BROOKLYN, Mich. — Stewart-Haas Racing representatives said today that no timetable has been set for Tony Stewart to return to driving in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, and that no decision has been made for when Stewart will return to driving.
Jeff Burton will drive in place of Stewart this weekend in the Pure Michigan 400. Qualifying is at 4:40 p.m. today at Michigan International Speedway. Burton said Greg Zipadelli, Stewart-Haas Racing's vice president of competition, reached out to him Wednesday about driving this weekend.
"My role here is to hopefully provide a little stability and give the team the most success they can have in a very difficult situation," Burton said. "Hopefully me being here in some kind of way can help a healing process start.
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Burton, 47, is a veteran driver who has won 21 Sprint Cup races. He will retire at the end of this season to become an auto racing analyst for NBC.
Brett Frood, Stewart-Haas Racing's executive vice president, reiterated that the decision not to drive this weekend rested with Stewart.
"He's grieving," Frood said. "He made the decision he's not ready to get in the race car. It's going to be up to Tony when he gets back in the car.
"Tony's surrounded right now by his closest friends and family. We're obviously in contact with him, but his location is of a private nature right now."