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article imageNASCAR driver Tony Stewart hits, kills fellow racecar driver

By Greta McClain     Aug 10, 2014 in Sports
Canandaigua - Veteran NASCAR driver Tony Stewart has decided not to race at Watkins Glen today after he struck and killed a fellow race car driver Saturday night.
Stewart was participating in a Empire Super Sprints series last night at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York. During the race, Stewart made contact with a car driven by 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. Ward's car spun out, but Stewart was able to continue.
Fellow driver Tyler Graves was watching the race from the stands. Graves told The Sporting News:
"Tony pinched him into the frontstretch wall, a racing thing, 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. I know how you can see out of these cars. 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.
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."
A press release issued by the Ontario County's Sheriff's Department offers a slightly different version, saying:
"On Saturday August 9, 2014, at or about 10:30 PM there was an on track incident at the Exit of Turn 2 at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park. One car lost control and spun coming to rest along the outside retaining wall. The race was immediately put into caution, slowing the cars on the track. The driver of the car that spun, exited the race car and walked down the track onto the racing surface. Two racecars traveling in tandem approached as the driver continued down the track, gesturing to the two approaching cars. The first car swerved to avoid the driver out on the track. The second car, operated by Tony Stewart, struck the driver."
A video captured by a fan watching from the stands shows Stewart Ward running down the track as a car approaches him. Ward has to step backwards to avoid being hit by the oncoming car, and the car can being seen swerving to avoid Ward. Stewart's car then strikes Ward and lurches to the right before continuing down the track.
Ward was transported to F.F. Thompson Hospital with life-threatening injuries. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero told reporters that Stewart has fully cooperated with the investigation and that no criminal charges are pending at this time.
Initial reports indicated that Stewart planned to participate in the NASCAR Spring Cup race at Watkins Glen today. However Greg Zipadelli, VP of Competition for Stewart-Hass Racing, told reporters:
"We know that it's just an unbelievable tragedy. Our hearts go out to obviously Kevin and his family, thoughts and prayers. This is a very tough, very emotional time for everybody, his family, our family at Stewart-Haas, Tony Stewart. So with that being said, we feel that as a group, Tony will not drive today. Regan Smith is on his way up."
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