Tony Stewart isn't racing in Michigan. This is the second NASCAR Sprint Cup race he has chosen to skip. Stewart has yet to race after the accident that killed Kevin Ward, Jr. According to a Sunday, August 17 report by ABC News, Tony Stewart has yet to determine if he will race again this season.
Jeff Burton got behind the wheel of Tony Stewart's No. 14 car in Michigan. Burton had only made two other starts this year. Regan Smith finished 37 in last week's race at Watkins Glen in Stewart's car.
“I don't know if Smoke will be back,” Chuck Winfield, a fan of Tony Stewart from Oklahoma City, said. “I don't know how any driver can come back from something like this. It is so sad that kid didn't have enough sense to stay in his car or at least not go running into traffic like a mad man.”
At the time of publication, Tony Stewart's sponsors have stayed with him. The Ontario County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the accident. That investigation could continue for two more weeks. Although there isn't any evidence of criminal intent, it is unknown what information will come to light during the investigation. Should Tony Stewart be charged with a crime, it is unknown what his sponsors will do.
“Tony doesn't have much of a chance to be part of the Chase,” Winfield continued. “It starts in a few weeks and I don't see him behind a wheel any time soon. If he was able to pull it together enough to race, I don't know if he'd be able to win. There is too much on his heart and his mind.”
There are only four races left that Tony Stewart could win to be eligible for the Chase for the Spring Cup championship. It is possible that NASCAR could grant a waiver, if Tony Stewart either qualified the car or raced the car during each race.