HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) - Tony Stewart's return to the track has been marred by a collision with Kyle Busch that sent the No. 14 car into the wall at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Stewart skipped three NASCAR Sprint Cup races after his car struck and killed a fellow driver in a dirt-track race in upstate New York. He decided to return this week, needing to win either at Atlanta or the next race at Richmond to claim a spot in the Chase.
The three-time champion received a big cheer when he was introduced before the race. Starting in the 12th spot, Stewart ran in the top 10 early in the race, getting as high as fourth.
Then, on lap 122 after a restart, Busch's No. 18 machine got loose coming out of turn 2 and banged into Stewart, sending both cars against the wall.
Stewart carried on but dropped back to 21st.