Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart may miss the opportunity for a fourth career title after breaking both bones in his right leg in a Sprint car race on Monday at Southern Iowa Speedway.
Stewart has already undergone one surgery to repair his broken tibia and fibula, and according to reports will require a second surgery. He remains hospitalized and is under observation.
With five laps remaining and Stewart in the lead, the last place car spun and caused his car to flip over several times and tumble down the track. Two other cars were also involved in the crash, but no other injuries were reported.
After consulting a medical expert, ESPN reports that should the 42-year-old sit out the typical four to eight weeks to recover, his Cup Series season is likely over. Stewart is currently in 11th place in the Cup standings, holding one of the two wild card spots with five races left.
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Italian Max Papis will replace Stewart for Sunday’s Cup race at Watkins Glen International in New York, according to Fox Sports. Papis’s best finish in 35 career Sprint Cup starts came in 2009 when he finished eighth coincidentally at Watkins Glen.