NASCAR AMERICA: Assessing Tony Stewart’s return at Atlanta (VIDEO)

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When the returning Tony Stewart emerged for pre-race driver intros Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, those in the grandstands loudly welcomed back the three-time Sprint Cup champion.

But despite a strong run early, Stewart couldn’t send them home happy.

Contact with Kyle Busch at Lap 122 left his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet with damage, and then on Lap 172, Stewart’s night came to a halt after slamming the Turn 2 wall.

After that incident, Stewart dejectedly told his crew that they deserved a better result. But NASCAR AMERICA’S Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman believe that Stewart handled himself well throughout a difficult weekend.

You can hear what they had to say in the clip above.

Toro Rosso boss hopes to see Kvyat return to Formula 1

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Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost hopes to see sacked driver Daniil Kvyat return to Formula 1 in the near future, saying the Russian “deserves” a place on the grid.

Toro Rosso dropped Kvyat twice through the 2017 season due to poor form, with his final dismissal coming after the United States Grand Prix in October.

Kvyat is no longer part of Red Bull’s motorsport program and is exploring options both inside and outside of F1 for 2018, and Tost feels he could be energized by some time away before returning.

“I am still convinced that Daniil has a very high natural speed. He was sometimes even faster than Daniel Riccardo, but somehow last year and this year he couldn’t show the potential that is within him,” Tost told the official F1 website.

“He was involved in many incidents, but in his defence I also have to say that he had many reliability issues and that didn’t help build up confidence. Being the victim of too many incidents killed the performance he would have been able to show.

“Maybe a short break – to get organized again – and probably we will see Daniil back at his usual performance level with another team.

“Sometimes he was too aggressive at the beginning of the race. The first corner was his weak point. He wanted too much in the first hundred meters – success by any means!

“That puts you under pressure – unnecessary pressure – and that never works.

“I hope for him that he gets another chance, as I think he deserves to be in F1.”