Skip to content

Driver who witnessed tragedy: Tony Stewart ‘did everything in his power … to avoid (Kevin Ward Jr.)’

Aug 13, 2014, 3:33 PM EST

Lost in all the resulting fallout of the Tony Stewart – Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy is a report by a fellow driver who was also in Saturday night’s fateful race field and witnessed the incident.

“From what I saw, Tony did everything in his power to turn down away from Kevin to avoid him,” sprint car driver Cory Sparks told Rochester.twc.news.com.

Sparks was a few cars behind Stewart on the racetrack but had a clear field of vision of what occurred, and said that videos that have been made public do not tell the whole story.

“People say that they heard the engine rev up and he gassed it,” Sparks said of Stewart. “In a sprint car, the only way to steer is you steer with the rear wheels as much as you do the steering wheel. In my opinion, what he did was he (Stewart) gassed it to turn down away from him (Ward).”

[ MORE: Kevin Ward’s father speaks out, questions Tony Stewart ]

Sparks also confirmed the belief of many that Stewart’s vision may have been limited and that Stewart likely did not see Ward until it was too late.

“Kevin was wearing all-black,” Sparks said. “A black fire suit, a black helmet, which in normal situations isn’t a big deal, they are to go with the colors of your car. It was tragic accident and a mistake was made.”

Although Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip Povero has said his investigators have spoken to other racers, it was unclear from the Rochester.twcnews.com story if Sparks has been questioned yet by investigators about what he saw unfold on the racetrack.

[ MORE: Dan Patrick on Tony Stewart: “I want to know that this bothers him” (VIDEO) ]

“I think that the biggest thing is to remember Kevin Ward as a great race car driver, not a victim of Tony Stewart,” Sparks said.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Latest Posts
  1. McLaren reveals Honda-powered MP4-30 for 2015 F1 season

    Jan 29, 2015, 7:16 AM EST

    © McLaren © McLaren

    Team reveals a slick new look car in an online launch ahead of the 2015 season.

  2. NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton partakes in Twitter Q&A

    Jan 28, 2015, 9:34 PM EST

    Jeff Burton AP

    NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton reaches out to fans during an impromptu Twitter Q&A.

  3. Hinchcliffe on Mazda’s year-on-year growth: “It’s night and day”

    Jan 28, 2015, 7:30 PM EST

    HinchMazda AP

    IndyCar’s James Hinchcliffe raves about the year-on-year improvements by the SpeedSource Mazda program.

  4. Cindric on Barnhart: “We need somebody we know”

    Jan 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EST

    TimCindric2 Getty Images

    Team Penske’s Tim Cindric discusses the “known quantity” of Brian Barnhart.

  5. RCR names two female drivers to development program, including daughter of Wally Dallenbach Jr.

    Jan 28, 2015, 5:54 PM EST

    Kate Dallenbach (photo courtesy Richard Childress Racing) Kate Dallenbach (photo courtesy Richard Childress Racing)

    Richard Childress Racing announced it has added two female drivers to its driver development program, including the daughter of driver-turned-broadcaster Wally Dallenbach Jr.

  6. A day in the life: Check out how CFHR’s Josef Newgarden spends a typical offseason day (VIDEO)

    Jan 28, 2015, 5:15 PM EST

    newgardenpost Getty Images

    Take a look at a day in the life of Verizon IndyCar Series driver Josef Newgarden during the offseason.

  7. Brad Keselowski: Hard to believe it’s his sixth season with Penske already

    Jan 28, 2015, 5:00 PM EST

    keselowski las vegas 2014 Getty Images

    Although he’s looking ahead to the 2015 season, Brad Keselowski did a bit of reminiscing Wednesday.

  8. NASCAR: Joey Logano talks about Penske camaraderie – and his lost wedding ring

    Jan 28, 2015, 4:30 PM EST

    GoBowling.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    After breakout 2014, Logano looks ahead to an even better third year with Team Penske.

  9. IndyCar preseason driver meetings almost a “Where’s Waldo” in finding drivers currently rideless

    Jan 28, 2015, 4:15 PM EST

    IndyCarSillyRd1 Getty Images

    IndyCar’s preseason driver meeting just might reveal some clues about who could fill the remaining seats left for 2015.

  10. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA’s Media Tour coverage continues at 4:30 p.m. ET

    Jan 28, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    NASCAR Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour  - Day 3 Getty Images

    Coming up: Interviews with the drivers of Roush Fenway Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Team Penske. Plus, a look back on a shocking upset at the 1990 Daytona 500.

  11. Johanna Long to run select Xfinity, Truck races for new team in 2015

    Jan 28, 2015, 3:29 PM EST

    johanna long Getty Images

    After being sidelined in 2014, Johanna Long will drive a number of races for a new race team in both the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series in 2015.

  12. Leavine Family Racing: There may be no ‘I’ in team, but there’s a lot of family in it

    Jan 28, 2015, 3:15 PM EST

    Michael McDowell is looking for an even better season in 2015 as he enters his second year with Leavine Family Racing. Getty Images

    While a small, one-car team that makes just over half the races of the season, there’s a lot of heart and motivation in the family oriented Leavine Family Racing team.

  13. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson recovering from mild stroke

    Jan 28, 2015, 3:06 PM EST

    Brandon Davis, David Pearson Brandon Davis, David Pearson

    A family release issued Wednesday through NASCAR’s communications department said Pearson suffered the stroke Dec. 9 “but is doing great and well on the road to recovery.”

  14. Brian Barnhart returns as IndyCar’s new race director

    Jan 28, 2015, 3:00 PM EST

    BarnhartGetty Getty Images

    Former IndyCar race director Brian Barnhart will return to his old role for 2015.

  15. NASCAR: Wood Bros. plan expanded 18-race Cup schedule for Ryan Blaney (VIDEO)

    Jan 28, 2015, 2:45 PM EST

    Ford EcoBoost 200 Getty Images

    Six more events “tentatively” added to the Wood Brothers’ 65th anniversary season.

  16. LeBron James’ agent involved in Darrell Wallace Jr.’s hunt for sponsorship

    Jan 28, 2015, 2:31 PM EST

    LeBron James LeBron James

    Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark said the team set up a meeting for Wallace with Maverick Carter, the agent who oversees much of James’ business empire.

  17. Richard Petty Motorsports seeks sponsorship for 26 races for Hornish

    Jan 28, 2015, 1:12 PM EST

    Sam Hornish Jr Sam Hornish Jr

    Richard Petty Motorsports seeks sponsorship for 26 races for Sam Hornish Jr.’s team this season.

  18. F1: Red Bull’s Horner confident that RB11 will be ready for Jerez test (VIDEO)

    Jan 28, 2015, 1:02 PM EST

    Christian Horner AP

    Horner also speaks with NBCSN’s Will Buxton about efforts from the team’s engine manufacturer, Renault, to ensure a much smoother start to 2015.

  19. F1: Force India will skip first preseason test in Jerez

    Jan 28, 2015, 12:33 PM EST

    Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg AP

    Force India opts to concentrate on getting its new 2015 car ready for the second preseason test at Barcelona.

  20. Hornish fitting in quite well with Richard Petty Motorsports

    Jan 28, 2015, 12:15 PM EST

    hornish AP

    Sam Hornish is fitting in quite nicely in his new role with Richard Petty Motorsports.

Video from NASCAR America

Why 2015 is a big year for Danica
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1911)
  2. J. Clements (1426)
  3. K. Schrader (1400)
  4. K. Grala (1300)
  5. M. Waltrip (1276)
  1. M. Lira (1264)
  2. K. Larson (1241)
  3. R. Hornaday Jr. (1199)
  4. B. Vickers (1107)
  5. J. McMurray (1067)