Two weeks since fatally hitting driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race in New York, Tony Stewart is returning to the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the upcoming race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The three-time series champion had missed the last three races following the tragedy.

Stewart also gave a press conference at the track where he reacted publicly to the incident for the first time. "This has been one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with both professionally and personally," he said. At this time, Stewart isn't answering any questions from the media regarding the crash because the police investigation into the case is still ongoing. It's still not known whether the driver could face any criminal charges. You can watch the entire statement from him in a video, below.

The Ontario Country Sheriff that's investigating the death also released a statement that said, "the investigation into the death of Kevin A. Ward Jr., which occurred August 9, 2014, at the Canandaigua, New York Motorsports Park will continue for at least another two weeks."


NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell also put out a report to USA Today:

"Tony Stewart has received all the necessary clearances required to return to all racing activities and therefore is eligible to compete this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR has remained in constant contact with his race team and we will stay very close to this situation as Stewart returns to competition."

According to USA Today, in the wake of the fatal accident, NASCAR passed a new rule requiring drivers to remain in their cars, unless they are in immediate danger, until safety crews arrive. Scroll down to watch Stewart's full conference and read the statement from the sheriff's department.



Show full PR text
The investigation into the death of Kevin A. Ward Jr., which occurred August 9, 2014, at the Canandaigua, New York Motorsports Park will continue for at least another two weeks. The Ontario County Office of Sheriff has reviewed this investigation, as it has been developed to date, with members of the District Attorney's Office. The Office of Sheriff will continue to apprise the District Attorney of information as it is developed. When the investigation is completed, the news media will be advised as to what action will be taken. The Ontario County Office of Sheriff thanks all media outlets for their patience and understanding as we continue to thoroughly investigate this tragic crash.

Philip C. Povero, Sheriff
Ontario County, New York


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  • 24 Comments
      jcar302
      • 4 Months Ago

      While of course i never want to see anyone die and i'm by no means a nascar fan but honestly what good can come from chasing a car down on a race track? 

      Common sense would tell you don't run into traffic where cars  travel 60-100mph sideways on dirt with a helmet, roll bar and wing blocking the drivers view in a car setup to only turn one way.  For sure not the best peripheral vision situation.

      The rule about staying in your car should have been in place years ago.

        amge5.5
        • 4 Months Ago
        @jcar302

        It should have been in place years ago but Nascar was to busy making $$$ off the coverage it was getting for having drivers get out of their cars and throw helmets and all the on track fighting they were allowing.  Nascar dropped the ball on this one big time.  They are the pinnacle of their sport and set a bad example for young drivers like Ward.  

          Tom Klein
          • 4 Months Ago
          @amge5.5

          that race track in new york has a policy in place to stay in your car it was in place the day he got out and was killed 

          jcar302
          • 4 Months Ago
          @amge5.5

          Honestly, i gave your theory some thought right after it happened and i was hoping it wasn't true.   But realistically it could be spot on, all about the ratings till someone dies.

          It's like the show street outlaws. Organized street racing on streets that have no walls and they are lined with telephone poles.   The question isn't if it's going to go bad, it's when....

          Entertainment before safety i guess.

        Humberto Yi
        • 4 Months Ago
        @jcar302

        Exactly!  It's not like Stewart was the only guy coming around the track who knew EXACTLY where the wreck occurred and where the car that wrecked was at, but still was the only driver not able to avoid him...  I hear ya....

          Pj Taintz
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Humberto Yi

          the 2 cars in front of him  had to swerve to avoid him, while he was still coming down lower, its more than likely he simply did not see the kid

      Charles Robichaud
      • 4 Months Ago

      plausible deniability.!

      Travis
      • 4 Months Ago

      Don't believe him.  Anyone who has driven around a track with other vehicles knows traffic patterns change when crazy shit goes down...  what do you do?  Slow down and avoid hazards.  He had at least half a lap to notice something wasn't right.  

        gtv4rudy
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Travis

        Another thing, his recent apology looked to be a little insincere.

        gtv4rudy
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Travis

        Stewart didn't want to kill Ward Jr. He attempted to intimidate him with his car but misjudged the distance between his car and Ward.

          mmmoose
          • 4 Months Ago
          @gtv4rudy

          Doesn't change the fact that he was being reckless and deserves to be punished for it. You just know that if this had been anyone else they would've easily been charged with vehicle manslaughter (negligence). That's what rubs me the wrong way about this whole situation. Just another case of a celebrity walking away with a "get out of jail free" card.

          Pj Taintz
          • 4 Months Ago
          @gtv4rudy

          really? i didnt know you were in the car with him, or spoke to him afterwards......

      username
      • 4 Months Ago

      as much as the victim is at fault for waking around on an active racetrack, the video clearly shows that shit-stain took advantage of the situation to run him down. that scumbag should be in jail. Period. even if it wasn't intentional, he still killed a man. People still go to prison for accidental killings.

      amge5.5
      • 4 Months Ago

      He takes more time off for vacation than he did after he took someones life.......disgusting. 

      Sam
      • 4 Months Ago

      The only time you should get out of your wrecked car is if it is an imminent danger to you as the driver. Racing is dangerous, and getting so hot under the helmet that you run out on the track will never solve anything. I really hope Tony Stewart did everything he could to avoid KW Jr. and it seems like he honestly did. At the then of the day no racing foul is worth jumping in front of the other driver.

      Timothy Tibbetts
      • 4 Months Ago

      I think we beat this one up enough already. That said "The Ontario Country Sheriff" most likely is County.

      High
      • 4 Months Ago

      Why is this man not in jail? Even a blind person could see that hit as deliberate and easily avoidable. 

        MeanMrMustard
        • 4 Months Ago
        @High

        The ignorance is astounding.

        Pj Taintz
        • 4 Months Ago
        @High

        clearly the only blind people are those who actually thinks he would intentionally kill a man, or that it even looked like he tried to

      kontroll
      • 4 Months Ago

      if this pig would lose about 100 pounds, he may win more races

      Will
      • 4 Months Ago

      Tony knew where the wreck was, he was riding higher on the track on purpose. He may well have attempted to intimidate, but misjudged that Ward would be marching towards him .. it went horribly wrong if course. Hot heads.

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