Tony Stewart happy to race despite poor finish at the Glen

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 09: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, is pushed off of the track by a tow truck after an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2015 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

WATKINS GLEN, NY – AUGUST 09: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, is pushed off of the track by a tow truck after an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2015 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart was making news on and off the track this weekend. The three time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion was able to smile Sunday even after his 43rd place finish in the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen. Stewart’s race Sunday came one year to the day that he was involved in a sprint car crash at a New York track that ended with the death of 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward.

Stewart has been struggling since then and has not raced in a sprint car race since the accident. Last year he missed several races starting with the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen that occurred only hours after the tragic accident. Stewart was eventually cleared of any charges and returned to racing at Atlanta.  The memory of that awful night came back though as Friday the family of Ward announced that they have filed a wrongful death suit against Stewart.  The Stewart camp has had no comment on the suit and later Friday Stewart, who is second behind only Jeff Gordon in road course wins among active NASCAR drivers, qualified third.

Sunday Stewart looked strong early.  He ran among the top five and was as high as third at one point. Pit strategy put him back in the field at one point, but on lap 57 Stewart suddenly slowed and came to a stop just before the Carousel. The races fifth caution was soon displayed and Stewart was slowly pushed back to the pits and eventually made his way to the garage. The crew soon found that the read gears in the Chevy has broken. They decided to leave the rear end gear housing together so it can be further diagnosed this coming week at the teams shop near Charlotte North Carolina. Stewart said he had little warning that something was happening to his car. MORE>>>

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