Tragedy in New York

 

Kevin Ward

I wont be posting the video we talk about in this blog out of respect for The Kevin Ward Family.

I love this quote from Jay Busbee a writer for Yahoo Sports

“After Saturday night, Tony Stewart’s future as a driver is in serious question. But no matter whether Stewart ever drives again, he’s not the most important part of this story. Kevin Ward Jr. is, and always will be.”

Well here is what we do know! NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed another driver who was walking on a track during a dirt-track race in upstate New York, authorities said early Sunday. Kevin Ward Jr., 20, died from injuries suffered in the incident, which occurred Saturday night at the Empire Super Sprints series event at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The track is about a two-hour drive from Watkins Glen International race track, where Stewart had been scheduled to race in a NASCAR event Sunday.

Ok so lets look at both sides.

  • Kevin Ward JR exits his Sprint Car after hitting the outside wall during lap 14 of a 25-lap race, Ontario County Sheriff Philip C. Povero said.
  • Ward is walking toward oncoming race traffic pointing and yelling.
  • Track was on a yellow flag.
  • One car swerves to avoid Ward on the track.
  • Stewart’s car passes close to Ward, and it appears that it’s right rear tire hits him.
  • An ambulance took Ward to a hospital, but he died before arrival.

The questions of the day are

  • Did Tony Stewart intentionally hit Ward?
  • Should the rules be changed so drivers are prohibited to exit car if their life is not in immediate danger?
  • Did Tony Stewart make the right decision to not race in NASCAR race at Watkins Glen?
  • Was this a criminal act on Tony’s part?

Stewart has made no secret of his passion for dirt-track racing and he drives on dirt tracks as often as possible — even to the detriment of his own health. He suffered a badly broken leg in a race a little over a year ago and was involved in a big crash at the same Canandaigua Motorsports Park track last year.

A witness who is a sprint-car driver and friend of Ward’s described what happened to Bob Pockrass of the Sporting News:

“Tony pinched him into the front-stretch wall, a racing thing,” Graves said. “The right rear tire went down, he spun on the exit of (Turn) 2. They threw the caution and everything was toned down. Kevin got out of his car. … He was throwing his arms up all over the place at Tony for most of the corner.

“I know Tony could see him. I know how you can see out of these cars. When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards.”

Ward is from Port Leyden, N.Y., and, he started racing go-karts when he was 4. He drove the No. 13 car for five years in the Empire Super Sprints circuit and won two 360 Winged Sprint races last year.

“Business as usual”??? Maybe one of the dumbest things ever said in the history of sports.

You can get away with that kind of macho trick in a NASCAR sled, but not in a short-coupled, high power-to-weight “Outlaw” sprint car. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen it, even on the checkered flag lap when the driver’s fired up and whacks the gas. The car does an embarrassing 360 loop-the-loop right in front of the main grandstand.

First ol’ Smoke ran the guy into the wall, then he wanted to “teach him a lesson”. Some lesson. And for what? To be Big Dog on a local racetrack? In a race with a winner’s purse of $1500? Nothing to gain, everything to lose if you can’t control your attitude.

The best spin I can put on this: If Stewart can’t handle the differences in driving technique between a NASCAR stocker and an Outlaw sprinter, he shouldn’t be in the cockpit of either one. But what I’m seeing looks more like a case of “I really just meant to scare him, Your Honor!”

What are your thoughts ? We want to hear your comments!

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3 Responses to Tragedy in New York

  1. Larry says:

    Early on in your “news” piece you said

    So where is the other “side?” Why was Mr. Ward out of his car with moving traffic–so to speak? We all learn early on in life not to “play in traffic.” Was Mr. Ward trying to show off because of just who it was who turned his car? Big-bad Tony’s not going to do that to me, not in MY house sort of thing. Was Mr. Ward hot tempered on- or off-track? My heart breaks for Mr. Ward’s family and friends. It was supposed to be a night of fun and energy, turned tragic. I hung around short tracks as a teen and remember a night when a kid died. But, racing is inherently dangerous, acting as Mr. Ward did only increases that danger, quite obviously. Is it Stewart’s fault. In part, what is he doing at this kind of track? But, the truth is the kid shares in what happened, at least 50%. He left a place of safety and put himself at higher than normal risk. And now he left a shattered family to try and pick up the pieces of their lives and somehow, someway carry on.

  2. Michelle says:

    Why could the guy right before Stewart able to swerve to avoid Ward while Stewart couldn’t. I’ll admit I’m not a Stewart fan, but hey…he freakin’ killed Ward. Yes, it’s probably not the best idea to get out of your car, but let’s count the times Stewart has. And yep, tony is still living.

  3. Michelle says:

    I think it’s best to think more about the Ward family in this incident! His family and family are grieving! I’ll be the first to offer my condolences to his family and friends…and his racing family, as well.

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