Tony Stewart to miss beginning of NASCAR season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will miss the beginning of the 2016 Sprint Cup Season, the team announced Thursday.

Stewart suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident Sunday while vacationing on the west coast.

Stewart-Haas Racing officials say that Stewart was then transported to a local hospital following the accident and was evaluated by doctors. He was awake and alert throughout the process and able to move all of his extremities.

Stewart flew to North Carolina Tuesday evening and was admitted to a Charlotte-area hospital for further evaluation and underwent surgery Wednesday.

A timetable for Stewart's return has not been determined, but he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the Sprint Cup Series in 2016. An interim driver has not yet been named by the team.

Stewart plans to retire from full-time competition following the 2016 season. 


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