Drivers react via social media to Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward incident

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The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is currently preparing for this afternoon’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International, but for many in the sport, their thoughts right now are with the family of Kevin Ward Jr.

The 20-year-old sprint car driver was killed last night in a sprint car incident that involved three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart.

Earlier this morning, Stewart Haas Racing competition director Greg Zipadelli announced that Stewart would not compete in today’s race and that Nationwide driver Regan Smith would take his place in the No. 14 SHR Chevrolet.

Many drivers throughout NASCAR have used social media this morning to react to the sad situation, including Cup superstars Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Here are some of the posts…

JIMMIE JOHNSON

DALE EARNHARDT JR.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (Sprint Cup team owner and part-time driver)

ELLIOTT SADLER (Nationwide Series driver)

ERIC McCLURE (Nationwide Series driver)

BEN KENNEDY (Camping World Truck Series driver)

DANIEL SUAREZ (K&N Pro Series East/Toyota Mexico Series)

Meanwhile at the Glen, the No. 14 team is carrying on with their duties leading up to today’s green flag. About a half an hour ago, Jeff Gluck of USA Today shot this Vine of the scene in the SHR garage as they prepared for Smith’s arrival.

ESPN has since shown video of Smith and team owner Rick Hendrick arriving at the track via helicopter shortly before Noon ET in its pre-race telecast.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”