Calling hours, funeral set for sprint car racer Kevin Ward Jr.

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The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle is now reporting that calling hours for fallen sprint car racer Kevin Ward Jr. will be on Wednesday and a funeral is set for Thursday.

According to the paper, visitation will be held on Wednesday afternoon and evening at the Trainor Funeral Home in Boonville, New York.

Ward’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. local time on Thursday. However, funeral director Carl Trainor told the paper that because his funeral home isn’t large enough to hold the expected crowd, a venue for the funeral has yet to be finalized.

The paper’s report notes that they’re hoping to find a larger location “for mourners and vehicles” close to Ward’s hometown of Port Leyden, New York.

Ward, 20, a five-year veteran of the Empire Super Sprints series, lost his life on Saturday night when he was struck by the car of NASCAR star Tony Stewart during a sprint car race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.

As of now, the investigation remains ongoing, and on Sunday, Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip Povero said that at this time, there is no evidence to suggest criminal intent from Stewart or any party involved in the accident.

Ward’s tragic death has shook the town of Port Leyden and surrounding communities as well.

“It’s tough; it will be tough here for a while,” local resident Randy Mooney said Sunday to the D&C. “Kevin hung out with the kids his age, he went swimming with the kids.”

Another local, Don Gydesen, added: “Everybody feels awful bad. Everybody around here knows Kevin.”

Earlier today, CMP announced that it was canceling its slate of races for Wednesday in the wake of the accident.

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.