clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tony Stewart will not compete in Watkins Glen NASCAR race

New, comments

Tony Stewart was involved in an on-track accident on Saturday evening.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Update: Tony Stewart will not drive in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen, his team announced Sunday morning. Regan Smith will drive the No.14 car.

Original: One day after striking and killing an on-foot driver in a sprint car race, Tony Stewart will compete in the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday.

Greg Zipadelli, the competition director for Stewart's co-owned NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing, told USA Today it was "business as usual" and Stewart plans to race in the Cheez-It 355.

Stewart was racing in a dirt sprint car race Saturday night at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park when he hit a fellow driver who was walking on the track, according to Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip C. Povero at a 3 a.m. press conference.

Just prior, Stewart and fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr., 20, were involved in an incident in Turn 2. The two made contact, which caused Ward to crash.

Video shows Ward walking across the track to express his apparent displeasure with Stewart while the field was circling under caution. Ward walked to the right side of Stewart's No. 14 car, which then seemed to slide out and hit Ward, hurtling him through the air.

At his press conference, Povero said the investigation is still ongoing but was not being handled as a "criminal manner." Stewart was cooperating fully and was "visibly shaken," according to Povero.

Stewart-Haas issued the following statement:

"A tragic accident took place last night during a sprint car race in which Tony Stewart was participating. Tony was unhurt, but a fellow competitor lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We're still attempting to sort through all the details and we appreciate your understanding during this difficult time."

Jeff Gordon starts on the pole Sunday. Stewart, a five-time Watkins Glen winner, will start 13th.