Tony Stewart will start his final season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on the sidelines after suffering a fractured vertebra, Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) announced on Thursday.
The 44-year-old sustained the injury on Sunday after an accident in an all-terrain vehicle while on vacation on the West Coast.
He was treated at a local hospital before being flown to a North Carolina hospital to undergo surgery.
SHR said in a statement that there is no timescale for Stewart's return, but he will miss the start of the Sprint Cup schedule set to begin on February 14 with the Daytona 500, and as yet not interim driver has been named,
Stewart previously announced that he plans to retire at the end of the 2016 season.