The three-time champion NASCAR driver struck and killed a sprint car driver Saturday night in upstate New York.
Kevin Ward Jr. climbed out of his car and tried to confront Stewart during the race. Ward stepped out into the middle of the dimly lit track when Stewart came and struck the driver. Ward was 20 years old.
Ward and Stewart were racing side-by-side for position as they exited a turn. Ward was on the outside when Stewart seemed to slide toward Ward’s car and crowd him toward the wall. The rear tire of Stewart’s car seemed to clip the front tire of Ward’s car, and Ward spun into the fence.
There has been speculation that Stewart hit the driver on purpose even though he claimed it was an accident. Stewart appeared to be very shaken up after the incident and would later decide that he would not race Sunday at Watkins Glen.