Tony Stewart's insurance company will not have to defend or indemnify the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion in a lawsuit brought by the late Kevin Ward Jr.'s family.

Ward died in a race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park in August 2014. After crashing out of the race, Ward got out of his car and onto the track. He then ran towards Stewart's car, which struck and killed him.

A 23-person Ontario County grand jury cleared Stewart of any criminal wrongdoing, and the district attorney's office said Ward was under the influence of marijuana at the time of his death.

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Ward's family disputed that assertion and filed a wrongful death suit, alleging that Stewart acted recklessly in the incident.

On Friday in Utica, N.Y., U.S. District Court Judge David Hurd ruled that Axis Insurance Co.'s policy with Stewart "unambiguously limited" the insurer's liability to specific races.

According to the decision, Stewart's policy covered 105 "specified events." The judge wrote that it is "undisputed" that the sprint car event in which Ward was killed was not one of those specified in the policy. Attorneys for Stewart had countered that certain language in the policy supported their position that coverage was warranted.

Stewart will now have to bear the costs of his defense as the lawsuit continues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.