WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Tony Stewart says "there aren't words" to describe his sadness over the collision that killed Kevin Ward Jr.

In a statement released by spokesman Mike Arning, Stewart says "my thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."

The three-time NASCAR champion struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. with his car on Saturday night as Ward walked toward it following contact between the two during their race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

The full text of the statement 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."

Tony Stewart pulled out of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race after the car he was driving on a New York dirt track struck and killed fellow sprint car
Tony Stewart pulled out of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race after the car he was driving on a New York dirt track struck and killed fellow sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. Saturday night. (Mick McCarn — The Associated Press)

Stewart's team had said earlier Sunday that Stewart would be behind the wheel of his No. 14 Chevrolet when the green flag waved. Regan Smith drove Stewart's car instead.



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