Authorities have said no criminal charges are imminent after a fatal racing incident where NASCAR icon Tony Stewart struck and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr.
Here are some answers to questions about the two involved in Saturday's accident.
Q: Who is Tony Stewart?
A: Stewart, 43, is one of racing’s notable names. He lives in his hometown of Columbus, Indiana and competes for Stewart-Hass Racing as a driver/owner. Stewart is a three-time Sprint Cup Champion.
Q: Who is Kevin Ward Jr.?
A: Ward Jr., 20, was working to make his name in the racing scene. He was seventh in points in the 2014 Empire Super Sprints Championship Tour with two top-five finishes. He is from Port Leyden, New York according to The Associated Press and was the Empire Super Sprint Rookie of the Year in 2012.
Q: How did this happen?
A: The matter is still being investigated. Multiple outlets are reporting Ward had crashed with Stewart’s car during a low-stakes race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York. Ward got out of his car along the fence and crossed into the racing area. Ward reportedly was struck by Stewart’s car. Ward was wearing a black firesuit and black helmet.
Q: Has Stewart been in past accidents?
A: Stewart broke his leg last year in a sprint car race and only started racing again last month. Stewart also took responsibility for a 15-car accident last year where 19-year old driver Alysha Ruggles sustained a compression fracture in her back. That race also took place at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
Q: What race was Stewart preparing for?
A: Stewart had planned to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Cheez-It 355 at The Glen, one of only five remaining races to score points to get a spot in NASCAR’s Chase. Stewart reportedly often participates in low-stakes races.
Q: Will Stewart race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Cheez-It 355 at The Glen?
A: No, he will not. After his team announced Stewart would proceed as planned, but according to a spokesperson Stewart “feels strongly” about not racing.
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