MOORESVILLE, N.C. – official release — Tony Stewart will return to racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia.
The August 31 race on the 1.54-mile oval will mark Stewart’s first Cup start since Aug. 3 at Pocono Raceway.
Six days after that Pocono outing, Stewart was involved in an accident at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park that resulted in the death of 20-year-old sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr and has been absent from the Sprint Cup Series since the incident.
Local authorities are still investigating the incident and have not indicated when the investigation will be complete.
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said in a statement that the sanctioning body carries no issue with Stewart’s return to the series.
“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 skipped the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) Int’l the following day, with Regan Smith filling the seat of the No. 14 Chevrolet SS. Jeff Burton has subbed in Stewart’s car for the last two race weekends at Michigan Int’l Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.
Stewart will address the media Friday at 1 p.m. EST in Atlanta Motor Speedway’s infield media center.