Atlanta, GA, United States (4E Sports) – Speaking publicly for the first time since Aug. 9 when he was involved in an on-track incident that killed fellow driver Kevin Ward, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart announced that he will take part in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“I’ve taking the last couple weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family,” Stewart said. “I think that being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time.”
During the press conference, Stewart spoke for several minutes and did not take questions from reporters.
“This has been one of the toughest tragedies I’ve ever had to deal with both professionally and personally,” Stewart said. “This is sadness and a pain that I hope no one ever has to experience in their life.”
Stewart, who has not been in direct contact with Ward’s family yet but has sent them flowers, said the past two weeks have given him “time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted.”
The veteran racecar driver added he “continues to think about and pray for Ward’s family every day.”
Steward decided not to answer reporters’ questions out of “respect for the ongoing investigation process.”
“Emotionally, I’m not sure I could answer them anyway… but there will be a day when I can sit her and answer your questions,” he said.
Fellow drivers expressed support behind Stewart and his decision to get back on the track.
“We’ll be all on board to help him with whatever he needs. But he’s Tony Stewart, so I’m sure he will be fine. With it being a tragic accident, it’s something to work through,” said Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Danica Patrick.
“I’m least concerned about the racing side of it,” said SHR driver Kevin Harvick. “I know for him that will be great medicine to have some type of normal activity in his life again that he hasn’t been able to have.”