Tony Stewart was given a standing ovation before the Oral-B 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, his first race since he struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. in an accident during a sprint car event.
Stewart didn't race the last three weeks as he mourned Ward's death.
"I've taken the last couple of weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family and also to cope with the accident in my own way," he said at a press conference on Friday.
Stewart, 43, waved to the crowd as it cheered for him during pre-race introductions. He started the race in the 12th spot.
- Chris Mascaro