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NASCAR star Tony Stewart issued a statement Sunday afternoon about the death of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr.

Ward Jr., a 20-year-old race car driver, was killed Saturday night after he was struck on the track by Stewart.

"There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. It's a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I've decided not to participate in today's race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."

MORE: Stewart not racing at Watkins Glen

During a sprint car race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park on Saturday night, Ward was spun out by Stewart, got out of his car to show his displeasure and then was struck by Stewart's car, sending Ward sliding down the track, fellow sprint car racer Tyler Graves and witness Adam Dulski told USA TODAY Sports.

PHOTOS: Tony Stewart through the years

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