The Ontario County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating a Winged Sprint Car accident that happened late Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Canandaigua, New York. NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was racing in that event and was involved in the accident.
A report released by the sheriff’s department and tweeted by NASCAR reporters explains that Stewart and Kevin Ward, Jr. had contact in the race and the action was operating under the caution flag. Ward left his race car and walked down the track onto the racing surface. According to the report, Stewart and another car were in tandem and approached Ward who was gesturing to the cars. The first car swerved to avoid Ward while Stewart’s rear tire struck Ward.
Ward was taken to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Stewart was questioned and released from the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department. Greg Zipadelli, Vice President of Competition at Stewart-Haas Racing, announced Sunday that Stewart would not be racing in Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen International and that Regan Smith would sub for Stewart. Smith drives the No. 7 for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
The sheriff stated that no criminal charges have been filed at this time.
“No evidence or facts support criminal charges or intent,” he said.
Tony Stewart released the following statement:
“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 it the reason I’ve decided to not participate in today’s race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”