Stewart Released From Hospital
March 18, 2002 | 12:00 A.M. EST
Stewart was injured in an 11-car accident during Sunday’s Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 Winston Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway. He was scheduled to test in Lakeland, Fla., on Tuesday and Thursday, but will forego the test.
Stewart has, however, been cleared to race in this weekend’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Stewart was poised to make a run on his 14th career Winston Cup victory Sunday when a swerving Buckshot Jones veered into his path on Lap 226. Stewart slammed into the rear of Jones’ Dodge, sending Stewart nose-first into the outside retaining wall.
Stewart’s heavily damaged Pontiac then drifted down the track and into the racing groove. Jimmy Spencer had virtually nowhere to go, and Spencer’s Dodge hit Stewart’s car with a violent impact.
Ken Schrader, Ward Burton, Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, Dave Blaney, Johnny Benson, Bobby Labonte and Jeff Gordon were also involved in the accident. Schrader climbed from his car to check on Stewart, and saw that he was unconscious. Schrader motioned for safety workers to attend to Stewart.
Stewart quickly regained consciousness and removed himself from the car. Safety workers put him on a stretcher and took him to the infield care center. He was evaluated and airlifted to Carolinas Hospital System.
When he regained consciousness, Stewart complained of lower back pain and numbness and tingling in his left foot.
The MRI was performed at approximately 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, and Stewart was released at approximately 11 a.m., Mock said.