In his final year as a full time driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Tony Stewart will not race in his final Daytona 500. Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, sustained a back injury in a non-racing accident Sunday afternoon. He was flown to an undisclosed hospital after the accident on the West Coast.
Thursday the team released statement via email that updated Stewart’s condition. According to the team Stewart suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident. The L1 is the smallest and most superior of the lumbar vertebrae and is located in the lower back. It bears the weight of the upper body.
The team said Thursday that Stewart flew to North Carolina Tuesday evening and was admitted to a Charlotte-area hospital for further evaluation. On Wednesday, he underwent surgery. Surgery to repair such injuries is usually only a last resort and uses some type of internal fixation to hold the vertebrae in the proper position while the bone heals.