** UPDATED **
Kevin Swindell, who crashed violently Thursday night at Knoxville Raceway, underwent surgery Friday morning to repair injuries he suffered when his No. 71 flipped into the turn four catchfence.
While the full extent of his injuries were unknown, Swindell tweeted from the hospital early Friday morning, thanking fans for their support and acknowledging he would have a recovery process ahead of him: “Thanks everyone for the love. Long road ahead. Enjoy every minute you got.”
MORE: Steve King Foundation accepting donations to help Swindell
After Swindell was removed from his car and transported by ambulance to the Knoxville airport where he was flown to Des Moines Mercy Hospital for treatment, his father Sammy remained at the track and completed the balance of the program aboard his CJB Motorsports No. 1.
Sammy and Amy Swindell issued a statement late Thursday night.
“Our son, Kevin, was racing tonight at Knoxville Raceway when he was involved in an accident at the start of his heat race,” the statement read. “Kevin was airlifted to Des Moines Mercy Hospital following the accident where he is currently undergoing tests and treatment.
“We want to thank the Knoxville Raceway safety team for their quick response and care. We appreciate the support of the racing community and thank you for your continued prayers. We ask that you please respect our privacy while we focus on his recovery.”
We will report more details on Kevin Swindell’s condition and recovery as they are available.
Watch the accident here..... Kevin Swindell's Wreck
On Friday, Swindell had surgery for his injuries. He is scheduled to have another surgery Monday morning.
"Our son Kevin has emerged from surgery, and we can confirm he has suffered a significant injury," Sprint Car legend and father Sammy Swindell said via Twitter. "He has another surgery scheduled Monday AM.
"We pray for his continued recovery. Thank you to the amazing staff at Des Moines Mercy. We will have an update Monday PM."
The younger Swindell was injured at the start of his heat race. The front of the field got bottled up at the start, and Ed Lynch Jr. hit the inside berm and shot across the speedway. He made contact with Swindell, sending him into a series of flips.
Track and safety personnel cut Swindell's seat and extracted him from the car. He was later airlifted to Des Moines Mercy Hospital.