WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Tony Stewart, after being involved in an accident Saturday night at a sprint-car race that killed 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward Jr., did not compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen Int’l on Sunday.
Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup champion, decided not to race at WGI following the collision in a sprint-car race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park Saturday night.
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Regan Smith drove Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet SS on Sunday. He started 43rd and finished 37th after being involved in a late-race incident.
NASCAR issued a statement offering its condolences to Ward’s family.
“We support Tony Stewart’s decision to miss today’s race, and we will continue to respect the process and timeline of the local authorities and will continue to monitor this situation moving forward,” the statement said.
Stewart also released a statement around 1:40 p.m. ET.
“There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.,” Stewart said.
“It’s a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I’ve decided not to participate in today’s race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”
Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said there were no criminal charges pending, and that “no facts in hand would substantiate criminal intent from any party.”
The investigation, Povero added, is still ongoing.