posted at 18:50
Author: Colin Daileda
Tony Stewart Returns to Racing After Crash That Killed Fellow Driver
Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart returned to racing on Sunday in Atlanta following a three-week absence after his car hit and killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. at a dirt race track in New York on Aug. 9. Stewart has missed or canceled races in New York, Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee since the incident, two of which were part of the Sprint Cup. Missing any regular season Sprint Cup race normally disqualifies a driver from competing in The Chase - NASCAR's version of the post-season - but NASCAR has granted Stewart an exemption. Stewart finished 15th and 18th overall in two time trial sessions at the Atlanta Motor Speedway leading up to Sunday's race. Stewart's 2014 season was supposed to be a return to form after he broke his leg during a dirt track race last year, but it was all thrown off course after he banged into Ward's car on Aug. 9, sending Ward's vehicle into the wall. The 20-year-old Ward got out of the car and stomped onto the track, apparently trying to confront Stewart. One car swerved out of Ward's way before Stewart's right rear tire smacked into the young driver, hurling him into the air. No one has filed a criminal case against Stewart, though officials haven't ruled out the possibility.

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