sport

Police: No Stewart intent

NASCAR champion Tony Stewart demonstrated “no criminal behaviour” during an incident in which he accidentally struck and killed a fellow driver, US police have ruled.

A police probe will continue into the incident in a sprint car race, which saw Stewart hit Kevin Ward Jr., 20, after he had climbed from his car to confront the 43-year-old on a poorly-lit Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York State.

"At this time there are no facts that exist that support any criminal behaviour or conduct or that any probable cause of a criminal act in this investigation," said Ontario County Sheriff spokesman Philip Povero.

Povero revealed that Stewart and several others who witnessed the incident had been interviewed and the American driver, who was unhurt, has been cooperative.

He added that they are looking for more video footage of the crash as part of their ongoing investigation.

"We are seeking persons outside that are familiar with racing that can help us review and analyze these tapes to hopefully fully understand the crash," he said.

Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Stewart was competing in the separate touring Empire Super Sprints series when the accident happened.

He has subsequently withdrawn from a second non-NASCAR race on Saturday in Plymouth, Indiana.

Race officials said: "We at Plymouth Speedway extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of Kevin Ward, Jr. and thoughts and prayers to Tony Stewart and his family. Tony Stewart will NOT be racing at Plymouth Speedway this Saturday.\"

There is no word yet from Stewart's team, Stewart-Haas Racing, on whether the driver will compete in a NASCAR race at the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.