NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was hospitalized after injuring his back in a non-racing accident Sunday, according to a statement released Tuesday by Stewart-Haas Racing.
According to the statement, Stewart was taken to a “local hospital,” where he is being evaluated.
Stewart-Haas Racing spokesman Mike Arning confirmed to the Observer that Stewart was injured while driving an all-terrain vehicle on the West Coast.
“He is awake and alert and able to move his extremities,” the statement read.
The team said there will be an update provided Thursday afternoon when more information is available.
The accident happened three weeks before the season-opening Daytona 500, a race Stewart, 44, has never won. Stewart, who is retiring as a driver from Sprint Cup racing after this season, broke his leg in 2013 during a sprint car race and missed 15 Cup races. He missed three races in 2014 after he was involved in a sprint car accident that claimed the life of another driver on a dirt track in upstate New York.
“We have received word from Stewart-Haas Racing of Tony Stewart’s accident and injury,” 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.”