Update (3:04 a.m.): Local police have confirmed that an incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Canandaigua, N.Y., on Saturday night (Aug. 9) involved NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.
According to police in a press conference at around 3 a.m. ET – and later reiterated in a press release – Stewart made contact with a driver who had gotten out of his car and had walked down the dirt track, visibly frustrated with Stewart. The two cars had made contact a lap prior, causing the driver’s car to spin out and come to a rest at the top of the dirt banking.
The driver was reportedly dead on arrival at Thompson Health Center in Canandaigua. His name is not currently being released by police, pending contact of family members. His name was originally reported by various outlets as Kevin Ward, Jr., 20.
Stewart has reportedly been cooperative in the ongoing investigation and is back in Watkins Glen, where he is currently set to race in the Sprint Cup Series race Sunday afternoon.
No charges have been brought in the investigation at this time.
Local police are investigating an on-track incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Canandaigua, N.Y., that reportedly involved NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.
A call placed by Frontstretch to the local sheriff’s department confirmed that police are investigating the incident, and that as of midnight ET (Aug. 10) authorities were still on the scene with no other information currently available.
The racetrack posted to its official Facebook page late Saturday night (Aug. 9), confirming that all racing events at the speedway “were suspended due to an accident.” (Edit: The post has since been deleted.) The track later posted again at around 1 a.m., noting that it would “not have an official statement” on the accident until Sunday.
Unconfirmed reports came in on Twitter at around 11 p.m. ET concerning the incident at the track, which is located about 30 miles southeast of Rochester, N.Y. According to witnesses claiming to have been at the track, Stewart was involved in an on-track accident with fellow driver Kevin Ward, Jr. that necessitated medical attention for the latter. Stewart, according to reports from apparent witnesses at Canandaigua, hit Ward, who was out of his machine, with his racecar while on track.
Video footage posted to YouTube later confirmed the incident, with Stewart’s car making contact with Ward in turn 2. He is shown being attended to by track workers, with Stewart’s car found sitting at the end of the backstretch.
Thompson Health Center in Canandaigua has confirmed that a driver was received there with serious injuries.
There is currently no word if Stewart’s entry in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen, located at Watkins Glen International about 54 miles south, has been affected.
Stewart recently returned to dirt track racing, competing at Tri-City Speedway in Auburn, Mich., last month, following 11 months out of a sprint car after breaking his leg in an accident at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
This is a developing story.
About the author
Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.
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