Swindell undergoes surgery

Kevin Swindell underwent successful surgery Monday in a Des Moines, Iowa hospital to address fractures in his back while doctors continue to run tests and monitor the spinal cord injury he suffered last Thursday night at Knoxville Raceway during a sprint car heat race.

The 26-year-old native of Tennessee crashed hard after getting airborne in a tangle on the front straightaway during the preliminaries for the Knoxville Nationals. The impact reportedly drove the rear end into Swindell's back.

Amy and Sammy Swindell issued the following statement Monday night:

"We realize there is a long battle ahead, but Kevin has remained positive throughout the process and is prepared to fight to regain his health. We're all hopeful for a Friday discharge and the next steps to recovery.

"We would like to especially thank the doctors, nurses and the staff at Des Moines Mercy Hospital for their outstanding work and the care they have provided for Kevin. Additionally, we want to let the sprint car community and all of the fans who have reached out to the three of us know that we are grateful for your ongoing support, prayers and donations.

"We remain optimistic about Kevin's progress and will provide updates as they become available."

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