Local race drivers react to deadly race accident in NY

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The tragic crash during a race in upstate New York is a hot topic in racing communities around the country, including right here in Houston.

Sundays at the race track are supposed to be all about fun and carefree, but that wasn't the case on Sunday.

"iIt's been a hot topic here at the race track all day," said Seth Angel with Royal Purple Raceway.

The crash involving NASCAR legend Tony Stewart and the death of young racer Kevin Ward, Jr., may have happened thousands of miles away, but the drivers that use Royal Purple Race have watched the gut-wrenching video. They are wondering what happened on that track? Who's to blame?

Barton Nelson's first reaction isn't anger toward Stewart.

"I can't imagine him doing anything intentional like that," said Nelson. "I would have to say he just didn't see the man on the track. Accidents happen."

In fact, all the drivers we spoke to seemed to agree -- getting out of a race car on a race track is always dangerous.

"My opinion really is the other driver shouldn't have gotten out of his car," said driver Stephen Hughes. "You never get out of your car on a hot track unless a safety crew tells you to get out of your car or if you're on fire."

There is of course, a full investigation underway. Ward's death is a tragedy no matter what the finding and a sobering lesson for everyone in racing, that the most exciting elements of the sport can also be the most deadly.

"The sport feeds off emotion, feeds off rivalry. I think what happened, certainly evolved from emotions of that moment," said Angel.

The family of Kevin Ward, Jr. issued a statement Sunday, thanking fans for their support. They also asked for privacy.
Related topics:
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.