NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart Will Return to Racing This Week

(Photo: Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo: Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports)

Three-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will return to racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Thursday.

Stewart had missed three consecutive races in NASCAR’s premier series since he struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. on Aug. 9 during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York.

Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip Povero said Aug. 12 the investigation into Ward’s death would take at least two more weeks.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said Thursday after the announcement that there was nothing new to report on the status of the investigation.

NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said in a statement: “Tony Stewart has received all the 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.”

Stewart will hold a press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday at 1 p.m. ET. NASCAR president Mike Helton will address reporters at 2 p.m.

Sponsor Mobil 1 will have its logos on the car as usual at Atlanta, a spokesman told USA TODAY Sports.

There was no word from NASCAR or SHR on whether Stewart had requested a waiver to become eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

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