Hours after Kevin Ward Jr. was laid to rest in upstate New York, Tony Stewart announced he would not compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan, this weekend. In his place, Jeff Burton was named interim driver for the Stewart Haas Racing team, which Stewart partly owns. The team made its announcement in a press release Thursday evening.
Statement from Stewart-Haas Racing regarding plans for the No. 14 team at Michigan. pic.twitter.com/YGonuuifio
— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) August 14, 2014
Stewart’s team made no mention in the statement of Ward, who died after being struck by Stewart’s car during a dirt-track race on Saturday. The accident is still under investigation.
The statement does clearly outline that Burton’s appointment is temporary, however, and hinted that Stewart may drive again after the Michigan event is over.