Tony Stewart Suffers Broken Leg in Sprint Car Crash
- Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart broke his leg in a dirt-track race Monday night.
- Stewart was leading a sprint car race at Southern Iowa Speedway when he was involved in a crash.
- The 42-year-old driver will miss this weekend's NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, New York, plus an uncertain number of other events.
OSKALOOSA, Iowa — Throwback racer Tony Stewart, who does not limit his racing to the major leagues, suffered a broken leg in a sprint car race at the Southern Iowa Speedway dirt track Monday night.
Stewart, 42, who won the 1997 IndyCar championship and then switched to NASCAR, where he has won three Cup Series titles, may be out of the remainder of the 2013 racing season after he broke both the tibia and fibula in his lower right leg.
The event was just part of a typical busy schedule for the Columbus, Indiana, native, who went end-over-end five times in a sprint car crash a week earlier.
He raced the next night at Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario and then on Thursday, he competed in an open-wheel modified stock car at Paducah International Raceway in western Kentucky.
Stewart, who owns the half-mile Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, has an ownership interest in the Paducah track as well.
At Oskaloosa, Stewart was leading the 30-lap main event when he was involved in a multi-car pileup. After the wreck, Stewart was taken to a local hospital and then airlifted to Des Moines, where he underwent surgery this morning.
Stewart honed his skills racing sprint cars and midget open-wheelers as a teenager in Indiana, with the Indianapolis 500 as his goal. The launch of of the Indy Racing League in 1996 gave him a shot at IndyCar racing, and he became the IRL's second champion in 1996-'97.
He switched to stock cars and won the Cup Series title in 2002, 2005 and 2011. No replacement driver has been named for Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International. Stewart has a streak of 521 consecutive starts in NASCAR's premier series. He is 11th in the standings.
Former NASCAR driver Jason Leffler was killed earlier this year in a sprint-car crash in New Jersey.
Edmunds says: The outspoken Stewart set himself up for an ironic fate when he told the media recently that coverage of the crashes he has been involved in was "starting to get annoying." His sprint car racing and the wrecks, he said, are "no big deal."