Tony Stewart did not race in the Sunday's Cheez-It 355 NASCAR Sprint Cup race due to the death of driver Kevin Ward Jr.
Tony Stewart got upset after Saturday's incident in which the Sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. was hit by his car at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park and died later on. And due to this sad incident, Stewart decided not to race in Sunday's Cheez-It 355.
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Regan Smith replaced Tony Stewart for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Watkins Glenn, N.Y. Actually Kevin Ward came out of his car on the dirt-track race and got hit by Stewart's car. Kevin got seriously injured and died later on.
This fatal car accident disturbed Tony Stewart a lot and he decided to leave Sunday's Cheez-It 355 race. Stewart is three-time NASCAR champion and he was one of the strongest contestants to Chase this year.
Greg Zipadelli, Stewart-Haas Racing VP of Competition, announced Sunday morning that Tony Stewart will not race in Sunday's Cheez-It 355 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Watkins Glen International.
"We know that it's just an unbelievable tragedy," Zipadelli said. "Our hearts obviously go out to Kevin and his family and our thoughts and prayers are with them. This is a very tough, very emotional time for everybody, his family, our family at Stewart-Haas, Tony Stewart.”
"So with that being said, we feel that as a group, Tony will not drive today. Regan Smith is on his way up."
Tony Stewart had returned to his home in Charlotte area."NASCAR has approved for him to get in the race car today," Zipadelli said.
"They're going to do everything they can to help us expedite getting his seat, (getting) him comfortable. So that's what we've been working on this morning and trying to get executed. Get Regan here and obviously anything we can do for Tony and everybody else is just like I said, it's an emotional time right now."
It was not Stewart's own decision but a group decision that Stewart will not race in Sunday's race. Zipadelli also supported the driver, owner and friend.
"It was a few of us that were in there, just supporting him," Zipadelli said.
"He's a brother to me. He's way more than a boss. He's going through a tough time. It's emotional for him. We as a group support him, feel like he's doing the right thing and we'll move on from this. I support Tony Stewart. I think I've shown that over the last 18 years."
Tony Stewart still has a chance to make the Chase if he returns to the No. 14 ride next week at Michigan International Speedway.
Source: Yahoo! Sports