Tony Stewart hospitalized with back injury

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart has been hospitalized with a back injury after an all-terrain vehicle accident, according to a spokesperson from his Stewart-Haas Racing team.

According to the SHR statement, Stewart was hurt in an accident Sunday afternoon while driving an all-terrain vehicle on the West Coast. He was transported to a hospital in an undisclosed location and is able to move all his extremities, according to a team spokesperson.

Stewart-Haas spokesperson Mike Arning indicated that further updates on the three-time champion’s condition “will be provided Thursday afternoon when more information is known.”

Stewart, 44, is entering his final full season in NASCAR’s premier series. Teams are scheduled to arrive next week at Daytona International Speedway for season-opening Speedweeks and the Feb. 13 Sprint Unlimited exhibition (8 p.m. ET, FOX). The first Sprint Cup Series points-paying race of the season, the Daytona 500, is set for Feb. 21 (1 p.m. ET, FOX).

“We have received word from Stewart-Haas Racing of Tony Stewart’s accident and injury,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “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.”

Stewart missed parts of the 2013 and 2014 seasons after racing accidents in sprint-car events. He suffered a severely broken lower right leg in August 2013 after a heavy crash in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and missed the final 15 races of the Sprint Cup season. Stewart also missed three races in 2014 after his involvement in a crash at a New York dirt track that claimed the life of 20-year-old racer Kevin Ward Jr.

Stewart, who co-owns the four-car SHR operation with Gene Haas, announced last September 30 that the 2016 season would be his last in NASCAR’s top division. Clint Bowyer, who will drive for HScott Motorsports this season, was named as his successor in the team’s No. 14 Chevrolet starting in 2017.

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