CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero said his investigation continues 16 hours after a deadly crash at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.
Kevin Ward Jr., a 20-year-old race car driver, was killed Saturday night after he was struck on the track by NASCAR star Tony Stewart during a sprint car race.
Deputies traveled to Watkins Glen Sunday, site of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355, to speak with Stewart or his representatives. Povero said he has seen no evidence to date of criminal intent on Stewart's part.
Povero asked witnesses and anyone with video of the crash to contact his office at (585) 394-4560. The sheriff also wants to talk with anyone with expertise in this type of racing.
Povero said authorities are waiting, among other things, on a forensic recreation of the crash and an autopsy on Ward by the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office office.
Stewart's car squeezed Ward's car up into the outside wall coming out of turn 2, turning it around. Ward's car had a flat tire as a result, and he exited the car to show his displeasure with Stewart's move. He marched down the track and was pointing at Stewart's car as he approached on the ensuing caution lap. Stewart's car then clipped Ward, who was run over and thrown a few yards down the track.
Ward, who raced the No. 13 sprint car at the track, started racing go-karts in 1998 at 4, according to kevinwardracing.com.
Stewart issued a statement Sunday afternoon about the tragedy:
"There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. 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."
Contributing: Staff reports
Riley writes for the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle
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