Tony Stewart in hospital with back injury following a non-racing accident

Tony Stewart in hospital with back injury following a non-racing accident

NASCAR driver and one of motor racing’s biggest names Tony Stewart has been taken to a hospital after injuring his back in a non-racing accident on Sunday.

“Stewart was transported to a local hospital following the accident and is currently being evaluated. Stewart is awake and alert, and able to move all extremities.” Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) said in an official statement.

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Mike Arning, SHR spokesman confirmed that Stewart received the injury while driving an all-terrain vehicle on the West Coast.

The team mentioned that an update on Stewart’s condition will be provided on Thursday afternoon as more information is received.

The accident couldn’t have come at a worse time for Stewart. Only three weeks are left before the season-opening Daytona 500. Stewart mentioned earlier that 2016 will be his final season in racing.

The three-time Sprint Cup Series champion broke his leg in 2013 during a sprint car race. The injury led him to miss 15 Cup races in the calendar year. In 2014 he was involved in another major accident which claimed the life of a driver on a dirt track in upstate New York.

“We have received word from Stewart-Haas Racing of Tony Stewart’s accident and injury. 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.” NASCAR chairman Brian France said.

Stewart is the only driver to win a title in both IndyCar and NASCAR. Clint Boyer is reportedly replacing him behind the wheel of Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet next season.

Daytona 500, the first Sprints Cup Series points-paying race of the season is set to take place on Feb. 21, 2016.

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