Sports

Local Racetrack Responds to Tony Stewart Tragedy

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Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

PONTOON BEACH, Ill. (KMOX) - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart returns to the circuit, Sunday, for the first time since he struck and killed a fellow driver three weeks ago, while racing at a dirt track in upstate New York.

The impact of the accident is being felt at racetracks across the country.

Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach is a dirt track similar to the one where Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward, Jr August 9th.

Owner Kevin Gundaker told KMOX Auto Show host Greg Damon they now have new rules in place involving drivers walking on the track to confront other drivers, “After the tragic accident, we implemented a rule here that we don’t want anybody out of their race car unless it’s an emergency-type situation.”

Gundaker says drivers have to contend with dim lighting at most dirt tracks, plus they don’t really expect to see someone walking on the track during a race.

He says the drivers need to let the track staff handle crashes, “We’ve got a very well-trained emergency staff here, and we want to make sure they get to the car first to make sure the driver is safe.”

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