NASCAR Fans React After Kevin Ward Jr. Is Killed In Sprint Car Race Confrontation

Kevin Ward Jr. was killed this weekend in an apparent confrontation during a Sprint car race. 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. died when NASCAR’s three-time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart struck Ward on the track at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The Inquisitr reported on the tragedy earlier.

The Huffington Post reported:

“Kevin Ward Jr. had crashed following contact with Stewart one lap earlier and got out of his car as it was stopped along the fence. Video of the incident showed Ward walking from his crashed car onto the racing surface as cars circled by, and, as he gestured at Stewart’s passing car, he was struck.”

Witnesses stated that it appeared as though Kevin Ward Jr. walked towards Stewart’s vehicle to try to confront him. Police in Ontario questioned Stewart about the tragic event that killed Kevin Ward Jr., but stressed that no criminal charges were pending at this time. Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero explained that Stewart was “visibly shaken” over the fellow racer’s death. Police have asked any spectators to turn over videos of the crash that killed Ward as evidence.

“This is right now being investigated as an on-track crash and I don’t want to infer that there are criminal charges pending,” Sheriff Povero reportedly said. “When the investigation is completed, we will sit down with the district attorney and review it. But I want to make it very clear: there are no criminal charges pending at this time.”

Sprint car driver Tyler Graves said he witnessed Kevin Ward Jr.’s death. The New York Times quoted Graves:

“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.”

NASCAR told the media that it did not prevent Stewart from participating in the race Sunday due to his involvement in Kevin Ward’s death on the track. Still, early Sunday, NASCAR fans learned he would not be racing in the planned event. In a statement, NASCAR champion Tony Stewart explained that following Kevin Ward Jr.’s death this weekend, he would not be participating in Sunday’s race:

“It’s a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I’ve decided not to participate in today’s race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”