Kevin Ward Sr. says the first time his son left his vehicle during a race was the last time he did it.
“I think the reason he probably got out of that car is who put him into the wall,” Kevin Ward Sr. tells Charley Hannagan of the Syracuse Post-Standard. “He was definitely put into the wall.” The interview’s publication comes less than five days after Tony Stewart’s sprint car fatally collided at Canandaigua Motorsports Park with fellow racer Kevin Ward Jr., who angrily walked from his car toward Stewart after the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion had edged him toward the wall and out of the race.
Ward Sr. questions Stewart’s tactics prior to the fatal collision. “Tony Stewart was the best damn driver by far on the track that night,” Ward expressed to the newspaper. “Why he had to go up as high as he did and hog my son, there’s no reason for it.”
The grieving father wonders why Tony Stewart didn’t see the fluorescent stripes on his son’s racing suit and drop to the bottom of the track under the caution flag. “Apparently,” Ward Sr. told the paper, “Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn’t see him.”
The dead driver’s namesake, who attended Saturday night’s race, says that he bought his son go-carts, which fueled a passion for the race track and the garage. He told the upstate New York publication that Ward Jr. lost his first race at four years of age but won the next seventeen. The twenty-year-old’s aspiration, he says, wasn’t to compete in NASCAR. It was to race in the World of Outlaws. He preferred dirt to pavement, sprint cars to stock cars.
Ontario County, New York Sheriff Philip Povero has noted that Stewart has cooperated fully with the investigation. He has not thus far discovered anything to merit a charge. “The investigation into the death of Kevin Ward, Jr., of Lewis County, N.Y., is ongoing and is expected to continue for at least another two weeks or more,” Povero said Tuesday. “Investigators continue to seek witnesses, gather evidence, and develop the racetrack crash reconstruction.”
The professional house painter isn’t hopeful the truth will prevail. “The one person that knows what happened that night is possibly facing 10 years in prison,” Ward Sr. concludes. “Is he going to say what he done?”