Three-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart was injured in a Sprint car wreck Monday night at Southern Iowa Speedway, and he is set to miss this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen due to a broken right tibia and fibula.
An update is expected Tuesday afternoon with new details, but a spokesman for Stewart stated that a replacement drive should be announced as soon as a decision by Stewart himself is reached. The driver of the no. 14 is also eleventh in the standings with five races to go.
This is the third Sprint car incident the past champion has been involved in. After experiencing a flip last week, Stewart blasted the media for focusing on those wrecks, saying that “they happen all the time” and that they’re nothing to worry about.
Sunday marked the death of veteran dirt tracker Kramer Williamson, who passed away after injuries sustained from a qualifying race the night before. A couple months ago, NASCAR drive and Sprint racer Jason Leffler also left us when he was involved in an accident.
As much as many want to stay “I told you so” to Stewart, this is definitely not the time. This also isn’t the time to rant about safety innovations or The Chase. Those who have been watching the sport for a while understand how much racing means to him. All he wants to do is race, whether it be stock cars, Sprint cars, remote control cars, whatever. That’s the heart of a man who loves what he does and wants to be the best. We may never truly understand how to be so passionate about something like Stewart is about going fast.
He is a racer, and racers never lift. Unfortunately, he’ll have to lift this weekend.
Heal quick, Smoke.
UPDATE: Around 4 p.m. ET Tuesday afternoon, a representative at Stewart-Haas Racing announced that Max Papis will drive the no. 14 at Watkins Glen this coming weekend. Papis tested for SHR at Road Atlanta on July 30th to help with the team’s road course set ups.
Also, it was revealed that Stewart would need a second surgery on his leg. No timetable is given for his recovery.