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Family of driver killed when struck by Tony Stewart asks for 'time to grieve'

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ADDS MANDATORY CREDIT - This July 5, 2014 photo provided by Empire Super Sprints, Inc., shows sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr., in the vicotry lane with his car at the Fulton Speedway in Fulton, N.Y. Ward was killed Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Central Square, N.Y., when the car being driven by Tony Stewart struck the 20-year-old who had climbed from his crashed car and was on the darkened dirt track trying to confront Stewart following a bump with Stewart one lap earlier. (AP Photo/Empire Super Sprints, Inc.)

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ADDS MANDATORY CREDIT - This July 5, 2014 photo provided by Empire Super Sprints, Inc., shows sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr., in the vicotry lane with his car at the Fulton Speedway in Fulton, N.Y. Ward was killed Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Central Square, N.Y., when the car being driven by Tony Stewart struck the 20-year-old who had climbed from his crashed car and was on the darkened dirt track trying to confront Stewart following a bump with Stewart one lap earlier. (AP Photo/Empire Super Sprints, Inc.)

Kevin Ward Jr.'s family says it "appreciates all the prayer and support" but that members "would like time to grieve" a day after Ward was killed on a racetrack when he was hit by a car driven by NASCAR star Tony Stewart.

On Saturday night, Ward had crashed following a bump with Stewart in the sprint car race in Canandaigua, New York. Video showed Ward walking from his crashed car onto the racing surface as cars circled by, and, as he gestured at Stewart's passing car, the 20-year-old was struck.

Ward's website said he began racing go-karts in 1998 at age 4, but didn't start driving sprint cars until 2010. The 20-year-old from Port Leyden, New York, was Empire Super Sprint rookie of the year in 2012 and this year was his fifth season racing the Empire Super Sprints.

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