “a speedy recovery.” The first Sprint Cup Series points race, the Daytona 500, happens on February 21.