NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed another driver during a 25-lap race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York on Saturday night. Police are investigating the incident and report that Stewart is being completely cooperative.
The incident that took the life of 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. occurred about halfway through the sprint car race. Following a collision with Tony Stewart that took Ward out of the race, Ward exited his car and began walking up the track while other cars were approaching. It was then that Stewart clipped Ward, which resulted in the young man’s death.
View a video of the incident below. Warning: the below video is graphic; view at your own discretion.
In an interview with Sporting News, sprint car driver Tyler Graves gave his version of the incident.
“Tony pinched him into the frontstretch wall, a racing thing,” Graves said. “The right rear tire went down, he spun on the exit of (Turn) 2. They threw the caution and everything was toned down. Kevin got out of his car…He was throwing his arms up all over the place at Tony for most of the corner.”
“I know Tony could see him,” Graves continued. “When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards.”
Even though Graves believes Stewart was angry with Ward (image below), he doesn’t believe that Stewart hit the other driver on purpose. “You never mean to do something like that,” Graves said. “Kevin was pissed and he let Tony know. And Tony was trying to give the message back that he wasn’t happy either. He went over the line with it.”
— DANEgerus (@DANEgerus) August 10, 2014
No charges have been brought against Tony Stewart so far, but police are investigating the incident. The fact that Stewart hasn’t been charged has angered many racing fans, many of whom believe that something like this was bound to happen because of the driver’s infamous temper.
In other news, seems like Tony Stewart's temper has caught up with him. Tsk. RIP Ward.. What a waste.
— Jeff Tagle (@jefftagle) August 10, 2014
Tony Stewart was always a hothead. Temper got the best of him again, but this time he killed a guy. He'll probably get away with it though.
— CBJ (@CraigBuschleJr) August 10, 2014
Despite a spokesperson saying that Sunday’s NASCAR race would be “business as usual” for Tony Stewart, it has now been announced that Stewart won’t participate in Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 10, 2014