Created: 08/31/2014 3:25 PM WHEC.com
By: Associated Press
Kevin Harvick starts tonight's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on the pole but all eyes will be on Tony Stewart.
After missing three NASCAR races in the wake of the accident that took the life of dirt track racer Kevin Ward Jr., Stewart will be back behind the wheel. He'll start tonight's race from the 12th position.
This race is the next-to-last before the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Stewart can make the 16-car Chase field with a win this evening or next week at Richmond, thanks to a waiver announced by NASCAR on Friday. NASCAR requires its drivers to compete in every event to make the playoff, but Stewart received the waiver that is normally applied to a driver who misses a race for medical reasons.
Jeff Gordon, the points leader, and other drivers supported the decision to grant Stewart the waiver.