ELKO, Minn. – Tony Stewart is no stranger to Minnesota racetracks.
In fact, he has a fan in Elko race car driver Scott King, who says he has a picture hanging in his basement taken with Stewart at the Elko Speedway.
King was among those struggling with news of what happened on Saturday at a sprint car race in New York. Stewart struck and killed another driver after the driver got out of his car to confront Stewart after following the crash.
Track officials said that everyone in racing is fully aware of its dangers.
"If you look at the wall right now you can see all the rubber marks on it," said Duane Fredrickson, marketing director of Elko Speedway. "(Crashes) happen every night, multiple times a night."
Following the incident, Stewart did not participate in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup event.
"They know he's a very competitive person, but they also know he's a very classy guy too," said Fredrickson.
He says Stewart has always been gracious to fans and popular with local racers. For Fredrickson, it makes the video of the incident that much harder to watch.
"Hard to say if he knew he was there or not. I don't know. I wasn't in the driver's seat," he said.
Fredrickson says it's not uncommon for a driver to get out of their car first thing after a crash because fire is the first thing they are worried about.
He says one thing is for sure, Sunday was a sad day for all race fans.