19-year-old female driver injured in Tony Stewart sprint car wreck

Sean Gardner

Tony Stewart was the catalyst for a crash in a sprint car race that left a 19-year-old female driver injured.

Tony Stewart walked away from a wild sprint car crash Tuesday that left a female driver hospitalized.

The incident occurred during a race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park when Stewart was attempting to complete a pass for the third position when he made contact with a competitor. In the resulting melee involving 15 vehicles, 19-year-old Alysha Ruggles ran up on the back of another car and flipped 20 to 30 feet in the air, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Ruggles was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation with an apparent back injury.

In a message posted on the track's Facebook page, Ruggles' mom, Wendy, said Ruggles was fitted for a back brace, but is up and walking around. Her injuries were not fully disclosed.

Stewart, who escaped injury, accepted responsibility for causing the crash on the half-mile dirt track, according to driver Mike Stelter.

"I have never seen anything this bad in a sprint car race, I don't think, or this many cars being taken out in one wreck," Stelter told the Democrat and Chronicle. "At least Tony Stewart manned up and said he caused the wreck.

"He tried to put the car where it didn't belong. He said it was his fault for trying to force the issue, I guess is a good way to say it."

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