(USA TODAY) - Stewart-Haas Racing announced on Thursday that Tony Stewart will not race at Michigan International Speedway this weekend.
Jeff Burton will fill in for him.
Stewart also sat out last weekend's race at Watkins Glen International, a day after the sprint car he was driving struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.
A release from Stewart-Haas Racing reads:
"Tony Stewart has decided not to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
"Veteran driver Jeff Burton, a winner of 21 Sprint Cup races, will pilot the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in place of Stewart.
"This driver change pertains only to Michigan. Stewart's plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined."
Ward's sister: 'It's rough. We will get through.'
On Friday, a news conference with SHR executive vice president Brett Frood, SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli and Burton is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET at the speedway.
NASCAR previously announced Thursday that NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development Robin Pemberton will address last weekend's incident and the series' response at 9 a.m.
Ward Jr., 20, was buried Thursday after funeral services at South Lewis High School, where he graduated in 2012, in Turin, N.Y.
Burton, who will be an analyst for NBC Sports in 2015, has driven in two Sprint Cup races this season, the last at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13.
This move effectively ends Stewart's chances at making NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff. He had no wins and was outside the current cutout for the 16-driver field. He would have needed to qualify in the remaining four races and win one of them to make the playoff. NASCAR could make an exception.
In 2013, the three-time Sprint Cup champion missed the final 15 races of the season while he recovered from a broken right leg suffered in a sprint car crash. He required three surgeries and months of physical therapy to be able to get back in a car in time for February's Daytona 500.
Stewart, who won championships in 2002, 2005 and 2011, initially indicated he would race last Sunday. SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli said it was ''business as usual.''
A few hours later, SHR announced Stewart would sit out.
Kevin Ward Jr.'s death could prompt safety changes in NASCAR
On Monday, SHR director of communications Mike Arning told USA TODAY Sports that Stewart was on his own timetable to make a decision.
"The decision to compete in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan will be Tony's, and he will have as much time as he needs to make that decision," Arning said in an email to USA TODAY Sports.
"It is still an emotional time for all involved, Tony included. He is grieving, and grief doesn't have a timetable."