Tony Stewart withdraws from NASCAR event after fatal accident

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 10: Greg Zipadelli, Stewart-Haas Racing vice president of competition, at a press conference prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 10, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. Zipadelli announced that driver Tony Stewart will not drive in the Cheez-It 355 At The Glen race. Stewart hit and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a dirt track race August 9, after Ward Jr. had exited his car.
WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 10:  Greg Zipadelli, Stewart-Haas Racing vice president of competition, at a press conference prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 10, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. Zipadelli announced that driver Tony Stewart will not drive in the Cheez-It 355 At The Glen race. Stewart hit and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a dirt track race August 9, after Ward Jr. had exited his car.
WATKINS GLEN, NY – AUGUST 10: Greg Zipadelli, Stewart-Haas Racing vice president of competition, at a press conference prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 10, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. Zipadelli announced that driver Tony Stewart will not drive in the Cheez-It 355 At The Glen race. Stewart hit and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a dirt track race August 9, after Ward Jr. had exited his car.

Three time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart has been withdrawn from Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen. Stewart-Haas Racing crew  chief Greg Zippadelli said it is an emotional time and that Stewart had made the decision. He will be replaced by driver Regan Smith. The announcement came only hours after Zippadelli said Stewart would compete after being involved in fatal crash during a sprint car race at Canandiagua Motorsports Park in upstate New York.

Saturday night 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward Jr. who was outside of this car, was struck by Stewart during the feature event.  Video showed Ward’s car as it came to rest on the back stretch after being involved with Stewart on the previous lap. Ward exited the vehicle, and still wearing his racing helmet walked toward the line of cars circling under caution.  He angrily pointed towards the car driven by Stewart; Stewart’s car struck Ward who was thrown in the air and landed several feet away. Ward was later pronounced dead at FF Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua.

Stewart’s team released a statement early Sunday MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.