As probe begins, Stewart steps away from the track

JOHN WAWROW DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writers Published:

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. -- The collision was as common as any in racing. Kevin Ward Jr.'s car spun twice like a top, wheels hugging the wall, before it plopped backward on the dimly lit dirt track.

In a sport steeped with bravado, what happened next was another familiar, but treacherous, move: Wearing a black firesuit and black helmet, the 20-year-old Ward unbuckled himself, climbed out of the winged car into the night and defiantly walked onto the track at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

He gestured, making his disgust evident with the driver who triggered the wreck with a bump: three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.

Ward, a relative unknown compared to NASCAR's noted swashbuckler, was nearly hit by another passing car as he pointed with his right arm in Stewart's direction. As he confronted Stewart in his passing car, disaster struck.

Ward was standing to the right of Stewart's familiar No. 14 car, which seemed to fishtail from the rear and hit him. According to video and witness accounts, Ward's body was sucked underneath the car and hurtled through the air before landing on his back as fans looked on in horror.

On Sunday, Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said that investigators also don't have any evidence at this point in the investigation to support criminal intent. But he also said that criminal charges have not been ruled out.

• Tennis

Beats Federer: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the Rogers Cup on Sunday, beating second-seeded Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (3) for his fourth straight victory over a higher-seeded opponent.

The 13th-seeded Frenchman won his first ATP Tour title of the season and 11th overall. He beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic on Thursday, eighth-seeded Andy Murray on Friday and seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday.

Takes Rogers Cup: Agnieszka Radwanska beat Venus Williams 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday to win the Rogers Cup title.

The third-seeded Radwanska, the first Rogers Cup champion from Poland, picked up her first tournament victory of the year and the $441,000 winner's prize. The 34-year-old Williams earned $220,000.

• Football

Bennett back: A contrite Martellus Bennett returned from suspension Sunday to practice with the Chicago Bears.

Bennett was suspended and fined an undisclosed amount by the team for slamming cornerback Kyle Fuller to the turf after Fuller had knocked him to the ground in a non-tackling scrimmage.

Lions beat Browns: Johnny Manziel showed off some of his fancy footwork, and the Cleveland rookie looked sharp with his arm too in his preseason debut, although the Browns lost to the Detroit Lions 13-12 on Saturday night.

Manziel entered the game as a backup in the middle of the second quarter, and although he couldn't take his team to the end zone, he did go 7 of 11 for 63 yards, completing one more pass than starting quarterback Brian Hoyer. Manziel also ran for 27 yards on six carries, including a 16-yard scramble in the third quarter.

Matthew Stafford led the Lions to a field goal on his only drive of the game. Star receiver Calvin Johnson didn't play.

QB battle: The Cleveland Browns' quarterback derby is heading down the homestretch.

Coach Mike Pettine said Sunday he plans to name his starting quarterback shortly after the team's Aug. 18 preseason game in Washington.

• Elsewhere

Allmendinger first: AJ Allmendinger beat Marcos Ambrose on a two-lap dash to the finish to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International on a somber Sunday.

Three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart pulled out of the race 12 hours after he struck and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr., who had climbed from his car during a dirt-track race in nearby Canandaigua, New York.

Lee wins: Mirim Lee won the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour victory, beating fellow South Korean player Inbee Park.

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