Tony Stewart to return to NASCAR racing this weekendBy Steve Almasy, CNNUpdated 2:08 PM ET, Fri August 29, 2014Just WatchedTony Stewart addresses Kevin Ward's deathreplayMore Videos ...Tony Stewart addresses Kevin Ward's death 02:27Story highlightsRacer was driving in a dirt-track race when he hit a competitor who was walking Kevin Ward Jr. died of his injuries received at NY trackAuthorities are investigating Stewart expected to return to the track Friday during a practice sessionTony Stewart, who hasn't raced since his car struck and killed a fellow driver during a dirt track race earlier this month, will return to NASCAR racing at Atlanta, his team announced on its Twitter feed.Stewart opted out of three races after his car hit Kevin Ward Jr., who was walking on the track during an Empire Super Sprints series race August 9 in New York."NASCAR has remained in constant contact with his race team, and we will stay very close to this situation as Stewart returns to competition," said NASACR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell. The race in Atlanta is scheduled for Sunday, with first practice and qualifying set for Friday. Just WatchedNASCAR's Tony Stewart hits, kills driverreplayMore Videos ...NASCAR's Tony Stewart hits, kills driver 01:38PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedWhy was Tony Stewart allowed to race? replayMore Videos ...Why was Tony Stewart allowed to race? 03:05PLAY VIDEONew York authorities continue to investigate the Ward incident, according to media reports. Spectator video from that night at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park race shows two cars coming out of a turn, with Stewart's No. 14 car sliding up the track toward Ward's No. 13 car. The two cars get close and appear to make contact before Ward's car hits the wall and spins out.Ward gets out of his crashed car and walks determinedly on the track toward the race cars, which had slowed for a yellow flag. Ward points a finger and appears to be yelling. One car swerves to avoid Ward on the half-mile dirt track.Stewart's car passes close to Ward, and it appears that its right rear tire hits him.Stewart withdrew from the NASCAR race in Watkins Glen the next day. He also missed races in Michigan and Tennessee.Authorities announced two days later that 20-year-old Ward, a New York sprint car driver, had died of "massive blunt trauma."Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero said at the time that there was no evidence that a crime had been committed.Stewart has only released a statement shortly after Ward's death."There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.," Stewart said August 10. "It's a very emotional time for all involved. ... My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."Ward, from Port Leyden, New York, was in his fifth season in the Empire Super Sprints series. He began racing when he was 4, running go-kart events. When he was 12, he moved to the faster sprint cars. His father blames Stewart for hitting his son."Apparently, Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn't see him," the father said, according to Syracuse.com.Ward Sr. said the race was the only time he had ever seen his son get out of the car while it was still on the track. NASCAR has instituted a rule that requires its drivers to stay in the car until safety personnel arrive. Tony StewartNASCAR's Tony Stewart hits, kills driverAlthough NASCAR driver Tony Stewart is not currently facing criminal charges in the death of another driver, he is not officially in the clear.Racer died of 'massive blunt trauma'Kevin Ward Jr. died of "massive blunt trauma" when Tony Stewart hit him with his sprint car.Kevin Ward Jr. started young, loved to raceAs soon as he could, Kevin Ward Jr. got in a race car. As soon as he could, Kevin Ward Jr. started winning races.Racing death prompts new safety rulesAfter the death of Kevin Ward Jr., NASCAR has made a new rule against drivers exiting vehicles. Alexandra Field reports.Tony Stewart: Raising smoke with a hard driving lifeTony Stewart's profession is driving for millions of dollars a year in NASCAR races, but his hobby is racing against amateurs on dirt tracks for trophies.Emotional, aggressive, deadly racingEmotions play a big part in racing. The fans expect it. They want that emotion-fueled, adrenaline pumping, heart-stopping, side-by-side action.Racer: People want to see wrecksTwo dirt-track racers explain the appeal of the sport and give their opinions on the fatal wreck involving Tony Stewart.Why Tony Stewart isn't likely to face chargesEven hardened race fans, accustomed to witnessing spectacular crashes, were stunned to see the shattered body of 20-year-old race car driver Kevin Ward Jr. sprawled on a New York dirt track. Racer Tony StewartA look at recent highlights from racer Tony Stewart's career. Life on the Dirt TrackAndy Scholes speaks with 25-year dirt track racing veteran, Danny Smith, to learn more about the popular sport.Why was Tony Stewart allowed to race? With his history of violent incidents, why was NASCAR's Tony Stewart even allowed to race? CNN's Rachel Nichols reports.More from usWhere does the snow go after back-to-back blizzards?