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Future NASCAR contracts to bar drivers from racing sprint cars Tony Stewart's crash at a sprint car race on Monday night that resulted in a broken right leg "again has raised questions about how NASCAR teams grant permission to Cup drivers who race outside the series," according to Ryan & Gluck of USA TODAY. While his role as Stewart-Haas Racing co-Owner permits him to "race to his heart's content, he wasn't granted such leeway when he was employed by Joe Gibbs Racing, and many other teams frown upon their drivers putting their primary livelihoods at stake by competing in lower-tier series that inherently have lower safety standards."
Hendrick Motorsports President Marshall Carlson said that there were "no stipulations in the team's contracts that precluded moonlighting but there was a process for gaining consent for racing outside Cup." Stewart will miss Sunday's Sprint Cup Cheez-It 355 At The Glen, the "first time in 521 races" he will not compete in the series. It is "uncertain how many races Stewart, 42, will miss." USA TODAY
Fox NASCAR analyst Darrell Waltrip said, "We already were questioning the wisdom of racing in other series, especially sprint cars. But I think Tony’s injury probably is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Some owners and drivers now might decide it’s too risky and curtail this." CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com
ESPN.com's David Newton wrote prior to Monday's accident, Stewart was "upset with my Thursday column, in which I suggested ... that he should back away from competing in these high-powered machines to focus on the Chase." But now, barring a "miracle, Stewart will have to watch the Chase from the sidelines." Newton: "His company will suffer. His fans will suffer. His sponsors will suffer. The Chase will suffer." This "isn't to suggest Stewart is selfish for following his love of dirt-track racing." But his love for dirt-track racing "shouldn't override common sense." Stewart is an "asset that he as a boss can't replace." The injury "likely will have owners across the sport telling their drivers to curtail their weekday racing." ESPN.com
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