Auto racing: Tony Stewart reportedly hits driver who was walking on track
Authorities are investigating a serious crash that injured one person at a dirt track in Canandaigua, New York, where Tony Stewart was racing on the eve of a NASCAR race.
A fan said it appeared Stewart hit a driver who was walking on the track after they collided on a prior lap. Michael Messerly said the driver was thrown a great distance. He said Stewart did not appear to be injured.
A hospital spokeswoman said one patient is being treated from Saturday night’s crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. She would not give a condition or further details.
The track canceled the remainder of the Empire Super Sprints slate within five minutes.
The Ontario County Sheriff’s Department said its officers were at the track investigating.
Calls to Stewart’s representatives were not immediately returned.
Gordon takes pole
Jeff Gordon won the Sprint Cup pole for the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International.
Gordon turned a fast lap of 129.466 mph in the second and final round of knockout qualifying on the 2.45-mile road course to top Marcos Ambrose and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson.
Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five. AJ Allmendinger was sixth, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman.
Defending race winner Kyle Busch will start 19th. Just missing the second round was five-time Watkins Glen winner Tony Stewart, who was to start 13th but his status is unknown after Saturday night’s incident in which he reportedly hit a driver in a dirt track race.
Danica Patrick, who crashed in final practice on Friday and will start at the rear of the field, ran 11 laps.
Marcos Ambrose has won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen (New York) International.
Making his first appearance in four years in a race he has dominated, Ambrose drove a flawless race from the fourth starting position after an early altercation with Kyle Busch, then held off the hard-charging Busch in the closing laps for his fourth straight victory in the event.
Joey Logano finished third, followed by Penske teammate and polesitter Brad Keselowski. Matt Kenseth was fifth as Sprint Cup drivers dominated on the speedy 2.45-mile road course. Points leader Chase Elliott finished sixth, Ty Dillon was eighth, and Regan Smith had a difficult race and came home 17th.
That boosted Elliott’s lead in the standings to 12 points over Smith and 13 over Dillon and Elliott Sadler, who was seventh.