CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart will not race Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, skipping a second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup race since striking and killing a driver in a dirt-track race at a small New York track.
Stewart announced the decision in a statement Thursday. His plans for the rest of the season have not been determined.
Jeff Burton will drive Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet in Michigan.
Stewart also sat out Sunday at Watkins Glen, a day after he struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car event in Canandaigua, New York. After Stewart clipped Ward’s car, sending it spinning, Ward got out of the car during the caution period, walked down the track and was hit by Stewart.
Ward’s funeral was Thursday in Boonville, New York. He died of blunt force trauma.
Stewart’s dirt-racing career is on hold, and he could face criminal charges.
Stewart has not commented since he made a statement Sunday.
Burton made only two starts this season, the last coming in July at New Hampshire.
Truex to miss sessions
DENVER — Martin Truex Jr. will miss NASCAR Sprint Cup practice and qualifying session Friday at Michigan to support his cancer-stricken girlfriend.
Furniture Row Racing said Truex is skipping the sessions to be with his longtime partner and girlfriend, Sherry Pollex. She was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Matt Crafton will drive Truex’s No. 78 car Friday.
Truex will rejoin the team Saturday and race Sunday.
Blaney to join Wood Brothers
NASCAR trucks series points leader Ryan Blaney will run a partial Sprint Cup schedule for Wood Brothers Racing in 2015.
Wood Brothers announced Thursday that Blaney run at least 12 races next season in the No. 21 car. Blaney’s schedule will include stops at Daytona, Las Vegas, Texas, Talladega, Charlotte, Michigan and Indianapolis.
The 20-year-old Blaney will replace Trevor Bayne, who is moving to a full-time ride with Roush-Fenway Racing next season.