Tragedy struck on the race track of a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, as NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, a 3-time champion, hit and killed Kevin Ward Jr. who stepped out of his car in order to confront him for a collision in the previous lap.
What was Kevin Ward doing getting outside of his car and trying to confront another driver? Hard to say. It’s also not quite clear how much time Tony Stewart had to see him and react to a man on the track. He was questioned and released by the police, and according to the Ontario County Sheriff department, the investigation isn’t criminal, with Stewart being completely cooperative and obviously upset about what happened.
Ward’s car spun and stopped after hitting the wall. Ward got out of the car and started dodging the incoming racing cars while headed in a specific direction, constantly pointing his finger at Stewart. There doesn’t seem to be too much light on the tract, not to mention the speed of the whole event, which makes it quite difficult to understand whether or not Stewart had time to react to what he saw or didn’t even see Ward coming at him.
Stewart was scheduled to race in NASCAR’s event Sunday at Watkins Glen but it’s unclear whether or not he’ll participate in a race that’s important to his chances of staying alive in the chase for the cup. The track in upstate New York cancelled the rest of the events for that day.
This isn’t the first time Stewart was responsible for an accident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Almost 13 months ago some bad driving on his part triggered a 15-car accident, resulting in a 19-year-old driver, Alysha Ruggles seriously injured, with a compression fracture in her back. Stewart returned to sprint cup racing only last month almost a year after breaking his leg in the crash at an Iowa track.