Auto Racing / Sports

'No reason' for race fatality, says Ward's father

The father of the sprint-car racer struck and killed by Tony Stewart's car over the weekend told the Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard on Tuesday that "there's no reason" for the fatal incident.

Kevin Ward Jr., 20, died Saturday night during a race at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park dirt track in upstate New York.

Racing side-by-side with Stewart, the NASCAR champion, Ward hit the outside wall and crashed, bringing out the caution period that slowed the cars.

Ward then climbed from his car, stepped on the track and apparently was angrily gesturing toward Stewart as the cars circled back around when Stewart's car hit him.

"I think the reason he got out of that car is who put him into the wall," Kevin Ward Sr. told the Syracuse newspaper. "He was definitely put into the wall.

"Tony Stewart was the best damn driver by far on the track that night," Kevin Ward Sr. continued. "Why he had to go up as high as he did (on the track) and hog my son, there's no reason for it."

A couple of other cars passed the younger Ward before Stewart's car struck him, and Ward's father said, "Apparently, Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn't see him."

Local authorities have said no criminal charges are pending against Stewart but that their investigation continues, and that the probe likely would take at least two more weeks.

Stewart has not commented publicly about what led to the incident, other than to issue a statement in which he said "there aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident."

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