Tony Stewart was hospitalized Tuesday afternoon after the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion was injured with a possible back injury on Sunday. Stewart suffered an accident on his all-terrain vehicle (ATV) sand buggy near San Diego and was airlifted to a local hospital in the area.
Stewart-Haas Racing said their team is unsure of the extent of Stewart’s injuries, but with just a week before the start of the 2016 Speedweek at Daytona International Speedway, it could be cause for concern.
“We have received word from Stewart-Haas Racing of Tony Stewart’s accident and injury,” said NASCAR Chairman Brian France said in a statement. “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.”
SHR spokesperson, Mike Arning, stated that Stewart, 44, was being evaluated at an undisclosed hospital, but was alert, awake and able to move all of his extremities.
There will be no further updates until Thursday as per a SHR statement.
Stewart attended the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale on Saturday night before heading points west the next day.
He is scheduled to race in the February 13 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway to kick off his final season prior to retiring from NASCAR.
ETA Feb. 4, 2016: The official word from Stewart-Haas Racing is that Tony Stewart will miss the beginning of the NASCAR season while he recovers from an injury to the L1 vertebra. So far, no interim driver has been name.