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Tony Stewart pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen Sunday according to spokesman Greg Zipadelli. Saturday Stewart ...
struck and killed a sprint car driver who had climbed from his car to confront him during a race in upstate New York. (Aug. 10)
Tags:ap,AP News,Associated Press,Greg Zipadelli,kevin ward jr.,nascar,regan smith,tony stewart
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SHOTLIST:ABC Pool - AP Clients Only Watkins Glen, New York1. SOUNDBITE: (english) Greg Zipadelli, Competition Director, Stewart-Hass Racing Unbelieveable tragedy. Our hearts go out to Kevin and his family. Thoughts and prayers. This is a very tough, very emotional time for everybody. Our family at Stewart-Haas, Tony Stewart, you know with that being said as a group. Tony will not drive today, Regan Smith is on his way up. Nascar has approved for him to get in the race car today. They will do everything they can to help us expedite getting his seat, getting him comfortable. That's what we've been working on this morning, and trying to get executed. Get Regan here, and obviously, anything we can do for Tony and everybody else. Like I said, it's an emotional time right now." STORYLINE:Tony Stewart pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen Sunday, 12 hours after he struck and killed a sprint car driver who had climbed from his car and was on the darkened dirt track trying to confront Stewart during a race in upstate New York. Greg Zipadelli, competition director for Stewart-Haas Racing, said at a news conference that Stewart "feels strongly" about not racing Sunday following Kevin Ward Jr.'s fatal accident. The decision was an about-face for the organization, which had said when the track opened that Stewart would be behind the wheel of his No. 14 Chevrolet when the green flag waved. Regan Smith will drive Stewart's car instead. Ward had crashed following contact with Stewart one lap earlier and got out of his car as it was stopped along the fence. Video of the incident showed Ward walking from his crashed car onto the racing surface as cars circled by, and, as he gestured at Stewart's passing car, he was struck. Authorities questioned Stewart but said no criminal charges were imminent. Authorities were asking spectators and others to turn over any video they recorded of the crash.A witness said it appeared Ward was trying to confront Stewart, the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion. The video showed Ward standing to the right of Stewart's familiar No. 14 car, which seemed to kick out from the rear and hit him. A spokesman for Stewart's racing team called Ward's death a "tragic accident." The dirt track, about 30 miles southeast of Rochester, canceled the remainder of the race and later posted a message on its Facebook page encouraging fans to "pray for the entire racing community of fans, drivers, and families."