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Stewart: Ward death to affect me forever

(AP Photo/Ralph Lauer, File)

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) Speaking quietly and with a trembling voice, NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart said Friday that the death of Kevin Ward Jr. will "affect my life forever" as he returned to the track for the first time since his car struck and killed the fellow driver during a sprint-car race in New York three weeks ago.

"I've taken the last couple of weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family and also to cope with the accident in my own way," Stewart said. "It's given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted. I miss my team, my teammates and I miss being back in the race car and I think being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time."

Stewart said he could not answer questions about the incident - it remains under police investigation - and he left the news conference after reading a short statement. Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Brett Frood said it was "100 percent" Stewart's decision to race and that his 43-year-old driver was "emotional" but ready to go on Sunday night in Atlanta.

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NASCAR News
- Friday, August 29, 2014 -

NASCAR Schedule
Sprint CupOral-B USA 500Aug. 314:46 PT5:46 MT6:46 CT7:46 ET19:46 ET23:46 GMT7:46 北京时间4:46 MST6:46 EST3:46 UAE (+1)6:46 CT1:46 CET TV: ESPN
NationwideGreat Clips 300Aug. 304:46 PT5:46 MT6:46 CT7:46 ET19:46 ET23:46 GMT7:46 北京时间4:46 MST6:46 EST3:46 UAE (+1)6:46 CT1:46 CET TV: ESPN2
Camping World TruckChevrolet Silverado 250Aug. 3110:51 PT11:51 MT12:51 CT1:51 ET13:51 ET17:51 GMT1:51 北京时间10:51 MST12:51 EST21:51 UAE12:51 CT19:51 CET TV: FS1
2014 Great Clips 300
Qualifying
Dakoda Armstrong
Trevor Bayne
Tanner Berryhill
Mike Bliss
Chris Buescher
James Buescher
Kyle Busch
Landon Cassill
Jeremy Clements
Chris Cockrum
View Full Grid

Nationwide Leaders: Points
RankDriverPointsWins
1 C.Elliott 834 3
2 R.Smith 821 1
3 T.Dillon 804 1
4 E.Sadler 792 1
5 B.Scott 783 0
6 T.Bayne 771 0
7 C.Buescher 682 1
8 B.Gaughan 664 1
9 R.Reed 632 0
10 J.Buescher 621 0
View Full Leaderboard
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