Stewart read his prepared statement at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he will get back behind the wheel of his Number 14 Chevrolet for the first time since Ward's death.
He said he took time out of respect for Ward's family and so he could cope with the tragedy.
"This has been one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with both professional and personally. This is something that will affect my life forever.This is a sadness and a pain I hope no one has to experience in their life. With that being being said I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin's family and friends are experiencing is something I can't possibly imagine," said Stewart.
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