Tony Stewart will sit out his third NASCAR Sprint Cup series race, electing to sit out this Saturday nights race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The team announced Stewart’s decision Wednesday. Jeff Burton will once again race Stewart’s No. 14 Chevy. Burton was the replacement driver last week at Michigan.
Stewart, a three-time NASCAR champion, has not been seen of hear from since the incident at a dirt track in Canandaigua, New York. Stewart was involved in an incident Saturday August 8, at Canandiagua Motorsports Park in upstate New York. In the aftermath 20-year-old, Kevin Ward Jr. was dead.
Video showed that Ward had been involved with Stewart on the previous lap. The video showed Ward’s car as it came to rest on the back stretch. Ward exited the vehicle, and still wearing his racing helmet walked toward the line of cars circling under caution. He angrily pointed towards the car driven by Stewart; Stewart’s car struck Ward who was thrown in the air and landed several feet away. Ward was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
That Sunday morning Stewart announced he would not participate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen. He later issued a statement expressing his sadness. Late that same afternoon Sheriff Philip Povero held a press conference and said the investigation was not a criminal one.
The following week Stewart announced that he would sit out the Michigan race. Burton subbed for Stewart and defended him after the race. The Stewart-Haas Racing team is allowing Stewart to take as much time as he needs prior to returning to racing.