Tony Stewart will race as scheduled at Watkins Glen. “We’re business as usual today,” said Greg Zipadelli, Stewart-Haas Racing vice president of competition.
Tony Stewart will race as scheduled at Watkins Glen.
“We’re business as usual today,” Greg Zipadelli, Stewart-Haas Racing vice president of competition, told USA TODAY Sports.
The decision comes just hours after Stewart struck and killed an on-foot driver at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park, where both were competing in a sprint car race.
STEWART: Hits, kills driver in sprint car race
“Everything that’s been made available to us at this time would not preclude (Stewart) from participating in this event here today,” NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said.
He said NASCAR has been monitoring the situation and will “honor the process and respect the timeline of the local authorities.”
Armour: Tony Stewart should show respect, sit out today’s race
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends and competitors and everyone involved at that complex up there,” Tharp said. “While it was a non-NASCAR-sanctioned event, everyone in the motor sports community has feelings for these types of situations. We’ve been through them before.”
During Saturday night’s sprint car race, driver Kevin Ward Jr. was spun out by Stewart, got out of his car to show his displeasure and then was struck by Stewart’s car, sending Ward sliding down the track, fellow sprint car racer Tyler Graves and witness Adam Dulski told USA TODAY Sports.
“This is an ongoing investigation of an on-track crash,” Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip C. Povero said early Sunday morning.
Tony Stewart team spokesman: ‘Thoughts and prayers’ to dead driver’s family, friends
The crash was a topic of conversation early Sunday morning among race fans at Watkins Glen.
“Everybody was talking about it, and everybody has seen the video,” said 42-year-old Leo Smith of Perinton, a suburb of Rochester, N.Y. Smith camped at the track and had spoken with 10-15 other fans by 7:30 a.m. “It’s crazy,” he said.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted Sunday: “We will all loose someone in our time. When a loss is sudden and unexpected, the pain & sadness is suffocating. Prayers for the Ward family.”
Jeff Gordon will start on the pole for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. Stewart, a five-time Watkins Glen winner, will start 13th.
Contributing: Steve Bradley, (Rochester) Democrat and Chronicle
PHOTOS: Tony Stewart through the years
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