Kevin Ward Jr. Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

kevin ward jr, tony stewart

(Twitter)

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. last night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York. Here’s what you need to know.


1. Kevin Ward Jr. Exited his Sprint Car on the Track


The incident occurred at Canandaigua Motorsports Park last night in upstate New York.

Footage shows Ward climbing from his car and exiting onto the speedway to confront Stewart.

Sport News reports on what might have caused the confrontation:

Tyler Graves, a sprint-car racer and friend of Ward’s, told Sporting News in a phone interview that he was sitting in the Turn 1 grandstands and saw everything that happened.

“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.

Meanwhile, Stewart’s car was behind another car, which slowed down to get past Ward. Stewart’s car then appears on camera, striking Ward and sending him flying.

Graves further alleges that Stewart hit the throttle to run purposefully over Ward, but this is highly debatable.

Ward was wearing a black race suit on a poorly lit racetrack.


2. Ward Went to the Hospital With Serious Injuries

kevin ward junior, kevin ward jr

(Twitter)


After being struck, Ward was transported to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.

He was later pronounced dead.

Stewart was uninjured and brought in for questioning by local police.

3. Stewart Cooperated With Authorities

tony stewart, kevin ward jr

(Getty)


After the incident, Stewart was brought in for questioning by authorities.

Huffington Post reports:

Stewart, a frequent competitor at local sprint car events, was questioned and released. The sheriff asked for people who recorded video of the crash to provide copies for investigators to review.

It’s worth mentioning that it is a bit odd that Stewart competes at low-level, competition sprint car events as he is a NASCAR athlete.


4. Ward was 20-Years-Old

(Blogger)

(Blogger)

Ward was just 20-years-old when he died last night.

The Port Leyden, New York native had a promising career prospects, his rise catalogued on his blog.

He was Empire Super Sprint rookie of the year in 2012 and this year was his fifth season competing in the Empire Super Sprints.


5. Stewart Will Still Compete Today in NASCAR Event

(Getty)

(Getty)


Despite the tragedy, Stewart is reportedly still competing today’s NASCAR’s event at Watkins Glen.

The race is pertinent to Stewart’s NASCAR championship chance.

The Charlotte Observer reports:

Stewart’s racing team manager Greg Zipadelli said Stewart will race in NASCAR’s event Sunday at Watkins Glen, calling the race “business as usual.”

UPDATE: Stewart ended NOT participating in the Watkins Glen NASCAR race. He was replaced by Regan Smith.

8 Comments

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8 Comments

Matthew

Anyone who knows racing knows exactly what happened here… Sad for everyone involved

Mike

I disagree that you need to know about racing to know what happened.. And really it is all speculation.. Yes, he very well could have tried to scare Ward and send a message and went too far.. But this also very well could have been a tragic accident.. But the truth is, we will never know for a fact because only Stewart truly knows what his intentions were. Its almost impossible to prove a murder on the racetrack because the prosecutor will always have to prove intent and thats impossible to do in this scenario unless he admits to it.

goodgod

you’re insane …getting into what people are thinking… I think you do need to at least watch racing to understand what happened; a tragic and unfortunate accident. There’s plenty of ‘dirty’ racers, but you don’t see anyone gunning down Dale!? It is what it is, whether it’s right or wrong to you, that kid should never have left his vehicle on a live race track. That is day one safety, no one is in charge of keeping you alive- that’s your job. Like Matthew said, it’s sad for everyone involved. However, it is kind of odd he’s participating in a race the next day; regardless of accountability, that’s some heavy shit. Sounds like he may be in for some PTSD.

Butch

It is unwise to hold a final opinion at this early a stage in the investigation of a person’s death. But my thoughts now are as follows: It obviously was unwise for Mr. Ward to exit his vehicle and walk into oncoming race cars over a simple racing incident, however deliberate it may have been, even under a caution flag. I find it difficult to conclude that Mr. Stewart would deliberately hit a man and try to harm him, especially over a trivial racing move. Mr. Ward was dressed all in black, I could not see reflective material on his suit and the track was poorly lit. It is possible and likely probable that Mr. Stewart did not see him until the last moment. The questions the sheriff must answer, and I do not think they will be easy to determine, is whether Mr. Stewart had a last, clear chance to avoid Mr. Ward, and if he did, then did he willfully and knowingly strike him? Answering those questions correctly would determine criminal liability, civil negligence or the innocence of Mr. Stewart. I would encourage the sheriff to seek outside assistance from legal experts due to the incredible importance of this case due to Mr. Stewart’s status as a public figure. Whether Mr. Stewart should have raced in the NASCAR event the next day is crucial to his business interests. Personally, I would have advised against it. It does not look good for him. It is a terrible statement to make to Mr. Ward’s family, his fans, to NASCAR and to the NASCAR world.

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