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Tony Stewart to skip Sunday’s race at Michigan

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/14/18/46/pSYBI.Em.138.jpeg|221
    Tina Russell - AP
    Friends and family embrace outside Kevin Ward Jr.'s funeral service at South Lewis Central School in Turin, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Ward, a dirt-track racer, was killed by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart during a race last weekend.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/14/18/46/1jliuC.Em.138.jpeg|450
    Derik Hamilton - AP
    In this Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 photograph, Tony Stewart stands in the garage area after a practice session for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Watkins Glen International, in Watkins Glen N.Y.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/14/18/46/1vmaZ3.Em.138.jpeg|226
    Rich Barnes - GETTY
    Pallbearers help carry the casket of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. at South Lewis Senior High School on Aug. 14, 2014, in Turin, N.Y. Ward was killed Aug. 9, when he exited his car during a dirt track race and was struck by a car driven by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.

Tony Stewart will not compete in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race this weekend at Michigan International Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Thursday.

It is the second consecutive event Stewart will miss since the sprint car he was driving hit and killed Kevin Ward Jr. last Saturday at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.

Jeff Burton will drive Stewart’s No. 14 Chevy for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400. Stewart’s plans for the rest of the season have yet to be determined, according to a press release from Stewart spokesman Mike Arning.

Stewart previously canceled plans to drive in a sprint race Saturday night in Plymouth, Ind.

Burton retired from full-time driving in the Sprint Cup series after last season. A 21-time race winner over his career, Burton has raced twice this season, finishing 17th at Las Vegas and 20th at New Hampshire.

Ward’s funeral was held Thursday at his alma mater of South Lewis High, near his hometown of Port Leyden, N.Y.

A news conference with Stewart-Haas Racing Executive Vice President Brett Frood, team Vice President of Competition Greg Zipadelli and Burton is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the Michigan track. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton will also hold a news conference Friday.

Earlier this week, the sheriff in Ontario (N.Y.) County said an investigation into the crash is expected to continue for at least another two weeks and that no criminal charges against Stewart are pending.

Scott: 704-358-5889; Twitter: @davidscott14
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