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.
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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.”