Until today, not many had heard of Kevin Ward Jr., a 20 year old Port Leyden native who's been racing since he was four. The tragic news of Ward's death at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, has everyone saying his name.

Ward Jr. was killed when he was struck by Tony Stewart's car during a dirt race. Ward got out of his car on the track and died less than an hour after being hit. Flowers lay next to the front entrance of the Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The focus has been on Stewart and not on the man who's been racing since he was a kid.

Racing has been in Ward's blood for years.  His first race was in 1998, on a go-kart track, at the age of four.  Ward came in second and went on to 'win 6 track championships and roughly 250 feature wins in only 8 years of Go Kart racing,' according to his bio at JeffWardRacing.com.

Ward transitioned from Go-Kart racing and found victory lane in his very first Micro Sprint race. He went on to score six more victories that year, and finished second overall in points in 2007.

In 2012 Ward was named Empire Super Sprint Rookie of the Year.

Ward's most memorable moment came in 2011 when he won his first career Sprint Car feature win at Autodrome Drummond.

Despite his love of racing, Ward loved his fans even more.

As the investigation into the tragedy continues, it's important to remember Ward in life, not in death and focus on the good, not the bad.

May he rest in peace.

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