Stewart Undecided On Michigan NASCAR Plans
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on August 11, 2014 | 2:32 P.M. EST
Tony Stewart has not made a decision on his Michigan plans for this weekend but has canceled "extra-curricular racing plans" until further notice. (Photo: Getty Images)
Tony Stewart has not decided if to compete in this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway but has canceled plans to run his sprint car until further notice, according to a team spokesperson.
“The decision to compete in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan will be Tony's, and he will have as much time as he needs to make that decision,’’ said Mike Arning, spokesperson for Stewart. “It is still an emotional time for all involved, Tony included. He is grieving, and grief doesn't have a timetable.’’
Arning confirmed that Stewart had “some extra-curricular racing plans for this weekend, but those have been canceled and won't resume until further notice.’’
Stewart was scheduled to compete in a sprint car race Saturday at Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway, but the track confirmed on its website that Stewart won’t be competing.
Stewart has not raced since he was involved in a fatal accident last weekend at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Stewart did not compete in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International. Regan Smith drove Stewart's car. Stewart is listed in the preliminary entry list for this weekend's Cup race at Michigan but those are sent to NASCAR days ahead of time and can be changed if needed.
Kevin Ward Jr., 20, was killed when he was hit by Stewart’s car at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The two had been racing together when Ward’s car bounced off the wall and spun. He exited his car and walked down the track, gesturing toward Stewart’s car before being struck. Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said in a press conference Sunday that there has been no evidence of criminal intent discovered in the on-going investigation.
Jeremie Corcoran, promoter of Canandaigua Motorsports Park posted a statement on the track’s Facebook site.
“I am extremely devastated from the tragic incident that occurred at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday night as I know are many, many, others.
“First and foremost I offer my sincerest and deepest condolences to the Ward family. Kevin Ward Jr was a spirited competitor and loved by so many. This is a tremendous loss to this family and the racing family as well. I have spoken to the family and they spent prayer time at the track Sunday in the early morning hours. Godspeed #13!
“To all the fans that witnessed this incident I have you in my thoughts. This has been difficult to process and it surely is not what you come to the races for. I do ask that you hold on to your integrity and have compassion for everyone that was involved in this. I understand that we all can have opinions and have the right to express them, I just ask that you think about all the lives that have been affected over this before you speak out. So many people are affected. So many are hurting. No one deserves more pain or blame. We need unity to support all that are hurting and the sport of racing we care so much about. That is the only way for us to heal and move forward.’’
Details for Ward’s service have been announced. Calling hours will be from 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at Trainor Funeral Home in Boonville, N.Y. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday. Cards and letters can be sent to the Ward Family at 3501 Kelpytown Rd., Port Leyden,NY 13433.