Tony Stewart will not compete in this weekend’s Nascar race at Michigan International Speedway, the second race he has skipped since striking and killing a fellow driver in a dirt-track race.
Stewart, 43, is a three-time Sprint Cup Series champion -- Nascar’s highest echelon of racing. He will be replaced at the Michigan race by Jeff Burton, a winner of 21 Sprint Cup races.
“This driver change pertains only to Michigan,” the Stewart-Haas Racing team said yesterday in a news release. “Stewart’s plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined.”
Kevin Ward Jr., 20, died when Stewart’s car struck him as he walked on the dimly lit dirt track during a Aug. 9 race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Stewart’s car had bumped Ward’s car into the wall on the previous lap, and video images showed Ward getting out of his car and gesturing at Stewart before he was struck.
No criminal charges are pending against Stewart and Philip Povero, the sheriff of Ontario County, New York, said the fatality is being handled as an on-track investigation.