Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stewart Will Race At Atlanta

Tony Stewart returns this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stewart Haas Racing announced today that the three-time Sprint Cup Series champion has decided to compete for the first time since the Aug. 9 Sprint Car incident that claimed the life of driver Kevin Ward, Jr.  

Regan Smith replaced Stewart the following day at Watkins Glen International, with Jeff Burton taking the wheel at both Michigan International Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. Stewart is currently winless on the 2014 season and has been mathematically eliminated from qualification for the Chase via points. He would need to win one of the final two races of the regular season, then receive a waiver from NASCAR in order to make the championship field.

NASCAR has not commented on whether they would grant such an exemption.

Stewart will meet with the media Friday at 1:00 PM at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR President Mike Helton will address the situation at 2 PM ET.


  1. Although I have no ill for Tony, I can't see any circumstances under which NASCAR should grant him a waiver.

  2. Anonymous5:37 PM

    I am so happy to see him back! I hope everyone is respectful and will allow him all the space he needs to continue to heal. Smoke will rise again!

  3. Good to see Tony coming back. I wonder if this means that the Sheriff has completed his investigation. It may pose some problems if Tony comes back with un-answered questions hovering about.

  4. I don't see how NASCAR, when writing the rules for the chase, could not have thought of reasons a driver might miss a race (sickness, injury, family emergency), and decided then that there would be no exceptions. Otherwise, they would have written into the rules how exceptions would be handled.

  5. Welcome back Tony,

  6. For Tony Stewart, timing is everything. Unfortunately, I think his timing is off. I heard the show yesterday when the announcement was made. I heard the callers voice their relief that Stewart is coming back. And I just don't get it.

    Knowing what little I do about the circumstances surrounding his decision, I think this is a slap in the face of the Ward family. That is unless he spoke with them about his returning to the circuit before the completion of the investigation.

    I will be waiting to hear what comes out at the press conference. If he comes out, makes a statement, and then takes no questions from the media, then in my opinion, he has no business being back in a race car. If he sits up at the table, and sucks it up, I'll have to reassess my opinion.

    If this is to placate worried sponsors, I think he has no business being in a car. The press conference will say a lot. Or it will say nothing.

    I'm worried its going to be PR dept, lawyer prepared, statement number 2 since the death of Ward Jr., That's my statement, and no questions please... In that case, don't even bother Tony.

  7. Anonymous11:43 AM

    I heard someone call and make the same argument that “this was a slap in the face” on Moody’s show yesterday. I was bewildered at the thought. From what little I have heard about Kevin Ward Jr. during this tragedy, I have heard he was a hardnosed racer who liked competition; the tougher the better. Those who achieve greatness have to put it all out there every race to make it count, Kevin Ward Jr. did that very thing. God Bless him and his family. He was not afraid and he made his mark. He sounds to me something like Tony Stewart. Not afraid to race hard and mark a statement. No one knows why God has such a curious plan for all of us, but unfortunately for the Ward family and us, God needed Kevin at that moment.
    Tony Stewart is in an impossible situation right now, he has to reconcile the thought that he was involved in a tragedy that hurt many people. Does he quit racing and hurt the families counting on him for a living in the name of Kevin Ward Jr.? I would not think the Ward family would want that. Racing appears to be in their blood.
    I would hope to see one day, Tony Stewart make a scholarship fund or something in that way to help him connect in some positive way to the Ward family to keep Kevin’s name alive and for the heeling on all sides to start, and to benefit a deserving person of a hand up in the name of Kevin Ward jr.
    A slap in the face would be going silent forever about this situation, to retreat into the darkness. No one would benefit and Tony would not feel good about himself. How is that a positive end? Tony is back…let the next chapter begin.
    God Bless All affected by this tragedy.