Tony Stewart hasn’t been at or near a race track following an Aug. 9 sprint car racing accident that claimed the life of Kevin Ward, Jr., but all that’s set to change this weekend.
Stewart-Haas Racing announced today (Aug. 28) that the three-time Cup Series champion will return to competition this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell released a statement following the news of Stewart’s return to competition .
“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,” O’Donnell said. “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 session with the media at 1 p.m. ET at the speedway, and NASCAR President Mike Helton will follow at 2 p.m. to address the situation.
Stewart comes into this weekend’s race at Atlanta 26th in points and winless this season. He will need to be granted a waiver to maintain his Chase eligibility provided he wins one of the remaining two Sprint Cup Series races either this weekend in Atlanta or next weekend at Richmond.
The investigation into the fatal accident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York is still ongoing and Stewart has yet to be cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. The Ontario County Sheriff’s office says no timetable has been set for when the investigation will be complete.
Stewart has 48 career Cup Series victories, with three of those coming at Atlanta. His last win at the track was in 2010.