Tony Stewart under investigation

Chris

9000RPM
Premium
Tony Stewart, an American NASCAR driver (in case you haven't heard of him), has gotten involved in an altercation with Kevin Ward Jr, at a Sprint Car Cup race, which lead to Ward Jr, exiting his car, walking onto the track to wave down Stewart during a yellow-flagged caution period.

Allegations have been made that Stewart purposefully ran him over, at speed, however, these allegations are very serious and yet to be proven. Tragically, Ward Jr was pronounced dead at 11:15 pm local time at the F.F. Thompson Hospital. Stewart, known for having an abrupt and erratic temper, according to sources, is cooperating with authorities.

A word of caution, if you do decide to YouTube the incident, please be advised, it contains graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised.
 
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the_sigman

7000RPM
I think the idiot is the one who walked on the track. How stupid can you be walk on a racetrack!
But you don't accelarate no matter what. Here is what a sprint car racer said:

Tyler Graves, a sprint-car racer and friend of Ward's, told Sporting News in a phone interview that he was sitting in the Turn 1 grandstands and saw everything that happened.

"Tony pinched him into the frontstretch 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."
 

Ketnix

250RPM
Its pretty normal to rev the engine on Sprint Cars during caution laps, and I'd also say that it isn't out of the question that Tony couldn't exactly see Kevin. Considering its difficult to see out of the outside side of a Sprint Car, the lack of light on that corner and Kevin's racing gear camouflaging him well into the track.

Lastly though I just want to say that its far to prevalent in the US in a few different racing series for drivers who have been involved in an accident to stay out on the track and gesticulate to the driver they believed wronged them, you see it on a number of occasions in NASCAR races and it seems as if its almost a supported part of racing considering those moments are often featured in highlight reels.

Officials really need to clamp down on this and drivers need to get it in their head that staying on the track to wave their arms about does nothing but put them and marshals out there to help them in danger.
 

Chris Jenkins

Driving til the wheels fall off
Just seen the video and there's no way that was intentional.

It was dark, Stewart was right behind another car who had to swerve to miss the guy. He wouldn't have seen him or been able to react in time.
You can see from the car's behaviour that he tried to dodge but it was too late.

Never like to see or hear of fatalities, but this guy is in idiot for walking into the middle of a race track in the DARK!
 
Cannot believe the amount of morons on social media who actually think Stewart swerved right to hit him. These guys are racing drivers not bloodthirsty murderers. Tony might be a hard racer but he sure as hell wouldn't want to kill another driver.

The guy ran down the track wearing a black suit with a black helmet on a night dirt track, Tony was blindsided, and we all know these cars don't turn down on a dime.
 

johnnymat

250RPM
Premium
Tony should race today at Watkins Glen. The whole thing was nothing more than a tragic accident. When Peter Brock was killed , they didn't stop the event.
Tony is right in continuing to race today; this is what real racers do.
 
Greg Zipadelli (Stewart's spokesperson) stated within the last hour Tony will not participate in today's event. Nationwide driver Regan Smith will race in place of him in the #14.

I am not going to speculate, for I find it disrespectful, but I will say that it is sad that we lost a fellow racer. My thoughts are with the Ward family and may he rest in peace.

As a Stewart fan, I want to believe this was a freak accident of some sort, but the more I read into this, I have a hard time believing Stewart did not do this intentionally.
 

Frank

RaceDepartment Administrator
Staff
Premium
Greg Zipadelli (Stewart's spokesperson) stated within the last hour Tony will not participate in today's event. Nationwide driver Regan Smith will race in place of him in the #14.

I am not going to speculate, for I find it disrespectful, but I will say that it is sad that we lost a fellow racer. My thoughts are with the Ward family and may he rest in peace.

As a Stewart fan, I want to believe this was a freak accident of some sort, but the more I read into this, I have a hard time believing Stewart did not do this intentionally.

I think you did speculate there ;-).

Very sad that it happened, best to friends and family of Kevin Ward Jr. Also the best to Stewart, I think it is hard living knowing the one you hit with your car died.
 

Jax Humanhater

3000RPM
Premium
I watched it. Kevin Ward shouldn't have gone on the track and picked a fight with Stewart.

NASCAR and other American motorsport sanctions need to be more reprimanding of this driver payback attitude. This wouldn't have happened if they encouraged rivalries like this. I really don't think Stewart could have avoided him. I saw the video and, since he has been cooperative with authorities, I think he is remorseful.

My condolences go out to the Ward family.
 

JeffL

Right on Brother, I hear ya, it's all good.
Tony should race today at Watkins Glen. The whole thing was nothing more than a tragic accident. When Peter Brock was killed , they didn't stop the event.
Tony is right in continuing to race today; this is what real racers do.
With all due respect I couldn't disagree with you more. How little do we regard human life that you would feel that you could run over a another person, accidental or not, and it treat it as if it were a gnat on the windshield. He just ran over somebody and killed them, what kind of sociopathic mind would not be greatly affected by this. This was not a racing accident, it was bad behavior resulting in death. It's attitude's like this that propagate the devaluing of Human life. It needs to stop.
 

Chris

9000RPM
Premium
It really seems to be an American Motorsport thing. I watch very very little American Motorsport, but I've seen enough to know that this whole running on to the track to point and wave down the guy you're angry at is a common occurrence. You don't really see drivers getting into fights so often in any other series, WRC, Formula One, GP2, GP3, V8 Supercars, etc. etc.

I read somewhere and apparently it happened again last night, thankfully no one was hurt.
There needs to be a regulation that forces drivers to leave the race track the moment they cannot continue racing.

More people will die if A) they're silly enough to run on to the race track, and B) if the sport continues to do nothing about it.

Stop trying to make it more of a "show" with fist fights and start by acting sensibly.
 

JeffL

Right on Brother, I hear ya, it's all good.
Motorsports? Ha, how about NBA,NFL, MLB, little league, friday night bowling, basket weaving competitions. It has infiltrated our culture. Sportsmanship is learned and the kids see craptacular demonstrations of bravado every single day on TV. I don't know what it's going to take to change it, maybe espn not showing every jerk pointing at himself in an endless loop.
 

Nox

6000RPM
Premium
As someone who does watch quite a bit of American sports (MLB and some NHL) , I have to agree with Jeff and Chris. Half the time a brawl breaks out or a fight, they are looking for it. In MLB, for example, managers often go out and argue with the umpire just for show. See here for examples. This kind of thing has to stop, but I don't think it will, at least not for a long time. It is too ingrained in the American sports culture. It's all about the show rather than the sport - NASCAR rules, for example, bunch all the cars together to increase chances of sparks flying and cars crashing.

The best sports are entertaining for their own sakes (look how good WEC has been just because an extra manufacturer, Porsche, entered LMP1 this year, and how the entertainment has been improved with safety in mind with the new slow zone rules this year). It's tragic that Ward Jr lost his life, but I hope at least it might force some people to re-evaluate (even if its just another driver who decides to stop the gesticulations, etc).
 
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Blkout

2000RPM
Both drivers are at fault here, however sadly, only one is left alive after this incident. If Tony hadn't hit the throttle while approaching him, I might have been able to write it off as a completely unavoidable accident but the fact that he did hit the throttle right before making contact with Ward leads me to believe he was trying to scare Ward a bit and teach him a lesson, but obviously hitting him and killing him was not the intention. That being said, I feel like a ban from all motorsports is the minimum punishment for Stewart, but criminal charges are certainly debatable as well.
 

Claudio Gandolfi

Pheripheral consumer
In my opinion this is a tragic incident with some specifics responsabilities of Stewart:
sprint cars have no clutch, and drivers got to keep engine revs, but Ward wasn't hidden to Stewart view. Race was neutralized, and the inside line was free, as you can see from video. Stewart, famous for his dashing nature, and his fights on the truck, probably wants to intidimidate the rival, passing near him, with wrong measure, on the outside
 
It's impossible to know right now what happened.

From what I've heard from a couple of sprint racers, even under caution, you need to use the throttle to make the car turn fast, if you just turn the wheel the car plows straight (specially on dirt surfaces). And braking is the same, the brakes are there to put the car sideways (in some cases they only have brakes in the rear right wheel, from what I heard). Also, with the huge wing in the front, visibility can be severely compromised. The driver right in front of Stewart (who had a bigger gap to the previous driver) said he could barely avoid Kevin, and he should have had better visibility, so it's plausible Stewart didn't see him until the last moment. There isn't even real proof that Stewart actually pushed the throttle at that point, besides a video where any other car could have been the one on the throttle.

But it's amazing how a lot of people just jumped to conclusions and blamed Stewart without any proof. This is nothing short of a witch hunt right now.

Is Stewart a completely innocent party in this incident (it's an incident unless it's proven otherwise, and not the other way)? I don't know. Nobody knows right now, only Stewart does. But calling him a murderer, and lynching him in public is just wrong.

And yes, if something good can come out of this tragedy, is that hopefully american racing ruling bodies will start penalizing these kind of actions.
 
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