By Matt Weaver – Tony Stewart will miss this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International after breaking his right leg in a sprint car accident on Monday night at Southern Iowa Speedway.
Stewart Haas Racing has confirmed that the three-time Cup Series champion suffered a broken right tibia and fibula and underwent surgery on his leg at a local hospital following the accident. Southern Iowa is a half-mile, semi-banked dirt oval located in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
The team also announced that a replacement driver for Sunday’s race has yet to be determined and that more information would be released on Tuesday afternoon. The team has also canceled a scheduled test for Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Stewart was leading his 30-lap, 360 Winged Sprint feature at Southern Iowa when he and two other leaders, Tasker Phillips and Tony Schilling were caught up in an accident that began when a lap driver, Josh Higday spun and collected the front-runners.
Eventually race winner Brian Brown told the Des Moines Register that he saw the accident, turned left, hit an infield tire and kept going. He led the remainder of the race and was followed to the checkered flag by Nationwide Series regular Kyle Larson.
“It looked like he got into a lapped car,” Brown told the Register. “When I got close, he was flipping cage down. I didn’t really have time to watch and see what was going on.
“First and foremost, we’re concerned about Tony and making sure he’s all right. He’s a huge asset to our sport, especially sprint car racing and an icon in the whole motorsports field. Anytime you see him wreck like that and then leave in an ambulance, it’s never good. Hopefully he’s OK. We weren’t going to win that race. We were probably going to run third or fourth.”
This is the third time in the past month that Stewart has wrecked while competing in a sprint car.
The accident has major championship implications as Stewart is currently 11th in the Sprint Cup standings. He also currently holds one of the two wild card transfer spots into the Chase for the Championship.