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Stewart Returns To Cup Ride At Atlanta

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, August 28 2014

Tony Stewart set to return to driver's seat. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Rusty Jarrett)

Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart will be back in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a spokesman for Stewart said Thursday.

Stewart’s ride at Atlanta will mark his first start since Aug. 3 at Pocono Raceway.

Stewart sat out the past three races at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn and Bristol Motor Speedway following the tragic accident on Aug. 9 involving Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car feature at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup champion, has been in seclusion since the incident at the upstate New York dirt track.

Chances that Stewart will have a shot at a fourth championship this season appear remote.

NASCAR’s cutoff for the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup is Sept. 6 at Richmond. Stewart would need to win a race before the start of the Chase, be in the top 30 in points and get a waiver from NASCAR to be eligible (drivers must at least attempt to qualify each weekend).

NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell issued the following statement on Stewart on Thursday:

“Tony Stewart has received all necessary clearances required to return to all racing activities, and therefore is eligible to compete this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR has remained in constant contact with his race team, and we will stay very close to this situation as Stewart returns to competition.”

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, August 28 2014
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  • Anne says:

    Bummer, I can imagine this taking away from my enjoyment of actually caring about the race at hand and not the drama of Tony Stewart. The media will make this week end painful..”Poor Tony, this and that”.