Before racing for the first time since he struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. on August 9 during a dirt-track race, Stewart addressed the media with a prepared statement about the last three weeks of his life.
“This has been one of the toughest tragedies I’ve ever had to deal with, both professionally and personally. This is something that will definitely affect my life forever. This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one has to experience in their life. That being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward’s family and friends are experiencing is something that I can’t possibly imagine.”
Stewart skipped the last two races after pulling out of Watkins Glen on Aug. 10 following some public backlash that he was getting back to the track a bit soon after accidentally killing someone. Ontario County police have not charged him with any crime, though they admit they are still investigating the incident that occurred at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York.