Tony Stewart to Return to NASCAR After Recent Tragedy

Star racer holds news conference at the Atlanta Motor Speedway to shed light on deadly accident and his return.
14:52 | 08/29/14

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

More information on this video
Enhanced full screen
Explore related content
Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Tony Stewart to Return to NASCAR After Recent Tragedy
Tony loves racing and that's why he was. That's why he was racing on the night that he was in racing. Racing sprint cars because he just he loves racing and everything from firms some from pavement in dirt. You know what ever level. That's just how much he loves it so come. I'm happy for him that he's -- get back to doing that. And down and look at several here farm -- obviously going through a tragic accident something they can't put a timeline on when you're gonna work through. And I'm sure is anymore -- yet but one step is to. You know get back to something that feels normal again and dumb I'm sure it's been very difficult time and he said -- the most difficult thing he's ever gone through. Found but as a team we're here for him we're glad to have -- NASCAR racer Danica Patrick saying what it means to the team that Tony -- is coming back to -- saying. Hello everyone I'm -- -- Nona in Washington for the first time since Tony Stewart struck and killed Kevan ward junior during a race. The racing star is speaking out about the accident and his imminent return it to the track. We just heard there from -- Danica Patrick our sister network ESP and also caught up with SHR driver Kevin Harvick in here's what he had to say. Obviously your boss is -- what's it mean you that he's back and basically to the sport as well. Well I mean for for me. I don't really care about the sport at this particular point I'm more in the care about Tony Stewart Faison and helping my friend you know get through something that's you know obviously minimum very tragic. Situations so. That that is apart on the on the most focused on obviously you know from this HR standpoint everybody's glad to have him back -- -- -- -- to get back in Zelman and obviously he's. A very big important figure in the sport but. For me it's about my friend more than anything. They're close for and in the what do you think it means to him to be a little while backing here and be surrounded by you -- Well you know -- different don't wanna speak foreign but I think his -- as you get around the people that you've been around. You know the majority of your life over the last twenty years. You know I think there's there's some sense of them. Normalcy I guess you could say in in and how you operate in -- and things that should do in. -- obviously you know today's going to be -- a tough day in and trying to get through all of the media and but didn't back in that race car and in doing. What does for a living in the -- didn't back to work is is. Going to be good for. For him and and and to his mind off of everything he's had to deal with over the past several weeks elementary question but you know -- so well what is racing him. We're racing is it's it's -- him as it's not like it's not like. Not like myself that has a wife and and Simon and you know for for Tony it's it is everything and he does that mean he's he's. Everything he does revolves around racing whether B. In spring and sprint cars. RC cars isn't you know -- that he races RC cars with so. You know everything he does revolves around racing and in some -- -- -- so this is this is his life and in this is what he enjoys to do and and glad did to -- -- back at the racetrack. And we taking out of the Atlanta Motor Speedway where Tony -- press conference is underway let's listen in. -- this is. -- on the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with both professionally and personally. This is something that will definitely affect my life forever. This is a sadness and the pain it. I -- no one -- asked experience her life. That instead I know that. The pain on the morning. Kevin -- family and friends are experiencing. There's something that I. I can possibly imagine. I want Kevin's father Kevin senior and in his mother -- This sisters. Christina Kaelin Caitlin to note that. Everyday I am thinking about -- -- and for them. The racing community. As a large family as you guys -- and everyone's. -- what this tragedy. I want to thank all my friends and family -- For their support to this tough emotional time. And the support from the NASCAR community. My partners. All of our employees has been overwhelming. I've taken the last couple weeks off. Out of respect for Kevin and his family. And also to cope with the accident my own way. It's given me the time -- think about life and how easy it is to to take it for granted. I miss my team. My teammates. And must -- in back in the race car and I think that being back in the car this week with my recent family. -- help me get through this difficult time. I also understand that. All of you have many questions and and one a lot of answers. However need to respect. The ongoing investigation processing. And cannot answer and address the questions this time. Emotionally I'm not sure if I could answer many -- -- -- race this weekend. And I appreciate your respect. And there will be a day when I can sit here and answer the questions thank you. Thank you Tony. And again -- truth executive vice president Stewart Haas racing will be available take a handful of questions we do have some folks here. But the speedway with microphones we do ask that you raise your hand. When a microphone has brought C state your name and affiliation will start the back ways but Tom. Then a dead animal work over here. I read Tom Jensen fox sports -- NASCAR issued a statement yesterday that Tony had received all necessary clearances. To race war what was the process of going clearances and what approvals didn't. Well as you all know when drivers out of the car there is that process. And -- -- and get into -- The medical side of it. But I will say we've been in close contact with them throughout the process and it -- them what they needed to get him back in the -- We'll go with me -- -- Neighboring youth city sports paper at the investigation as we understand Ontario county is still open. Was there any thought to not having -- to -- until it's closed and but why now. Well you know I think for Tony. It's all about this healing process and that's part ways in the car. You know besides his mom is dead his sister. His niece and nephew his family's here to this racetrack. And I think it's just part of the healing process begin with the Stanley -- he's been with fair -- since 1999. And knowing that these people are gonna help them get through this. And that's one side of the other side of the disease a race here. Get 270 employees. And I think him putting helmet -- will help them cope with the situation. Union -- -- ESP conduct red respecting the process the investigation knowing there's things again. Are you -- and say where the union. Whether Tony is a clear picture in his own mind. Of what happened that -- -- that. I'm not gonna comment on an incident itself was a tragic accident and -- -- The focus -- on Tony in the car this weekend and how he's -- through this. We'll go. -- sporting news. The fact that -- racing this weekend should we read anything into that -- now. What you know about the investigation. And where it's at in the process. No I mean -- we've really been respecting the process as Tony said an investigation. In being in the race car right now is. About him getting through what has been a very emotional. Two weeks. And what -- next step is in in coping with this. There's been a great deal of empathy and sympathy for -- family and what they're going through. And for Tony it's just been extremely emotional in this is what is going to help them. Larry -- serious accident NASCAR radio can you talk about. Where Tony is that emotionally right now to step into the car. -- emotional state is at and was at 100% his choice. Not to race the last couple of weeks without the involvement of the sanctioning -- that we will hear from next. I'll address the latter first yes the decision to -- in the cars under sentence. Can your papers questions. Yes please define his emotional state at this stage to step back into the car very fragile Tony Stewart at this point. He just -- Tony's very emotional it's been it's been a difficult two weeks. If Tony is ready to be in the race car he wouldn't be here -- and. Marty Smith ESP in Britain sort of following up almost player just asked you've worked for Tony for a long time you've seen him in ways we have not. How would you character as his. Preparation for this and what you think -- experience as he's back in the car. I think it's going to be very overwhelming. Being in that garage today. And he's going to feel an awful lot of support. As I just mentioned this is his family it's it's the crew members at -- officials it's the drivers. It's this family that he's been -- since 1999. And this is going to be part of that process form I believe it's going to be an overwhelming process. This weekend that being said. Tony Stewart's a race car driver it's been a race car driver for the past 35 years. When he puts a helmet on in practice I'm I'm quite convinced he'll be ready to race car and it will be able to separate the two. -- one right here. -- why do you. I mean there's obviously tremendous tragedy. And it obviously in the sport of racing gather these guys learned to kind of deal that that's part of the sport in in -- -- What do you think this is hit Tony so hard. Because he was involved in an accident and a young man. Died. I can't imagine what he's going through I can imagine with the kids parents are going through. It's just something as Tony said that he hopes no one in this room and certainly anywhere whatever have to go through. Involved in a tragic accident. In -- achieve more here than George. Here in BC news and as Tony mentioned. Care wards and remembers -- me. As he reached -- that personally at all. Tony is send the family flowers and a card around services. Besides that he's been very respectful. Of them and their time to -- I -- know -- it'll be very important is important for Tony and to spend time with the family and I do believe that'll happen in the appropriate time. Especially George. Everett -- Jorge -- Orlando sentinel you know obviously it's an emotional time in. How internally how do you deal with it as an as an organization and -- in the -- prep work because. Let's face it it's not just it's not an ordinary weekend. Hold -- deal. Got 270 employees. Back and can hapless. Working hard -- Tony history other team members. And you know these are folks that are at -- us because they believe in the leadership they believe in the ownership. Believe in the folks -- we have surrounding him and we believe in them. So for them you know I think their focus has been undeterred. Over the last several weeks there obviously really excited. To have Tony back in the car and that leader. And -- -- they believe in. So I think the focus will be there this weekend from those guys and should -- -- And would -- this press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Where NASCAR star Tony Stewart made his first public comments since -- terrible accident August 9. In which he struck and killed a fellow racer Kevin ward junior. A Esther came out made a brief emotional statement today he said that this is a tragedy that will forever affect his life also saying that he is praying for Ward's family. And that he took a couple of weeks off of racing out of respect for Ward's family but also just -- allow him the time that he needed to deal with the emotions. That he is facing after a tragedy like this we then heard from Brett fruit -- the executive -- vice president of Stewart Haas racing. Who took more questions from reporters there he said that he could not address any questions specifically about the incident because there is an investigation that is still ongoing. But he did say that it was entirely. Tony Stewart's decision to take these past couple weeks off. And he said that in preparations for this Sunday's race. That -- is going to get back into the garage today and that he expects they'll -- in a very emotional time for him but that he will have lots of support from his teammates there. He said that Tony story is -- race car driver his profession for decades now. And that he fully expects -- will be ready to go and ready to race again this Sunday. And you can keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news -- and starring this story for exclusive updates on the -- For now I'm by the monotony in Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":25182865,"title":"Tony Stewart to Return to NASCAR After Recent Tragedy","duration":"14:52","description":"Star racer holds news conference at the Atlanta Motor Speedway to shed light on deadly accident and his return.","section":"US","mediaType":"Default"}