Tony Stewart to miss Daytona 500 and beyond with fractured spine

Tony Stewart


Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart

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.


Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.