NASCAR’s Tony Stewart hits, kills driver at dirt-track race in New York

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[FILE] Tony Stewart drives the #14 Office Depot car during Sprint Cup Series practice at Talladega Superspeedway May 4th, 2014.

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed another driver who was walking on a track during a dirt-track race in upstate New York, authorities said early Sunday.

The incident occurred Saturday night at the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park. One of the sprint cars hit the wall during lap 14 of a 25-lap race, Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero said.

A video of the incident shows the driver of the crashed car out of his vehicle, walking on the track toward the race cars, which had slowed for a yellow flag. The driver points a finger and appears to be yelling. One car swerves to avoid the driver on the track.

Tony Stewart is scheduled to drive today in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International raceway.

Stewart’s car passes close to the driver, and it appears that its right rear tire hits the driver.

An ambulance took the driver to a hospital, but he died before it arrived, Povero told reporters.

“Stewart has fully cooperated” with an investigation, Povero said. “He acknowledges the collision with the driver.”

Authorities declined to name the victim, but Tyler Graves, a witness at the track, said it was his friend, Kevin Ward.

Stewart’s spokesman said they are trying to sort out the details.

“A tragic accident took place last night during a sprint car race in which Tony Stewart was participating,” Mike Arning said. “Tony was unhurt, but a fellow competitor lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Stewart is a three-time champion in NASCAR’s top division. Canandaigua Motorsports Park is about a two-hour drive from Watkins Glen International race track, where Stewart is scheduled to race in a NASCAR event Sunday.

An investigation is under way.