UPDATE: Stewart doesn't race Sunday after deadly crash - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Stewart doesn't race Sunday after deadly crash

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WATKINS GLEN (UPDATE)  -- Tony Stewart released a statement Sunday regarding an incident where he hit and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward, Jr.

“There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. It's a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I've decided not to participate in today's race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Kevin Ward Jr.'s family says it "appreciates all the prayer and support" but that members "would like time to grieve" a day after Ward was killed on a racetrack when he was hit by a car driven by NASCAR star Tony Stewart.

On Saturday night, Ward had crashed following a bump with Stewart in the sprint car race in Canandaigua, New York. Video showed Ward walking from his crashed car onto the racing surface as cars circled by, and, as he gestured at Stewart's passing car, the 20-year-old was struck.

Ward's website said he began racing go-karts in 1998 at age 4, but didn't start driving sprint cars until 2010. The 20-year-old from Port Leyden, New York, was Empire Super Sprint rookie of the year in 2012 and this year was his fifth season racing the Empire Super Sprints.

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) -- Tony Stewart will not race Sunday following the death of a sprint car driver who was struck and killed by Stewart at an upstate New York dirt track.Greg Zipadelli, competition director for Stewart-Haas Racing, said the three-time NASCAR champion "feels strongly" he should not race at Watkins Glen following Kevin Ward Jr.'s fatal accident.

Regan Smith will replace Stewart in the car.

Ward had climbed from his car on the darkened dirt track and was trying to confront Stewart when he was struck Saturday night.

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CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) -- A manager for NASCAR driver Tony Stewart's racing team says Stewart will race in an event Sunday in upstate New York.The decision comes hours after Stewart struck and killed a driver who was walking on a dirt track during a race on Saturday night.

A video of the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park showed driver Kevin Ward Jr. stepping toward Stewart's car before being hit and hurtled 50 feet. It appeared Ward was trying to confront Stewart when he was struck.

Team manager Greg Zipadelli says Stewart will race in NASCAR's event Sunday at Watkins Glen, calling the race "business as usual."

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