Updated 12:32 AM EDT, Wed, May 12, 2021

NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart Set to Race This Sunday in Atlanta

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There are very few people in the world that can understand what NASCAR driver Tony Stewart has been going through. After accidentally killing fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. in a bizarre racetrack incident, Stewart has missed three straight Sprint Cup Races. Stewart's reasons for staying off the track seem to be linked to the traumatic experience that comes when a person is involved in the loss of a life.

Stewart returned to the Sprint Cup chase on Friday, getting back into his No. 14 Chevrolet. While addressing the media, a visibility devastated Stewart said how the incident would, "definitely affect my life forever." The usually exuberant Stewart was dramatically solemn and regretful about the incident as a whole.

Stewart's teammate, Kevin Harvick, spoke to USA Today about Stewart's return to NASCAR. "I know for him that will be great medicine to have some type of normal activity in his life again that he hasn't been able to have," Harvick said. "But, from a personal standpoint, I'm glad to see my friend and be able to talk to him and be able to support him through probably what will be the hardest situation he's had to go through in his whole life. That to me is the most important thing."

Stewart has not been allowed to answer questions from the media due to the ongoing investigation that is set to wrap up in a couple of weeks. Authorities have stated that there is so far no evidence of any foul play in the incident.

NASCAR driver Danica Patrick told USA Today that, "It will be good to have him back. We'll be all on board to help him with whatever he needs. But he's Tony Stewart, so I'm sure he will be fine. With it being a tragic accident, it's something to work through."

Many NASCAR drivers have been critical of the media's portrayal of Stewart throughout the incident. Harvick cited that the most journalists are not familiar enough with NASCAR and it's atmosphere. The competitive nature of racecar drivers is only seen after races due to the fact that the athletes are shrouded in their vehicles. What lies behind each steering wheel is an athlete who will stop at nothing to achieve first place.

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