Sprint Car driver dies after incident with Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart sits out Watkins Glen after death of Kevin Ward Jr. in Sprint Car incident

8/10/14 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Blog Photo - Sprint Car dies after incident with Tony StewartLove him or hate him, Tony Stewart is passionate about racing.  He's passionate about his own Sprint Cup race team and he's passionate about open wheel racing, Sprint cars.  He owns a track.  He competes as often as his NASCAR schedule allows him.  Unfortunately, his competitions in the Sprint cars seems to be full of trouble.

Last night, at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, Tony was involved in an on-track incident with Kevin Ward Jr., a 20 year old racing in the series.  Kevin's car made contact with Tony's car, and ended up facing the wrong way on the track, up against the outside wall.  Ward exited the car and moved into the main racing lane, motioning with his arms in the direction of oncoming traffic.  What happens next is horrific.

Warning, the video is raw footage taken at the track by a spectator.  View at your own discretion.



Tony's car appears to accelerate, although speculation has been rampant.  No one wants to believe Tony was trying to hurt the other driver.  Another driver acknowledges that Tony's car does accelerate, but that from his view it was the rear tire that made contact, and he believes nothing was intentional.  Others speculate that Tony may have accelerated to speed by the driver standing on the track.  In any case, the contact resulted in the death of Kevin Ward Jr.  Truthfully, no one but Tony really knows what happened.  

I am not here to judge.  I've only seen the one view, and I have no right to judge. However, the cars did not seem to be slowing down to any great degree, and one only has to remember that in NASCAR, drivers are told to stay in their cars until safety crews arrive and the yellow is displayed, if they cannot get the car off the track.  It appears that Ward did not attempt to move his car off the track at all, only seeming focused on getting out of the car to confront the driver he deemed responsible for his position.  In the heat of the moment, people are known to make poor decisions.  Kevin Ward Jr. may have made a poor decision to get out of the car, but it is tragic that that poor decision ended his life.

The authorities are investigating the incident, and as of now, no criminal charges have been filed.  Regan Smith will pilot the 14 car today at Watkins Glen.

My deepest condolences are with the Ward family in the loss of their loved one.
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8/11/14   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

A must read.  Really.

8/10/14   |   liveactiondockery   |   10 respect

JenX63 wrote:
He should of known better, honestly, Tony has been doing this a long time. You don't drive up on someone and accelerate, spin your tires, whatever. You just don't do it. Intentional or not, tragic results. I love Tony, been a fan since he came over, but this, this was so stupid, senseless, He KNOWS BETTER......

Tony has a bad temper too. I think he should have gotten something out of this!

8/10/14   |   liveactiondockery   |   10 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Congrats to AJ Allmendinger!

AJ did well but if Jeff Gordan's car didn't stall he would have won. I have never seen a back up battery fail.

8/10/14   |   liveactiondockery   |   10 respect

My heart goes out too his family. They are so devastated right now. I lost my dad on the job when I was seven so I can relate. Tony never should have hit the gas. 

8/10/14   |   Scott   |   53741 respect

(Edited by Scott)

My uncle raced on dirt tracks in the 70's/80's and my brother in law currently races all over the country.  They have both told me that drivers are told at every drivers meeting to stay in their cars at all times unless their is an emergency or a fire.

That said, a driver confronting another driver is very common and it usually happens in 1 of 2 places... the pits or on the track.  What a lot of people don't realize about these tracks are that they are so small that they usually have one distinguished racing line that throughout the night, picks up wear and tear from the tires and becomes slick.  

IMO, Ward went to voice his displeasure with what happened and Stewart, who we all know would never back down, hit the accelerator to voice his unhappiness with Ward and the car fishtailed out behind him on the slick track, hitting Ward.  Definitely an accident but I think both drivers are to blame.  Unfortunately, one of them paid the ultimate price

8/10/14   |   JenX63   |   32776 respect

Congrats to AJ Allmendinger!

8/10/14   |   JenX63   |   32776 respect

about the race now: One giant clusterf***....oh em gee. I know the guys want a win, but seriously! Enough, let's try to get to the checkers guys

8/10/14   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

The Sheriff investigating the matter has stated there will be no criminal charges pending.  There was found to be no malicious intent on anyone's part that contributed to this tragedy.

That being said, two things to take note of,  NEVER EVER exit your car while there are other cars on the track still moving, and NEVER EVER do anything with your car that could endanger someone on the track not in the vehicle. 

Tony will live with this for the rest of his life.

8/10/14   |   JenX63   |   32776 respect

He should of known better, honestly, Tony has been doing this a long time. You don't drive up on someone and accelerate, spin your tires, whatever. You just don't do it. Intentional or not, tragic results. I love Tony, been a fan since he came over, but this, this was so stupid, senseless, He KNOWS BETTER......

8/10/14   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

If you watch it without sound, that's exactly what it looks like, a horrible, terrible accident.  it's the sound, which may or may not be Tony's accelerator, can't tell by the video, and the dude screaming, that makes it seem ominously deliberate.  I also cannot believe it was on purpose, though.

8/10/14   |   JenX63   |   32776 respect

I am...just, looks like a horrible horrible accident. I can't in my heart believe Tony intentionally  tried to hurt Kevin, I just can't. I feel for this young life lost and his family and what Tony himself most be dealing with right now. Dirt is so unpredictable and it takes only a small hump to throw your car out, even if you are trying to go another way. So very sad.