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Thread: NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart Hits, Kills Driver During Confrontation on Racetrack

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    Default NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart Hits, Kills Driver During Confrontation on Racetrack

    NASCAR champion Tony Stewart hits, kills driver in upstate N.Y. dirt-track race - NY Daily News

    NASCAR champion Tony Stewart hits, kills driver in upstate N.Y. dirt-track race

    Kevin Ward Jr., 20, had crashed his car after Stewart spun him out, a video of the race at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park showed. Ward was out of his car when Stewart fish-tailed his car into him, knocking him into the air. Stewart's racing team manager Greg Zipadelli said Stewart will not race in NASCAR's event Sunday at Watkins Glen.

    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Published: Sunday, August 10, 2014, 1:40 AM
    Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2014, 11:37 AM


    Jerry Markland/Getty Images Champion NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was being investigated by authorities after he hit another driver Saturday night in a dirt-track race at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York.
    CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. - NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed a sprint car driver who had climbed from his car and was on the track trying to confront Stewart during a race in upstate New York on Saturday night.
    Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said his department's investigation is not criminal and that Stewart was "fully cooperative" and appeared "very upset" over what had happened.
    "He was visibly shaken by this accident," Povero said.


    WARNING: VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT




    Stewart had planned to race Sunday at Watkins Glen, but his racing team announced Sunday morning that the 43-year-old would not drive in the event.
    "We feel strongly that this is the right thing to do,"Stewart's racing team manager Greg Zipadelli said, calling Ward Jr.'s death "an unbelieveable tragedy."
    "He's going through a tough time," Zipadelli said of Stewart. "It's emotional for him. We as a group support him. We feel like he's doing the right thing."
    NASCAR supported Stewart's decision and said that it would monitor the situation as the investigation continues. In a statement, NASCAR said that the organization's "thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and fellow competitors of Kevin Ward Jr."
    Initially, Zipadelli said Stewart will race in the NASCAR event, calling the race "business as usual."
    Kevin Ward Jr. via Facebook NASCAR racer Kevin Ward was outside his car when Stewart struck him, a video of the race shows.

    A video of the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park showed driver Kevin Ward Jr., wearing a black helmet and firesuit on a dimly lit track, walking toward Stewart's car before being hit and hurtled 50 feet.
    Povero said the 25-lap race was under caution when Ward was struck. Stewart's car was behind another before he hit Ward.
    "The first car swerved to avoid the driver," Povero said.
    Povero said the driver was pronounced dead Saturday night at a Canandaigua hospital. Stewart was unhurt.



    NASCAR champion Tony Stewart hits, kills driver in upstate N.Y. dirt-track race - NY Daily News

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    Default The rest of the article

    A witness said it appeared Ward was trying to confront Stewart, the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion. The video showed Ward standing to the right of Stewart's familiar No. 14 car, which seemed to kick out from the rear and hit him.

    "The next thing I could see, I didn't see (the other driver) anymore," witness Michael Messerly said. "It just seemed like he was suddenly gone."

    Povero said the 43-year-old Stewart, a frequent competitor at local sprint car events, was questioned and released. The sheriff asked for people who recorded video of the crash to provide copies for investigators to review.

    Kevin Ward Jr. via Facebook Kevin Ward was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

    A spokesman for Stewart's racing team called Ward's death a "tragic accident."

    "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends," the spokesman said in a statement. "We're still attempting to sort through all the details."

    The dirt track, about 30 miles southeast of Rochester, canceled the remainder of the race and later posted a message on its Facebook page encouraging fans to "pray for the entire racing community of fans, drivers, and families."

    It said a statement on the crash would come later Sunday.

    Ward's website said he began racing go-karts in 1998 at age 4, but didn't start driving sprint cars until 2010. The 20-year-old from Port Leyden, New York, was Empire Super Sprint rookie of the year in 2012 and this year was his fifth season racing the Empire Super Sprints.

    Mark Wilson/Getty Images Crew members prepare the car of Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, in the garage area prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Watkins Glen. After initially saying Stewart would race, the racing team decided to have him sit out the event.

    Stewart was involved in a July 2013 accident at Canandaigua that seriously injured a 19-year-old driver. He later took responsibility for his car making contact with another and triggering the 15-car accident that left Alysha Ruggles with a compression fracture in her back.

    After Saturday's accident, ambulances, fire trucks and police arrived within moments, Messerly said. Fans filed out in stunned silence, he said.

    The accident Saturday came almost exactly a year after Stewart suffered a compound fracture to his right leg in a sprint car race in Iowa. The injury cost him the second half of the NASCAR season. Stewart only returned to sprint track racing last month. He didn't return to racing in any form until February when preparation for NASCAR's season-opening Daytona 500 began.

    Stewart was a spectator at the Knoxville Nationals in Iowa on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of the accident, and posted on his Twitter account: "Thank you to everyone that worked so hard to get me back to where I'm at today. It's your life, live it!"

    Kevin Ward Jr. via Facebook Ward, a sprint-car driver from Port Leyden, N.Y., regularly competes on the dirt track at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

    Roughly three hours after Saturday night's accident in New York, Donny Schatz, a sprint car driver for Tony Stewart Racing, won the prestigious Knoxville Nationals in Iowa for an eighth time.

    "I was just told there was an incident involving Tony. I don't know to what extent or what's happening," Schatz said.

    Flowers lay next to the front entrance of the Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Sunday in memorial of Kevin Ward Jr., who was killed after he was hit by Tony Stewart after exiting his car during a dirt track race at Canandaigua on Saturday night.

    Stewart is co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, the four-team NASCAR organization that fields cars for Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick. He's struggled a bit this year since returning from his leg injury, and heads into Sunday's race winless on the season and ranked 19th in the standings.

    Stewart was scheduled to start 13th on Sunday at Watkins Glen International in south central New York state. He has just five races remaining to either score a win or move inside the top 16 in points to grab a valuable spot in NASCAR's championship race.

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    TS is a hothead and Always has been. In racing circles it is wellknown and he has a laundry list of prior confrontations. The kid should have stayed in his car, that is repeated at every drivers meeting, but Tony was gunning at him...not to kill, I'm quite sure, but to send a message. It is still criminal. Anyone who has been around these cars on dirt tracks knows that they WILL slide. TS might get off on criminal charges, but there will surely be a civil suit and he will lose. You don't play around with sprint cars.
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    I don't think that was intentional. He probably couldn't see where he was from the back when he gunned it.

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    I agree it wasn't intentional. I think gunning the engine was a stupid adrenaline fueled mistake. Probably, he wanted to throw some dirt on the kid or something, but when you gun it on a slick track you will slide. Stewart knows this, he's a master on dirt.
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    I've been reading about this over on Reddit and I would have to agree with others there. That revving heard is probably coming from a car close to the cameraman, who is across the track from the accident.

    Regardless, a sad situation and accident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nothanks View Post
    I agree it wasn't intentional. I think gunning the engine was a stupid adrenaline fueled mistake. Probably, he wanted to throw some dirt on the kid or something, but when you gun it on a slick track you will slide. Stewart knows this, he's a master on dirt.
    It is suppose to slide. It's wet dirt. They do it on every turn. I don't think he did anything criminal.

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    A 15 car crash on the same track the previous year that broke a 19 year old girl's back? Why is he driving like this in these leagues? From what I understand, a lot of the drivers in the "minor leagues" or whatever are responsible for the cost and maintenance of their own cars rather than having big sponsors. So for him, a multimillionaire Nascar driver, to go driving out there like a hot headed idiot in the rookie leagues is a disrespectful, asshole move in the first place IMO. It would be like Derek Jeter going and playing A ball somewhere because he's "bored and enjoys the game."

    The dude was a dumbass for getting out of his car, but I just can't see Tony Stewart as blameless in this.

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    The guy never should have gotten out of his car, but I find it really peculiar that the guy that ended up hitting him was the one he was mad at. Also, I didn't watch it with the sound on, didn't read descriptions before I watched it and to me, I think that Stewart looked like he was trying to freak him out and unfortunately, he hit him -- kind of like playing chicken.

    They're both idiots, and this is why I'm not a NASCAR fan. (The race cars looked like cozy coupes to me!)
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    The headline should read 'Idiot jumps out of car on hot track, gets run over, dies.'



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    Stoopid and needless tragedy. When I went to search for this thread, I looked in the news section.
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    The headline should read 'Idiot jumps out of car on hot track, gets run over BY OTHER IDIOT, dies.'
    Yep.
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    The headline should read 'Idiot jumps out of car on hot track, gets run over, dies.'
    Seriously. He went out looking for a confrontation with a guy in a moving car on a racetrack; what did he think would come of it?

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    Guess he knows now.
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    My husband races cars and is part of a race team.

    Every racer knows, only get out of your car if it IS ON FIRE!!

    The kid was being stoopid.

    That said, Tony probably was driving irresponsibly.
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