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Stewart to skip third straight NASCAR race after fatal crash

(Reuters) - Tony Stewart will skip this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, the third consecutive event the three-time champion has missed since being involved in a fatal on-track accident.

Jeff Burton will replace Stewart for the second straight week, Stewart-Haas Racing said Wednesday.

Stewart, one of the highest-paid drivers in NASCAR, was competing in a sprint car race on Aug. 9 in upstate New York when he clipped the car of 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward Jr.

Ward was sent careening into a retaining wall while Stewart continued racing. When the caution flag came out, Ward jumped out of his car and, while in the middle of the track, pointed angrily at Stewart when he came around on the next lap.

Stewart's car struck Ward, causing fatal injuries in the non-NASCAR race.

No charges have been filed against Stewart although the investigation has not yet been completed.

Stewart, 43, skipped the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, New York, the following day and then sat out the Michigan 400 last week.

Stewart's plans for the rest of the season have not yet been determined, Stewart-Haas Racing said.

(Reporting by Steve Ginsburg; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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