Tony Stewart to make NASCAR return at Atlanta

Tony Stewart will return to racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stewart has missed the last three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races following an incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York that took the life of Kevin Ward.

NASCAR rules state a driver must attempt to either qualify or race the car in every points-paying event to be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, unless a waiver is granted. There was no immediate word if NASCAR would grant that waiver.

“Tony Stewart has received all necessary clearances required to return to all racing activities, and therefore is eligible to compete this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President And Chief Racing Development Officer. “NASCAR has remained in constant contact with his race team, and we will stay very close to this situation as Stewart returns to competition.”

Following the death of Ward, NASCAR implemented a rule prohibiting drivers from exiting their cars and approaching the racing surface unless their in danger.

Stewart, who has 48 career Cup wins in 542 starts and is a three-time series champion.