Posted August 06, 2013

NASCAR Sprint Cup champ Tony Stewart leaves in ambulance after four-car wreck

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(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Stewart placed fourth in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis on July 28. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, was involved in a four-car wreck during the Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway on Monday night. He was placed on a stretcher and left the track in an ambulance, but according to USA Today, he was conscious and responding.

Stewart’s camp announced on Tuesday that the 42-year-old had broken his right tibia and fibula and underwent surgery at the hospital.

Along with Stewart, the crash also involved Josh Higday, Tasker Phillips and Tony Shilling.

From USA Today:

Stewart was leading the 30-lap feature of the Front Row Challenge with five laps remaining when Josh Higday’s car spun on Turn 4 and collected the top three cars — Stewart, Tasker Phillips and Tony Shilling.

Track officials said Stewart was conscious and talking to responders after being placed on a stretcher. Track officials and several drivers indicated that Stewart suffered a leg injury. A pit crew member declined to comment.

2 comments 1 Like

I do believe Tony is eating his "you mortals" comment of last week, for his hospital breakfast this morning.... 

James C
James C 1 Like

If there wasn't enough drama in the race for the Chase going forward, this adds a bunch to it. 

Tony currently sits 11th in the points, 5 points out of the Top 10. He will miss this weekend, which will pretty much eliminate any chance of getting into the top 10 in points, meaning if he makes the Chase it will be with a wild card. Currently he is the leader in the Wild Card standings. 

Here are the Wild Card Standings as of today. 

Tony 594 points 1 win

Martin Truex Jr  584 points 1 win

Ryan Newman 575 points 1 win. 

Brad K 592 points zero wins. 

Kurt Busch 588 points zero wins

Jaime McMurray 566 zero wins

Joey Lagano 561 zero wins

Aric Almirola 554 points zero wins

Paul Menard 532 points zero wins

Jeff Burton 507 points zero wins. 

Realistically as of today, the WC is really between Tony, Martin, Ryan, Brad K, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, and Greg Biffle. Certainly Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle are in the drivers seat to make the Chase and  could fall back on a WC if needed since they have 2 wins and 1 win respectively. Jeff Gordon doesn't have a win, but is 10 points up on Brad K for a spot in the top 10, and 14 points up on Kurt Busch, the other two winless drivers in serious contention. 

The best case for Tony is that Truex or Newman have trouble at Watkins Glen, and Brad K and Kurt Busch don't win or Bump Biffle or Kahne from the top 10 in points. 

It is possible that Tony will drop from the Wild Card positions this weekend, but I don't think he will drop that far from contention for the Chase. Tony will get zero points this weekend, so for him to drop behind Martin Truex Jr, the 56 car will need to finish 35th (Truex Jr holds the tiebreaker). For the 39 team of Newman to jump Tony, he would have to finish 24th in the race at Watkins Glen. 

The other very interesting issue with the Chase is the owners title. They have a separate Chase for the owners. It is very possible that even if Tony does not make the Chase as a driver, that the 14 team could make the Chase either on points, or via a wild card with multiple drivers. Currently, the 14 car is 11th in the owners points. The owner's chase contention works very similar but there is an added contender for the owners Chase. Currently the owners chase has the 11, then the 56 followed by the 39 and the 55 car. Remember Vicker's won in the 55 car this season, putting that car in contention for a Chase spot. You could very well have two owners Chase cars that are driven by drivers not in the driver's chase this season. 

I feel bad for Tony, but this injury may have really spiced up the entire Race for the Chase even more. 

I still think the driver that benefits the most from this injury might be Jeff Gordon. Tony was closest in points, and had been racing as good as anyone from that group behind Gordon. That little edge he will now gain, could be the difference. I do expect Gordon to pick up a win in one of the next few races, which is really where  he could benefit from Tony's injury.