Tony Stewart was involved in an accident on Saturday night at the Empire Super Sprints series event at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York that left 20 year-old Kevin Ward Jr. dead. No criminal charges are pending for Stewart, but he chose not to race today and instead Regan Smith will be in the No. 14 for the Cheez-it 355 at Watkins Glen.
Stewart released the following statement Sunday afternoon.
There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. It’s a very emotional time for all involved and it is the reason I’ve decided not to participate in todays race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”
A video released of the incident shows two cars coming out of a turn Saturday night with Stewart’s No. 14 car sliding up the track toward Ward’s No. 13 car. The two cars get close and appear to make contact before Ward’s car hits the wall and spins out.
Ward Jr. gets out of his wrecked car and begins walking towards the race cars on the track during a yellow flag. He begins pointing his finger and appears to be yelling when a car swerves to miss him. Stewart passes close to Ward on the track, then what appears to be his right rear tire hits him.
Ward was transported by ambulance to a local hospital but died before arrival.