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Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart has a bumpy rode ahead in final Sprint Cup season

Tony Stewart has a bumpy rode ahead in final Sprint Cup season

The exit plan for Tony Stewart has gone horribly wrong.

He never really wanted a parade of roses in this, his final NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Stewart, as many know, isn't big on touchy-feely moments. All he wanted to do was ride it out and race. That won't be happening any time soon.

Stewart suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident while at Phoenix recently. Stewart needed surgery and is out for Feb. 21's Daytona 500 — missing his last shot to win the Great American Race. There is no timetable for his return, although based on perspective from doctors, any time earlier than May would be pushing it.

"The...

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