According to Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Dave Moody, Tony Stewart will miss his third straight Sprint Cup Series race in a row following the August 9th tragedy at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park that resulted in the death of 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward Jr.
Moody added on SiriusXM Speedway with Dave Moody on SiriusXM Radio today that fans should not expect Stewart back behind the wheel of his No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet until the investigation surrounding Ward’s death is complete. As a result, Jeff Burton will be driving the No. 14 Chevrolet for the second race in a row.
Regan Smith initially filled in for Stewart the day after the accident during the Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen.
During a sprint car event on August 9th at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park, Ward Jr. was spun out by Stewart. He then got out of his car to display his anger with Stewart, gesturing vehemently towards Stewart as he drove back around the track. Stewart’s car then struck Ward, sending him sliding across the track. Ward Jr. would be transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Stewart-Haas Racing Executive Vice President Brett Frood addressed the media last weekend at Michigan, stating that Stewart is dealing with a lot of emotions right now.
“It’s been an emotional week for him,” he said. “He’s grieving. Anytime someone is lost, especially at a racetrack, it’s tragic. It was a tragic accident, and he’s dealing with quite a bit of grief.”
Frood added that Stewart is “surrounded right now by his closest friends and family” and said that he has been in contact with Stewart over the past week. Moving beyond Michigan, no decision has been made and it will be up to Stewart to decide what he wants to do and when to return to the racetrack.
“When he’s ready to get in the car, he’ll be in there, and we’ll go from there,” said Frood.