UPDATE: Stewart will NOT race today. See below for recent developments and video.
In a developing story that seems to keep getting worse, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart reportedly intentionally ran over fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. during an altercation at Canandaigua Speedway on Saturday night. Not “wrecked into him.” Ran him over. While he was outside of his car.
Right now the only information coming in is from eye-witness accounts, and the nature of the incident is sensational enough without coming out and saying “what these people are saying is true.” However, this is what we can piece together thanks to folks like reporter Adam Longo
Coming into turn 2, Stewart spun Ward. Ward got out of his car, and when the field came around on yellow, Stewart reportedly fishtailed his car into him. The back wheel “made contact with Stewarts right tire and landed about 25 feet from where he started.” [source] Whatever happened (and however it happened) were bad enough for Canandaigua to call the event and immediately send everyone home.
It’s easy for a first reaction to a story like this to be furious condemnation of Stewart and an analysis of what it means, but the healthy thing is probably to say a prayer for Ward, and to hope none of this is as bad as it seems. Because … Jesus, this is about as bad as it gets.
Police on the scene:
Update #1: According to the most recent eye-witness report, Ward was “wearing all black” and the track was not well-lit, suggesting that the violence may have been accidental:
Update #2: No confirmed reports as of now, but lots of people are saying that Kevin Ward Jr. — 20-year old Kevin Ward Jr. — has passed away. Unreal. More as we get real confirmation.
Update #3: Tony Stewart will race in today’s NASCAR event.
Update #4: Video of the incident has emerged. WARNING: It is not for the faint of heart. We’ve added it because it provides important context to the story.
Update #5: Stewart will NOT race today.