Stewart sitting out Bristol, Burton filling in

 

The Sports Network

Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Tony Stewart will not compete in Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing announced on Wednesday.

It's the third straight Sprint Cup race that Stewart has skipped since he struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race on Aug. 9 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.

Jeff Burton will substitute for Stewart in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet for the second straight week. Last Sunday, Burton started 27th and finished 37th at Michigan International Speedway. He experienced a mechanical issue and had to spend more than 20 laps in the garage for repairs.

Burton, who is running a partial schedule in the series this season before he serves as an analyst for NBC Sports' coverage of NASCAR next year, has 40 Cup starts at Bristol, which includes a victory in the March 2008 race there.

Regan Smith drove Stewart's car to a 37th-place finish in the Aug. 10 Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International.

SHR noted that Stewart's plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined. After Bristol, the series moves on to Atlanta Motor Speedway (Aug. 31) before the 26-race regular season concludes at Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 6). The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins on Sept. 14 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Stewart is currently 25th in the point standings and has yet to win a race in the series this season.

There are presently no criminal charges pending against Stewart; however, the investigation regarding Ward's death is ongoing. The investigation could take several more weeks.

Read more Sprint Cup stories from the Miami Herald

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