Tony Stewart out of another race

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Tony Stewart, who didn't compete in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race after he struck and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a race the night before, also pulled out of an upcoming dirt track race in Plymouth, Indiana.

"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. More information on the weekend's racing will be announced this week," the track said in the statement.

There was no immediate decision if Stewart would drive in this weekend's NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway.

Stewart "will have as much time as he needs to make that decision,'' spokesman Mike Arning said Monday. "It is still an emotional time for all involved, Tony included. He is grieving, and grief doesn't have a timetable.''

Ward was struck Saturday after he climbed from his car and was on the track trying to confront Stewart during a race in upstate New York. Ward, 20, was pronounced dead Saturday night at a hospital in Canandaigua.

Stewart is not currently under criminal investigation, but Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said on Monday that the investigation remains open. He said that there are "no facts that exist that support any criminal behavior or conduct or any probable cause of a criminal act" in the investigation.

Povero said the Ontario County Medical Examiner's office ruled Ward's cause of death as massive blunt trauma, but no further information was released regarding the autopsy.

Authorities talked to the three-time NASCAR champion Saturday night, and again Sunday, concerning the death of a fellow driver during a dirt-track sprint-car race. Povero said Monday there were no plans "at this time'' to talk to him again.

There is no timetable to complete the investigation.

A video of the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park showed Ward, wearing a black helmet and firesuit on a dimly lit track, walking toward Stewart's car before being hit and hurtled 50 feet. Povero said the 25-lap race was under caution when Ward was struck. Stewart's car was behind another before he hit Ward.

The accident came just four days after the one-year anniversary of an accident in a sprint car race in Iowa in which Stewart suffered a compound fracture to his right leg. The injury cost him the second half of the NASCAR season.

The Canandaigua track, about 30 miles southeast of Rochester, canceled the remainder of Saturday's race within five minutes and later posted a message on its Facebook page encouraging fans to "pray for the entire racing community of fans, drivers, and families."

The track also canceled Wednesday's race. Track promoter Jeremie Corcoran said he was "devastated" by the incident in a statement released Monday.

"I have made the decision to cancel our upcoming 'Whacko Wednesday' event on Wednesday August 13th at Canandaigua Motorsports Park to give my family, staff, fans, and racing teams time to grieve and process all that has occurred," Corcoran continued in the statement. "I will let everyone know about next weekend as soon as I can."

Stewart, who was unhurt in the accident, released a statement Sunday afternoon.

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