Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Stewart breaks leg, will sit out Watkins Glen

Tony Stewart is recovering from surgery after breaking his leg in a sprint car crash Monday night
at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Credit: Todd Warshaw / Getty Images
Tony Stewart broke his right leg in a sprint car crash Monday night, forcing him to sit out Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International. The crash marks Stewart's third sprint car wreck in less than a month.

The three-time Sprint Cup champion broke his right tibia and fibula when he wrecked Monday at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed Tuesday. After the crash, Stewart was immediately transported to a local hospital and underwent surgery.

According to the Des Moines Register, Stewart was leading the Front Row Challenge with five laps to go when he was collected in a four-car wreck. After being placed on a stretcher, Stewart was alert and talking with responders.

Stewart's No. 14 Sprint Cup team canceled a test scheduled for Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

A replacement driver for Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen has not been determined, the team said in a release. No timetable has been given for Stewart's return.

Chase ramifications

Stewart sits 11th in the Sprint Cup points standings. With one win this season, he currently holds the first wild card spot to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

A five-time winner at Watkins Glen, Stewart loses an opportunity to add another win and bolster his chances of making the Chase. Missing Sunday's race - and possibly more races as he recovers - puts his chances of making the Chase in serious jeopardy.

As Stewart sits out Watkins Glen, his consecutive streak of 521 Sprint Cup starts will also come to an end.

Recent sprint car crashes

Stewart's wreck at Southern Iowa Speedway is his third incident in a sprint car in three weeks.

On July 16, Stewart was involved in a 15-car wreck at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Canandaigua, N.Y. Then last Monday, Stewart's sprint car rolled over five times at Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario, Canada.

Stewart bristled at questions about the Ohsweken Speedway crash at Pocono Raceway. He chalked up the incident as a typical wreck.

"You mortals have got to learn, you guys need to watch more sprint car videos and stuff. It was not a big deal," Stewart said at Pocono. "It’s starting to get annoying this week about that so that was just an average sprint car wreck. When they wreck they get upside down like that. That was not a big deal.”

Stewart added, "If it’s bad we will let you guys know. That was not bad at all."

Our thoughts are with Tony Stewart as he recovers from his injuries. 

Update:
Stewart-Haas Racing announced veteran racer Max Papis will drive the No. 14 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen in this weekend's Sprint Cup race. Papis tested the car on July 30 of this year at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.

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