Port Leyden, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Kevin Ward Sr. wants his son Kevin Jr. remembered as a talented driver who loved tinkering with engines and a good laugh and not with the collision that killed him.
“He was just a very God-gifted kid,” Ward Sr. said. “I think he slept with a smile on his face.”
The elder Ward recalled that from the time he was a toddler, Kevin Jr. loved driving fast. He was going on four years old when his dad bought him a little kart to drive around on a homemade track .
Over the years, Kevin Jr. earned around 350 trophies, some displayed on a 40-foot-long wall in the family’s garage.
At age 12, Kevin Jr. graduated to micro sprint cars, running against grownups and winning right away.
By the time Kevin was 14, he began racing 360 sprint cars, which can hit 130 mph in the straightaways. “It was like he’d been driving the damn thing since he was five,” Ward Sr. said.
He added that his son was quick with a laugh, too.
“Friends all talk about how he can bring a smile to their face,” the father said.
Ward Sr. and his wife Pamela were at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park Saturday when Kevin jr., 20, angrily stepped out of the No. 13 car in an Empire Super Sprint race.
NASCAR star Tony Stewart had pushed Kevin Jr.’s vehicle up the track’s wall.
Kevin Jr. walked along the track as if to confront Stewart, and got hit by the latter.
The crash is controversial and the Ontario County sheriff’s deputies are gathering video and evidence, and taking statements from witnesses about his Kevin Jr.’s actions and Stewart’s driving.