Auto Racing / Sports

Tony Stewart to return to NASCAR racing this weekend in Atlanta

Tony Stewart plans to return to NASCAR racing this weekend in Atlanta after being out of public view for three weeks following his involvement in a fatal incident, his team said Thursday.

Stewart will meet with the media Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., site of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Stewart-Haas Racing said.

Stewart has been in isolation since his car struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. while Ward was on foot during a sprint-car race Aug. 9 at the Canandaigua Motorsports dirt track in upstate New York. The race was not a NASCAR-sanctioned event.

Stewart, 43, then sat out the next three Cup races at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Michigan International Speedway and Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

The three-time Cup champion has not been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with the incident, but the Ontario County (N.Y.) sheriff's office is still investigating.

Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president, said in a statement that Stewart "has received all necessary clearances" to return to the Cup series.

"NASCAR has remained in constant contact with his race team and we will stay very close to this situation as Stewart returns to competition," O'Donnell said.

NASCAR President Mike Helton also planned to meet with the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, NASCAR said.

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