NEW YORK: Tony Stewart has skipped the NASCAR race in Michigan last weekend as a probe continues over the incident in which his car struck and killed a fellow driver in a dirt track race.
Stewart-Haas racing, co-owned by three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Stewart, made the announcement before the scheduled race at Michigan International Speedway. Jeff Burton took over Stewart’s car.
But the team said the change was only for the Michigan race, leaving the door open for Stewart to return to NASCAR’s top-flight series this season.
Authorities in New York state said last week they expected their investigation into the death of 20-year-old racing driver Kevin Ward Jr. to continue for at least two more weeks.
Ward was killed after he exited his damaged vehicle during an open-wheel sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park and was struck and dragged by Stewart’s car. The incident began when Stewart’s car bumped Ward’s and the young driver was sent into the wall.
Video showed Ward climbing out of his car and walking on the track during the caution period, apparently pointing at Stewart as the motor sports veteran came around the dimly lit track.
Police has said they found “no criminal behavior” on the part of Stewart, but they were still soliciting witnesses and video to aid their investigation.