Tony Stewart returned to NASCAR on Aug. 31 to compete for the first time since he fatally struck fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr on Aug. 9. Tony’s first race back didn’t go as expected — at all. After two accidents, Tony didn’t even finish.
It’s been three weeks since Tony Stewart, 43, hit and killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr., 20, during a dirt track race on Aug. 9. Tony was cheered on by thousands of fans last night when he returned to compete in the Oral-B USA 500 in Atlanta, Georgia, but couldn’t complete the race due to a flat tire.
Tony Stewart’s Racing Return After Kevin Ward Jr’s Death Botched With Accidents
Tony Stewart’s return to racing was botched by accidents. Tony hit a wall — twice — and damaged his car too badly to continue the race, according to ESPN.
During Lap 122, another driver pushed Tony into a wall. At that point, the right side of Tony’s car crumpled. Then on lap 170, Tony slammed into a wall again. This time, he blew a tire. Tony’s crew chief said the car’s damage couldn’t be fixed, and so that was the end of the race for him.
According to USA Today, Tony radioed his crew and said, “Sorry guys, you deserve better than this” during the race. He did not speak to the media after the competition.
Two days before his return to racing, Tony spoke out to the media about the tragic accident on Aug. 9 that killed Kevin Ward Jr. “This is something that will affect my life forever. This is a sadness and pain I hope no one ever has to experience in their life,” Tony said to the press.
Tony Stewart Thinking Of Retirement After Kevin Ward Jr.’s Death
As we previously reported, Tony has thought about retirement since the tragic accident three weeks ago.
“He has already been talked out of ending his career on a couple of occasions,” a source revealed to HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “He has been going back and forth with just ending everything.”
Our thoughts continue to be with Kevin’s family and friends while they mourn their loss.
HollywoodLifers, did YOU watch Tony’s return to racing? Let us know.
— Megan Ross