Funeral services set for sprint car’s Ward, who died Saturday after incident with Stewart

Funeral services have been set for sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. 

Kevin Ward Jr., the 20-year-old sprint car driver who was killed Saturday night when he was struck by Tony Stewart, will be buried on Thursday.

According to information posted on the website of the Empire Sprint Series, the series in which he raced, Ward’s funeral service will take place at the Trainor Funeral Home, 143 Schuyler Street, Boonville, NY. Visitation is scheduled for Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. ET, with the funeral Thursday at 11 a.m.

"The family wants to see the biggest turn out there ever," said the ESS website. "They are very proud of Kevin Jr. Cards and letters can be sent to the Ward Family at 3501 Kelpytown Rd., Port Leyden, NY 13433."

Ward died during a sprint car race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park Saturday night. Ward and Stewart crashed in the race and under caution Ward got out of his car and walked toward Stewart’s car, gesturing at the three-time NASCAR champion. As Stewart’s car approached Ward, Stewart appeared to gun his throttle and his right-rear wheel hit Ward, who was thrown into the air and died as a result of the contact.

Local authorities have said no criminal charges are currently planned as a result of the accident.

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Stewart skipped Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen, N.Y., where he was replaced by Regan Smith.

Stewart issued a statement Sunday about Ward’s death. It read, "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."

Ward’s family also issued a statement, saying, "We appreciate the prayers and support we are receiving from the community, but we need time to grieve and wrap our heads around all of this."