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Stewart not competing in Michigan NASCAR race

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Tony Stewart will not compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

Veteran driver Jeff Burton, who has won 21 Sprint Cup races, will drive the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in place of Stewart, a Columbus native.

Stewart has been in seclusion after being involved in an on-track racing incident Saturday at the Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park in which 20-year-old sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. was killed.

Stewart spokesman Mike Arning announced Stewart would not race at Michigan at about 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the same day Ward was buried in his hometown of Port Leyden, New York.

Using a substitute driver at Michigan complicates Stewart's chances to qualify for NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup. Stewart has not won a race this season and slipped to 21st in the rankings going into the race at Michigan. Only 16 drivers make the Chase, although NASCAR could make an exception.

For more on this story, see Friday's Republic.


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