Tony Stewart is nowhere to be found less than a week after the three-time NASCAR champ fatally struck 20-year-old racer Kevin Ward Jr. with his race car on a New York dirt track Saturday, RadarOnline.com has learned.
“It was only here 10 or 15 minutes,” Payne told the outlet, adding that while he wasn’t sure if the driver was on board, “he certainly did not get off.”
The racer’s rep Mike Arning said that the 43-year-old race car driver has been “staying with friends” in the wake of the incident, adding that Stewart “still has made no decision on when to return to racing” following the incident, which remains under investigation in upstate New York. (Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero confirmed that Stewart has been cooperative with officials, so far.)
The probe could potentially take months, as police continue to interview witnesses, gather for any videos taken and survey the lighting conditions at New York’s Canandaigua Motorsports Park, where the young racer was hit.
Ward Jr., whose autopsy revealed he died of massive blunt trauma, was laid to rest Wednesday at Boonville, New York’s Trainor Funeral Home, where a litany of pace cars were parked outside in memory of the felled young driver.
As we previously reported, in a fan video of the deadly run-in, Ward’s #13 vehicle was swiped by Stewart’s #14. After that, an irate Ward exited his car and began stomping on the track, pointing at Stewart’s car; when he approached closely, Stewart’s car fishtailed and struck Ward, dragging his body onto the track.