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Tony Stewart to return to racing at Atlanta

Staff Report

Stewart-Haas Racing Thursday announced that Tony Stewart will return to racing this weekend, participating in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stewart returns to the race track for the first time since the fatal sprint car accident at Canandaigua (New York) Motorsports Park on Aug. 9 involving Kevin Ward Jr. He had previously sat out the NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Watkins Glen International, Michigan International Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.

Regan Smith (Watkins Glen) and Jeff Burton (Michigan and Bristol) piloted the No. 14 Chevrolet in Stewart's absence.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, issued the following statement regarding Stewart’s return to NASCAR, “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.”

Both Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing Executive Vice President Brett Frood will address the media on Friday at noon at Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR President Mike Helton will hold a media availability at 2 p.m.

Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race (6:30 p.m. on ESPN) marks NASCAR’s second-to-last regular season race.