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Remembering Kevin Ward, Jr.
Lyons Falls, NY Kevin Ward, Jr. Started driving go-karts when he was just 4-years-old.
This is the part when we were saying his helmet was bigger than he was, said Steven Mooney, a longtime friend of the Ward family, as he showed us a picture of Ward Jr. Racing when he was about 5-years-old.
Mooney brought us into Ward Jr.s fathers garage in Lyons Falls, Lewis County.
The walls are full of memories, photos of Ward Jr. and Sr. racing, and Ward Jr. with his three sisters. Memorabilia also hangs from the walls, like Wards first go-kart.
Junior used to run that thing round 6, 7, and 8 years old, said Mooney, as he pointed at the go-kart. Just go until he ran out of fuel, put more fuel in and he'd get back in and go.
Racing trophies line almost an entire wall of the shop, according to Mooney the majority of them are Ward Sr.s many of Ward Jr.s are at the familys home in Port Leyden, N.Y.
Ward Jr. Started working for his Dads painting business, Westward Painting Co., Inc., after graduating high school.
He also saw his grandmother, Jean Ward, who lives near the shop almost every day. She said he mowed her lawn in the summer and plowed for her in the winter. Ward Jr. was one of her almost two dozen grandchildren; she said there was something really special about him.
Ward was killed Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park when he was walking on the track and hit by a car driven by Tony Stewart.
I know its a sad time and everything but I try to look back at the good times, said Mooney, all the fun and all the people that supported him and supported the family.
Mooney said watching Ward Jr.s success over the years made their small town proud.
Theres not too many kids that get to do something like that you know, they might do a little snowmobile racing or something around here but to get up into that class where youre running with people like Tony Stewart, professionals, you know thats big time and for a kid out of this little town he did real good, said Mooney.
Ward Jr.'s funeral is scheduled for Thursday.