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Stewart will skip this week

8/15/2014

BROOKLYN, Mich. (MCT) -- Hours after funeral services were held for Kevin Ward Jr., the 20-year-old driver struck and killed during a race by Tony Stewart's car, Stewart's team said the former NASCAR champion would skip his second consecutive NASCAR race this weekend.

BROOKLYN, Mich. (MCT) -- Hours after funeral services were held for Kevin Ward Jr., the 20-year-old driver struck and killed during a race by Tony Stewart's car, Stewart's team said the former NASCAR champion would skip his second consecutive NASCAR race this weekend.

Stewart "decided not to compete" in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway and veteran Jeff Burton will drive Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet at the two-mile oval track, Stewart-Haas Racing said Thursday.

The team did not elaborate on Stewart's decision.

After Michigan, "Stewart's plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined," the team said, adding that Burton and team executives would address the media Friday morning at Michigan International.

The 43-year-old Stewart also pulled out of the previous Cup race last weekend in Watkins Glen, N.Y., only hours after the fatal incident involving Ward.

The 90-minute funeral service for Ward took place at the high school he attended in Turin, N.Y., to accommodate the crowd that included many members of the close-knit racing community in central New York.

Stewart has not been charged with any wrongdoing but an investigation by the Ontario County sheriff's office continues.