Today it was announced that Tony Stewart pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, a decision made 12 hours after 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. was struck and killed after a race gone sour.
During a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, Ward was spun out by Stewart, got out of his car to show his displeasure and then was struck by Stewart’s car. The impact sent the young driver sliding down the track as fellow sprint car racer Tyler Graves and witness Adam Dulski told USA TODAY Sports.
Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero reported that the Ward was taken by ambulance to Thompson Health where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Adam Dulski, who was present during the accident told reporters what he saw at the scene.
“It happened in Turn 2,” said 27-year-old Dulski. “The prior lap, Tony had gotten into him – just spun him, nothing big, just spun him around. The caution came out. He hopped out of the car – the driver of the 13 … he hopped out to go and yell and point a finger at Tony, typical thing.
“Tony came around … the back end slid out, and he definitely caught him – I couldn’t tell if it was with the front or the back of the car. … The body made contact with the car and went sliding across the track. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
Apparently, Stewart had just made his return to racing after suffering a compound fracture of his right led in a sprint car accident last year. Authorities were sent to check on him earlier today and stated that Stewart was “visibly shaken” and cooperative. Povero said that criminal charges have not been ruled out, but investigators also don’t have any evidence at this point in the investigation to support criminal intent.
“Stewart is free to go about his business,” Povero said. The competition director for Stewart-Haas Racing, Greg Zipadelli, said at a news conference that Stewart “feels strongly” about not competing Sunday following the death of Kevin Ward, Jr.
Do you think the result is justified? Let us know your opinions.
Here is video of the incident, warning it’s very graphic, watch at your own discretion