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Tony Stewart: Not Concerned About Chase Right Now

Fri, 15 Aug 2014 20:23:00 +0000

Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR(BROOKLYN, Mich.) -- Tony Stewart's team announced that he would not be racing at this Sunday's race in Michigan on Thursday.

Stewart continues to grieve after last Saturday's sprint car accident that killed Kevin Ward Jr. and there has been no timetable set for the former Sprint Cup champion's return.

"This decision was Tony's," said Brett Frood, the team's executive vice president. "[It's been] an emotional week for him. He's grieving. Made the decision he's not ready to get in the race car and will take it week by week. It will be up to Tony when he's ready to get back in the car."

Stewart had to race in this weekend's race in order to be eligible for the chase for the championship.

"I'll be honest, the Chase is of the lowest priority as it relates to Tony right now," Frood said. "As far as the Chase, the only care I have this weekend is to get Danica Patrick in the Chase." 

"Right now, it's about getting Tony in a better place than he is. When he's ready to do that, he'll get back in the car. [I] don't care about the Chase," he added.

Jeff Burton will race for Stewart on Sunday and said on Friday that he hopes he can start the healing process.

"Hopefully me being here in some kind of way can help, I don't know how, but hopefully I can find a way to help a healing process start," said Burton, who has only made two Cup starts this year. "I don't know how that is, but that would be my ultimate goal for everybody."

"Obviously it's an awkward situation for everybody. But there's a lot of people at Stewart-Haas Racing that work really, really hard and deserve 100 percent effort from me, and that's what they're going to get," he added.

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