Tony Stewart hits & kills Kevin Ward Jr. on track

Warning: Video is disturbing

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — A investigation is underway after NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed a fellow driver Saturday night.

The incident happened during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

Reports indicate driver Kevin Ward Jr. was spun out by a car driven by Stewart.

Video posted to YouTube showed Ward Jr. get out of his car and walk toward the middle of the track.

A car driven by Stewart hit Ward Jr. and threw him down the track.

The sheriff in the area where the incident happened told reporters the driver (Ward Jr.) was dead on arrival at the hospital.

He also said Stewart was very upset and was cooperating.

Stewart’s spokesman said they are trying to sort out the details.

“A tragic accident took place last night during a sprint car race in which Tony Stewart was participating,” Mike Arning said. “Tony was unhurt, but a fellow competitor lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Photo: Logan Messerly

Photo: Logan Messerly

62 comments

  • JO

    Kevin Ward Jr. made a stupid mistake and it cost him his life. Maybe the young drivers will learn from his fatal mistake.

  • laura

    Sending prayers for all involved….. Tony is very well know in Nascar and from what i see kevin just wanted the attention ….. He should have stayed in his car …. Sad truth…. Tragic end

  • Dave

    He turned up into him and he should be charged with murder. You can see the video he hit him on purpose and should be in jail . If the district attorney don’t charge him they will be removed. NASCAR will be stupid to ever let him come back he is a lose cannon and needs to be jailed. I will not even watch nascar any more if they let him back.

      • Andrew

        Yeah… 1st, breaking a major safety rule, Don’t get out of your vehicle on the track. There’s a reason for that rule. 2nd… it only looks like he swerved towards him cause the front tire drove up on him first. Anyone who knows how light suspension and steering works knows that is a direct result of a steering tire driving up on something. 3rd… once you have broken the rules and are on the track, DON”T advance on moving vehicles! Accidents happen no matter what.

    • Scott Etheridge

      I am not a Tony Stewart fan . Accidents don’t just happen they are caused drivers should stay in their cars unless there’s a life threatening event at the time . Praying for the family of the young man and Tony God bless them both

      • everyoneisanexpert

        So you are saying that tires that go flat or shred and then you take someone out is not an accident? Are you some type of psycho ambulance chasing attorney?

    • justin

      If you watch he actually tried to avoid him the hp and torque in a sprint car makes them kick and I can see tony steering away

    • everyoneisanexpert

      and in other breaking news…..a bunch of idiots who know nothing about racing sprint cars now consider themselves experts!

    • Billy

      I do not think tony did it on purpose. Those cars have around 950 hp and it’s a direct drive system. The way most of them turn is by getting in the throttle. It looks to me like tony gunned it to get his car away from him but the car slipped. Either way a tragic accident happened and I pray for both families.

    • Unknow

      Then don’t watch it anymore…..I’m sure it’ll really hurt they’re feelings if you don’t watch!!!! You act like you really know what happened!!!! The fact is, you, nor no one else knows exactly what happened.!.! Don’t judge until you know the facts.

  • Shawn

    Can’t put it on Tony. Kid had NO business storming up the track on foot with cars whizzing by during a caution at 50-60+ MPH. Made a poor decision and it cost him his life. RIP Kevin.

  • Raymond

    Ive bewn around sprints my whole life ive seen drivers get out of cars and jump on othera this shit was intentionally. Tony stewart know how to drive a sprint and he know ward was standing there tony should be done with racing and sent to jail for some time.

  • Lee

    ISN’T AMAZING THAT WITH ALL OF THE CARS ON THE TRACK THAT THE ONE, (TONY STEWART) WHO WAS INVOLVED IN THE FIRST CRASH HIT THE VICTIM. FROM THE VIDEO IT LOOKS LIKE STEWART SWERVED TO HIT HIM !

  • Chopper

    This is an easy one: Ward’s on the track pointing out Stewart, Stewart wants to answer back by brushing Ward back with his car, Stewart guns his engine throwing his car sideways with intent of getting close to Ward, but not intending to hit him, car’s rear tire hits Ward, end of story.

  • Julie

    I have watched the video over and over and over just to try to make some sense out of this whole thing. Kevin got out of his car and had to dodge several other cars to keep from getting hit before Tony entered the area. If you watch closely and pay attention, Kevin practically walked into Tony’s car. This was a tragic accident with accident being the operative word. It was foolish for Kevin to get out of his car when he did. He should have stayed in the car and waited for the wrecker to come. Tony decided to not race today and he said that the only option for him today was not to race, he did not even consider racing today. Smoke is going through hell right now. He is a hot head sometimes but if you have ever seen him you will know what a gentle sole he truley is

    • Keith

      I don’t know if this was intentional or not ! I seen the video and it sure looks like he didn’t make much of a effort to mis ward. But I do have friends who know Stewart personally and he is far from being a gentle person. He is a arrogant bully!! Now that being said only God knows if he intentionally hit ward, but I can tell you for sure Tony Stewart is far from being gentle and caring human being. This is a sad tragedy , prayers going out to the family and friends of Ward.

  • Douglas Miller

    Looks to me that the driver walked to close and got hit by the wing.he shouldn’t have been on the track any way. Who had a temper problem?

  • Amanda

    First off I am not a Tony Stewart fan and have never been to a sprint car race. I have watched the video over and over and I do not believe Tony intentionally hit Kevin Ward Jr. He did swerve but after he had hit Kevin. It is sad this happened and my thoughts and prayers are with the families. God bless them all!!!

  • Nan

    Tony is a kind and generous soul. He is not wicked or vengeful. He will punish himself forever for not seeing Kevin Ward Jr soon enough to avoid this accident. As for Kevin, may his example to drivers at tracks across our country be to never wander into race track traffic.

  • kevin

    The kid should never have gotten out of his car. Plain and simple. If he stays in his car he lives for another race. That being said. I think Tony did try to come close to Ward and teach him a lesson and Tony hit the gas a little to much and hit and killed KW Jr. It’s tragic and my prayers go to Wards family. Tonys temper finally went too far

  • X Racer

    Until more video of a different angle comes out, IT’S ALL CONJECTURE!
    The only one who knows what happened is Stewart. When the investigation is finished, THEN we all will know. 

  • Kevin Lewis

    I watched the video 10 times and have come to this conclusion…It appears that Tony kept his line in the turn and Ward went wide and ran out of room…After Ward got out of the car and approached the right of way, the other drivers seemed to throttle down and take the inside line, probably because they could see that someone had hit the wall plus the caution flag was probably out. When ward approached the right of way, it appears the first few drivers saw him but the forth driver didn’t and almost hit him then Tony appeared…you can hear someone throttle up and then contact with Ward could be seen and either Tony drove toward him to scare him or after hitting him Ward’s body could have caused the car to veer to the right. These cars have computers in them and they will be able to tell if Tony speed up when he saw Ward coming towards him. Ward should have stayed in the car until the Safety Safari arrived, he should have never pulled a stunt like this and it ended up costing him his life.

  • sheree

    If you look at the video in slow motion(YouTube) you will see the car didn’t vear right until after contact with Kevin. It looks like Kevin may have grabbed the car or bar and his weight made the car shift. It is sad for the families and also the fans. My prayers go out to all!

  • llong12170

    This is truly a sad situation, and other one that both families will have to live with for the rest of their lives. I’ve never been a big Stewart fan and have never heard of Ward, but it is clearly a mistake by a young, hot – tempered young man when he decided to get out of that car on the race track. Any thing past that is just speculation. Noe, just pray for both families and may the healing begin.

  • ncrdbl1

    Do not know how many of you know this but this is not Tony’s first incident at that track. Last year when he visited this same track he caused a major crash that put another young driver in the hospital with serious injuries. Tony has always had anger issues and he has no respect for local drivers when he visits a track. He has more than once taken a local driver out instead of allow him to pass. He has done the same thing on the few ASCS stops he has made. I only hope he never comes to the Memphis area

  • kaycee jones

    Anyone who has been watching racing or even have common scence knows not to cross a track. But anyone who knows medical also knows he could have been suffering from a concussion which makes it still a freak accident

  • George

    Any person that has ever driven a race car knows that you don’t out of the car until the safety crew gets there. Thoughts and prayers to all involved.

  • KT

    Its’ true Kevin should have stayed in the car for his own safety, but that still didn’t give Tony that right to try to brush the guy with his car. I say that both are at fault. I am sure that this is not what Tony was trying to do, but he should not be alowed to race again because still a man was killed because of 2 bad decisions. My prayers go out to both families

  • langor1

    If they aren’t on fire: you shouldn’t jump out of your tank during a battle or out of your car during a race. Very hard to say if it was intentional or not, but it wouldn’t have happened if Ward had stayed in his car.

  • Council Clowns

    Ignorant, redneck, pompous, arrogant, cocky Nascar nepotism race care driver. I don’t know what group are more ignorant and uneducated the racers themselves or the toothless trailer trash fans that watch and attend the races.

  • Jim

    The kid was an idiot. Stewart did not try to hit him. People said you can see the tires turn right. WRONG. They only go right after the impact because the body forced the wheels right during impact. The kid lost his temper and foolishly got out of his car and got close to Stewart’s car. And at that speed you cant stop in time and veer out of way in time. Stewart’s vision was blocked by the driver in front of him by the time he saw the kid if he tried to veer out of the way he would have just hit the kid with his whole back end. Then you would have a close casket funeral.

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  • Christie

    Looks like Kevin had the attitude. If he would have stayed in his car instead of walking down the track to show his attitude he might be alive right now. Kevin was almost hit by another driver right before he was hit by Tony. Yeah, They need to look at the videos. Tony Stewart has a bad boy attitude and will fight. But when your stupid enough to walk to a running car on the track….. Life happens. He knew the rules…. Stay in your car for your safety. Kevin is at fault here, not Tony.

  • Greg

    If you watched the video correctly you’ll see he almost got hit by another driver right before tony. So tony probably didn’t see the guy in time to move out of the way. Like they said the guy should have stayed in his car it’s his own fault for getting out.

  • John C

    You are an idiot and have probably never been to a dirt track for one much less been in a moving sprint car tony does have a bad temper but would handle things in the pits if need be as sad as it is to say Kevin should have sit his a!$ In his car got his right rear changed and been pushed back off instead of running at a moving vehicle and if you are saying tony was full throttle than you just proved you’ve never been around a sprint car bc that’s no where near full throttle I truly hate this happen and hope that everyone involved can find peace and forgive Tony for this tragic accident prayers go out to the ward family and friends

  • Nettieg93

    Rules are Rules and set in Stone….Just for Stuff as such….See how Poor Sportsmanship can cause someone’s life…Ward practically Committed…”Sprint Suicide”….Spiritually Disconnect From Safety….Because at No Time nor Reason Shall Anyone Walk Up to Nor Towards Any Moving Vehicles….To Explain Nor Say A” Dawg Gone Thang”….This Ain’t Dodge Ball Baby….You Are Dodging Cars…lHello…What Part Yall Don’t Understand….”Prayers4….Both Families”….Tony Didn’t Mean That….That Would Be A “Crash Dummy”…. Move…B4…The Eyes Of The World….and Ward Jr…He Didnt Think He Would Get Ran Over Out Of Regards For Ones Life…..But not Logically Thinking at that Time”and Accidents Happens…and Thats All It Was….

  • tony

    Not defending anyone but if you have ever been in a sprint car you would realize you have 0 vision to the left and right and from the looks Stewart kept his line. Also the sound you heard was not Stewarts engine I am assuming it was someone on the front stretch due to how crisp and instant it is to the collision between Stewart and Ward.

  • Diamanical Johnson

    You are an idiot. Darwin called one of his children home this was 100% Ward’s fault and his family should reimburse all of the people that paid to come to the track because because Ward acted like an idiot (which BTW he is notorious for) and their night was cut short because of it.

  • AA

    Prayers to the Ward family. If your going to do any type of sport, control yourself. Don’t judge Mary. And who said Stewart considered racing Sunday? Because he qualified before this happened? I really hate your whole comment.

  • Chree Mann

    Mary, I noticed that too–that Tony appears to turn into Ward. However, it happened after he hit him. It is likely that the body was under the back right tire, which would have caused Tony to swerve to the right.

  • Jason

    Well said Christine. I bet no one else will do such an emotionaless move that involves jeopardizing your life.

  • ncrdbl1

    Watch the video again the 45 was running an unusually high line through that turn considering there was a crash on outside wall EVERY other driver including Tony was on the low line. Ward saw the 45 and stopped and let him go by. The 45 was not paying attention to what was going on.

  • Scottish

    It is a sprint car you “dolt” – that’s what the dirt cars are called. They are sprints. They aren’t referring to the Sprint cup series cars genius.

  • Rick johnson

    You may want to re-watch the video yourself . Yes the 45 did come close to him, but it was riding high on the track and Ward saw it and stopped and let it go by. Why it was running so high in the turn under yellow near an accident on the outside wall is beyond me. Tony knew that Ward would be waiting for him when he came around. Just as Tony would have been if someone had ran him into the wall. Ward was standing outside Tony’s lane when the front wheel started by. It only when Tony gunned his engine did the back end kick out and this is why the accident occurred.. If Ward had simply walked into the path of his rear tires the nerf bar would have stopped him and he would have came away with at most a broken leg. He was dragged under the car and the only way to do that was for him to make contact in angle where the majority of the tire is not protected by the nerf bar. The only way for that to happen would be for the rearend to be kicked out. Tony gassing the car in the turn kicked the rear end out and that is why Ward was drug underneath the car and thrown across the track afterwards. He could only be thrown by the wheels if they were under power.

  • ncrdbl1

    Sorry you are wrong. Unless you are one of the few who still uses the high side panels on right hand side you can see beside your car on left or right. About the only thing you cannot see is the front tires. That is because they sit so low. If you cannot see anyone as tall as this kid while buckled in the car then you have no business driving a sprint. Also since it was in the turn Ward was clearly visible outside the front of the car when Tony entered the turn.

  • ncrdbl1

    No Chee the physics involve in sprint car racing can be misleading What you saw was a result of the rear end kicking out when Tony gunned the engine. When the rear end kicked out he had to turn his wheel to the right to try to limit how far it came around or it could spin out. The rear end kicks out it means the rear wheels are not hooked up they are spinning instead of moving forward. When they do hook up and move forward while the front end is turned to prevent it from spinning all the way around. Then the rear wheels push the car into the direction the front wheels are turned. It is a delicate balance to keep the car going forward at the same time you have the rear end sliding sideways. It is not uncommon to have an ill handling car that is way too loose going into the turn and have it push exiting the turn. The rear end wants to come around on you until the rear wheel catch traction and you find yourself going toward the wall coming out of the turn due to the amount of steering you have to put into it.

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