Meanwhile, the 43-year-old NASCAR superstar will move forward with his career and attempt to salvage his season.
Stewart, who has 48 career Cup wins in 542 starts, is one of the biggest stars in the garage. His peers have been protective of him as questions emerged in the aftermath of the crash, and it pained them that Stewart was grieving in private and had cut off communication with so many of them. He will talk to the media for the first time since the fatal crash on Friday.
Stewart will be behind the wheel for the Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Konstantin Tereshchenko is a 20-year old Russian race car driver. During a Spa-Francorchamps practice run at the Beglian Grand Prix his car went airborne. Somehow, amazingly, Tereshchenko walked away from the crash after the car landed upside down, flipped and caught fire.
This is from a Sprint Car race at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, CA on August 8th. Flagman Keith Trusso had just waved the green flag when a wreck happened on the second lap. Trusso started to reach for a caution flag when racer Scott Hall’s car came flying towards the wall.
After initially planning on racing in today’s Nascar competition at Watkins Glen, Tony Stewart has decided not to race today. Stewart ran over and killed driver Kevin Ward, Jr. in a sprint car race in upstate New York on Saturday night. Though Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Greg Zipadelli had said earlier that today would be “business as usual,” and Nascar said they would allow him to race, Zipadelli just hosted a press conference announcing that Stewart will sit today out.
Regan Smith will race in Stewart’s place.
[UPDATE: Tony Stewart releases statement.]
Tony Stewart releases the following statement regarding the incident last night involving Kevin Ward Jr. pic.twitter.com/SaKGXLxITk
Tony Stewart struck and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward, Jr. during a race in upstate New York Saturday night. Ward spun out and got out of his vehicle, appearing to try to confront Stewart, who hit Ward with his car. Ward was 20 years old. Stewart was questioned and released by local police, and remains under investigation.
Stewart was also involved in a major accident at the same track a year ago, from USA Today:
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart was right at the center of a crash that involved 15 cars on Lap 7 of the 25-lap feature race on the half-mile oval dirt track. Stewart, seen later chatting with crew members of other teams, said in an interview over the track’s public address system that the accident was his fault.
Alysha Ruggles, a 19-year old driver from Canandaigua, was taken to Thompson Hospital in her hometown because of pain in her lower back caused by the accident. Witnesses said that Ruggles’ car hit the wheel of another, went into the air 20 to 30 feet and came to a stop 50 to 60 feet later.
Tyler Graves, a sprint-car racer and friend of Ward’s, told Sporting News in a phone interview that he was sitting in the Turn 1 grandstands and saw everything that happened. “Tony pinched him into the frontstretch wall, a racing thing,” Graves said. “The right rear tire went down, he spun on the exit of (Turn) 2. They threw the caution and everything was toned down. Kevin got out of his car. … He was throwing his arms up all over the place at Tony for most of the corner.
“I know Tony could see him. I know how you can see out of these cars. When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards.”
Not for the faint of heart, here is video of the collision: