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Funeral held for Kevin Ward Junior
by Kelsie Smith
Turin, N.Y. - Family, friends and hundreds from the racing community gathered Thursday for the funeral of 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr.
Wearing Ward's racing colors, orange, white and black, people embraced with hugs and tears outside South Lewis Senior High School in Turin, N.Y.
"We want everybody to know that orange and white are bright colors and that even against black clothing it does shine through," said Ward's sister, Kayla Herring before the funeral.
The funeral was held at Ward's alma-mater to hold a large crowd, but it was still standing room only.
The service was full of songs, tears and laughter.
"Junior was fearless," said Ward's best friend Dylan Swiernik. Through tears he went on to say, "we were just two small town boys trying to make it in a big world.
Ward's mother, Pamela, played the song "Godspeed" by the Dixie Chicks. The chorus sang, "Godspeed little man, sweet dreams little man."
Ward's three older sisters stood together laughing and crying as they reminisced about their kid brother.
"When it came to family time you were never done showing your love," said Kayla Herring. "You had a caring and loving soul."
Outside the funeral Ward's family friend Ray Falk shared more about Ward, "He was a cornball, Jesus; if you weren't laughing he'd make you laugh." But Falk made a point to tell the media that it bothered him most of the outlets were likely at the funeral because a celebrity, Tony Stewart, was involved in the fatal crash.
Orange, white and black balloons were handed out as Ward's casket was carried to the hearse. Together the crowd counted to 13, Ward's racing number, released the balloons and said goodbye.
"If there wasn't a dirt track up in heaven there is now," said Herring.