NASCAR AMERICA: Mike Helton explains decision to make Stewart eligible for Chase (VIDEO)

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Tony Stewart missed three Sprint Cup races and did not qualify for the last two after his involvement in a fatal sprint car accident on Aug. 9.

Per NASCAR rules, all drivers that wish to maintain their Chase eligibility must qualify for each event. However, NASCAR president Mike Helton said today at Atlanta Motor Speedway that Stewart’s “unique set of circumstances” made for an special exception to those rules.

As a result, Stewart has been deemed eligible for the Chase should he be able to win either this weekend at Atlanta or next weekend at Richmond.

You can hear some of Helton’s comments in the NASCAR AMERICA clip above, which also includes a report from NBCSN contributor Nate Ryan on the atmosphere surrounding Stewart’s return at AMS.

F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.