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Lawsuit Against NASCAR's Tony Stewart Could Be Headed To Rochester

A wrongful death lawsuit against NASCAR driver Tony Stewart could be headed to Rochester.

According to ESPN, Stewart’s lawyers are requesting that the case filed by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. be moved from federal court in Utica (which is the court that covers the Ward family hometown of Port Leyden), to the federal court in Rochester, which covers the area of Canandaigua Motorsports Park, where Ward was killed.

ESPN reports that a lawyer for Stewart stated in a motion filed late last week that the Rochester court is much closer to the police, detectives and coroner who worked the initial investigation into Ward’s death, as well as track personnel.

An Ontario county grand jury cleared Stewart of any criminal wrongdoing in the incident where Ward was struck by Stewart’s car on the tracetrack a year ago in August. Ward had gotten out of his race car following an accident.

In court papers, Stewart contends he didn’t see Ward until just before his car struck Ward.

The family says Stewart failed to steer clear of Ward and hit the gas which led to Ward’s death.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.