Monday, January 22, 2018
Sports

Tony Stewart crash probe focuses on lighting, track

PORT LEYDEN, N.Y. — Kevin Ward Jr. was crafting a reputation as a wheelman, the kind of driver who could race vehicles on any track without fear.

He would sit up on his seat, floor it and zip through a maze of cars straight toward the front of the pack.

For points. For fun. Often for little money.

"He would go to tracks that a lot of other drivers wouldn't go to," Chuck Miller, race director and president for the Empire Super Sprints circuit, said Monday. "If we had co-sanctioned races with other organizations where we really weren't giving points or anything, but it was a deal where you wanted to see how you stacked up against the other competition, the Wards were willing to go and do that and see where they were at."

Ward, 20, was killed Saturday night about 140 miles away in a sprint car at a clay track in Canandaigua, N.Y. NASCAR champion Tony Stewart was the big name in the Empire Super Sprint series field, while he was in the area for a Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen the next day.

Ward and Stewart tangled, and Ward's car hit the wall. Ward got out of his car, walked on the track, apparently to confront Stewart, and was struck when Stewart's car seemed to fishtail.

On Monday, several cars were parked in front of the Ward home in Port Leyden. Helen McHale has lived across the street for 30 years and remembers hearing the noise when Ward raced go-carts. Kevin Ward Sr. runs a successful painting business.

"His dad goes to every race," she said. "He's a good kid, polite, big smile, and they're a good family."

Now that family is dealing with Ward's loss, as the police investigation continued.

Ward died of blunt force trauma, the autopsy showed, Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip Povero said Monday. Povero said authorities questioned Stewart, 43, on Saturday and again Sunday in Watkins Glen. "At this time, there are no facts that exist that support any criminal behavior or conduct, or that any probable cause of a criminal act, in this investigation," he said.

Povero said Monday that there were no plans "at this time" to talk to him again and that there was no timetable to complete the investigation.

Meanwhile Stewart, who withdrew from Sunday's Sprint Cup race, also pulled out of a scheduled sprint car appearance this Saturday in Plymouth, Ind., his home state. Mike Arning, a spokesman for the Stewart-Haas NASCAR team, which Stewart co-owns, said Stewart has not yet decided if he will drive in this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

"I don't want Kevin Ward to be remembered as a victim in a Tony Stewart accident," said Cory Sparks, Ward's friend and sprint car rival who was also in Saturday's race. "He definitely had a future in this sport. He was a very aggressive driver. He was one hell of wheelman."

Comments
Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

PHILADELPHIA — Not even a coat of Crisco on light poles across the city could keep Philadelphia Eagles fans from scaling new heights in celebrating their team’s first Super Bowl appearance in 13 years and setting up a rematch with the AFC champion N...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pats’ Eric Lee the latest former Bull to reach Super Bowl

Pats’ Eric Lee the latest former Bull to reach Super Bowl

Former Bulls DE Eric Lee has joined one of the more elite fraternities in USF football lore.Lee, who had three tackles for the Patriots in Sunday's AFC Championship Game, becomes the 11th Bulls player to reach a Super Bowl. He's among only eight to r...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Super Bowl LII preview: First look at New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Super Bowl LII preview: First look at New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Remember when the Bills were 3-1 and in first place in the AFC East? And when the Patriots were 2-2 and allowing 32 points per game? Weird, right?The Bills part, yes. The Patriots part, no.New England had done that before. Four other times in the Bil...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

Eagles blow out Vikings to win NFC title

PHILADELPHIA — Confetti filled the air, fireworks erupted overhead, and fans sang "Fly, Eagles Fly!" No one dared head for the exits. There was too much to celebrate.The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.The makeshift podium hadn’t taken space on Ph...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Patriots rally past Jaguars to return to Super Bowl

Updated: 8 hours ago
Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

CHICAGO — It didn’t take the sound of a door slamming in the visitor’s dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay believed it had worked hard against the Wild — at least, harder than it did in Thursday’s letharg...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best coverageThe best football broadcast I’ve ever seen was Super Bowl XLIII. That was NBC’s coverage of the Steelers’ last-minute victory over th...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Sports in brief

Sports in brief

hockeyU.s. men’s olympic Gm, key program builder dies suddenlyLongtime USA Hockey executive and U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team general manager Jim Johannson died unexpectedly Sunday at age 53, shocking the sport less than three weeks before the start...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Healthy Keys back in Aussie quarters

Healthy Keys back in Aussie quarters

MELBOURNE, Australia — Madison Keys continued her strong run through the Australian Open draw, returning to the quarterfinals here for the first time in three years with today’s 6-3, 6-2 win over Caroline Garcia.The U.S. Open finalist is yet to drop ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballNorth Carolina at Virginia Tech7 p.m.ESPNOhio State at Maryland7 p.m.ESPN2Iowa State at Texas7 p.m.ESPNUMaryland at Indiana7 p.m.FS1Holy Cross at American7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: LSU at Texas A&M7 p.m.SECNebraska at Ohio State8 p.m.Bi...
Updated: 9 hours ago