Auto Racing notes: Kevin Ward’s father says ’no reason’ for crash
The father of the driver run over and killed by Tony Stewart told The Syracuse Post-Standard that “there’s no reason for” the crash that led to his son’s death.
Kevin Ward Jr. was sent into the wall when his car was bumped by Stewart’s in a dirt-track race on Saturday night in Canandaigua. Ward got out of the car and walked onto the track, where he was hit by Stewart.
Kevin Ward Sr. tells the newspaper that “Tony Stewart was the best damn driver by far on the track that night. Why he had to go up as high as he did and hog my son, there’s no reason for it.”
When the 20-year-old Ward got out of his damaged car, he walked on the track and appeared to point at Stewart. Other cars drove past him, but Stewart’s right-rear tire appeared to hit him and drag him along the track.
“Apparently, Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn’t see him,” Ward told the newspaper.
No charges have been filed against Stewart, but they are still possible.
Ward also addressed that in his interview with the newspaper, saying: “The one person that knows what happened that night is possibly facing 10 years in prison. Is he going to say what he done?”
New rule enforced
NASCAR could issue an edict as early as this weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway that makes it mandatory for drivers to stay in their cars until safety personnel arrive.
Tracks around the country have changed their rules in the wake of Ward Jr.’s death.
“If a driver, for whatever reason, exits a car on the track during a caution period, the race will automatically be placed under a red flag and all cars will come to a complete stop,” a news release for New York dirt tracks Brewerton and Fulton said. “A driver may exit a car if requested by a safety crew member or if safety warrants in cases such as a fire. Drivers that exit a car without permission, for whatever reason, are subject to fine and/or suspension at the discretion of track management.”
Crew chief fined
NASCAR fined Kevin Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers $25,000 for unapproved weight in his No. 4 Chevrolet at the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International.
The penalty was considered a P3 infraction under the scale NASCAR implemented this season.
Truex out in support
Martin Truex Jr. will miss NASCAR Sprint Cup practice and qualifying session Friday at Michigan to support his cancer-stricken girlfriend, Sherry Pollex. She was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Matt Crafton will drive Truex’s No. 78 car Friday.
Truex will rejoin the team Saturday and race Sunday.