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.”********
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.
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."