Tony Stewart’s team has recently announced that he will be sitting out of the Bristol Motor Speedway race set to occur on Saturday. In total, this will be the third race he’s opted out of since running over and killing fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. in Canandaigua, NY.
Both NASCAR and the Stewart-Haas Racing team has given Stewart the right to make up when he would like to come back into the racing world. After sitting out of the Watkins Glen and Michigan races, Jeff Burton has since been announced to be taking the place of Stewart just like last week.
Fortunately for Stewart, after the upcoming race, he will not have to reach a decision until August 31 as the next race he’s due to participate in, isn’t until then. Since the accident that took place on August 9, Stewart has tucked himself away, far from the public’s eye until the heat dies down, and potentially the investigation into the incident concludes.
Longtime friend of Stewart’s, and also SHR teammate, Kevin Harvick recently expressed his outrage over the negative tone regarding the entire ordeal. In a statement, Harvick expressed, “I’ve known Tony Stewart for a long time … I know for sure that Tony Stewart is not going to run over somebody. I don’t think there’s anybody in this garage that would. It would be hard to find somebody in the racing world that could point that car, just run somebody over.”
Since the accident, NASCAR has announced major changes to the rules as well, declaring it no longer acceptable to step foot outside of your car during a race. Those who charge toward another car or the track will be heavily punished – the specifics of which are still being discussed.
Tony Stewart has not come forward with a statement as of yet, and his team isn’t releasing his intended date of return either.