Auto Racing / Sports

Stewart to sit out NASCAR race at Bristol on Saturday night

Tony Stewart will not race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Saturday night, the third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race that Stewart will have missed since his involvement in a fatal accident.

Veteran Jeff Burton will drive Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet just as Burton did Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing said Wednesday. Regan Smith filled in for Stewart the week before at Watkins Glen.

"Stewart's plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined," the team said.

Stewart, 43, has been in isolation since the Aug. 9 incident in which he struck and killed another driver, 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr., while Ward was on foot during a sprint-car race at a half-mile dirt track in upstate New York.

While Stewart and Ward raced side by side, Ward's car crashed into the outside fence. Ward then climbed from his car, walked on the track and apparently was angrily gesturing at Stewart when he was run over as Stewart came back around.

No charges are pending against Stewart but the Ontario County, N.Y., sheriff's office is still investigating.

The story of the incident, accompanied by a graphic amateur video, went viral on the Internet and has sparked a nationwide public debate about who might have been at fault.

Funeral services for Ward were held last Thursday in Turin, N.Y.

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