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nascar Tony Stewart hits, kills driver in sprint car race

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Tony Stewart hits, kills driver in sprint car race

 

A race car driver was killed Saturday night after he was struck on the track by NASCAR star Tony Stewart, according to Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip C. Povero.

 

During a sprint car race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park, driver Kevin Ward Jr. was spun out by Stewart, got out of his car to show his displeasure and then was struck by Stewart's car, sending Ward sliding down the track, fellow sprint car racer Tyler Graves and witness Adam Dulski told USA TODAY Sports.

 

Povero confirmed the driver was taken by ambulance to Thompson Health and was pronounced dead on arrival.

 

Stewart's public relations team and NASCAR did not respond to USA TODAY Sports' requests for comment.

 

"This is an ongoing investigation of an on-track crash," Povero said.

 

He indicated Stewart, 43, was cooperative and there were no charges pending at this time. According to the Associated Press, Povero indicated the incident is not being investigated as a criminal matter.

 

An Ontario County Sheriff's Department spokesperson confirmed deputies were on the scene and investigating an incident at the track before Povero spoke with the media around 3 a.m. Sunday morning.

 

Ward, who raced the No. 13 sprint car at the track, started racing go-karts in 1998 at 4, according to kevinwardracing.com.

 

Coming out of Turn 2, Stewart's car squeezed Ward's car up into the outside wall, turning it around. Ward's car had a flat tire as a result, and he exited the car to show his displeasure with Stewart's move. He marched down the track and was pointing at Stewart's car as he approached on the ensuing caution lap. Stewart's car then clipped Ward, who was run over and thrown a few yards down the track.

 

"It happened in Turn 2," said the 27-year-old Dulski. "The prior lap, Tony had gotten into him ? just spun him, nothing big, just spun him around. The caution came out. He hopped out of the car ? the driver of the 13 ... he hopped out to go and yell and point a finger at Tony, typical thing.

 

"Tony came around ... the back end slid out, and he definitely caught him ? I couldn't tell if it was with the front or the back of the car. ... The body made contact with the car and went sliding across the track. It was the worst thing I've ever seen."

 

Graves, 16, of Bolivar, N.Y., said he "grew up watching Kevin the last couple years, then I made the move to sprint cars. I now race a 360. I've raced alongside with Kevin the past two years. ?

 

"Tony and Kevin were battling. ? I believe they got together on the frontstretch, Kevin hit the wall and his tire went down. So he spun between (turns) 1 and 2. He got out of the car after the caution was thrown and began to walk down the track, pointing right at the 14, throwing his hands all around. The last thing I seen Kevin do was put his finger to his helmet."

 

Graves said he saw Ward caught up under the tire and then launched a few yards down the track. Ward hit the ground and didn't move, according to Graves.

 

According to Ward's website, he started driving sprint cars in 2010 when he notched five top-five finishes. In 2012, he was named Empire Super Sprint rookie of the year. This season is his fifth racing the Empire Super Sprints.

 

Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup champion who suffered a compound fracture of his right leg in a sprint car accident a year ago, had just returned to the hobby he says helps fuel his success in NASCAR. He was scheduled to compete Sunday in a Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen.

 

In July of last year, Stewart also was involved in an incident at the Canandaigua track. He sparked a multi-car wreck that sent two drivers to the hospital with injuries.

 

After Saturday night's incident, racing was canceled for the rest of the night, according to the track's Facebook page.

 

In a later post, the track said: "Canandaigua Motorspots Park will not have an official statement on the accident that happened in the ESS race until tomorrow. Please pray for the entire racing community of fans, drivers, and families. Please be respectful in any comments."

 

Source: USA Today

 

Video of the incident: Deadspin (warning, graphic content)

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Surely that is murder with intent, or whatever you guys call it.

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It certainly does look like Stewart hit the throttle and aimed at Kevin Ward on purpose. 

 

That being said, Kevin Ward should have stayed in the car instead of walking onto the racing line.

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Well, it's sad that this happened, but what kind of effing moron gets out of their car and then starts walking into the track like that? Wow.

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Surely that is murder with intent, or whatever you guys call it.

 

We do not call it anything, until an investigation has been done. Law enforcement officials will conduct an in depth investigation and then a decision based on the facts will determine whether charges are filed against Stewart.

Certainly a tragic incident, the young man made a serious error by leaving his vehicle and it appears that Stewart may have been going too fast under the caution.  Very sad for everyone involved.

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Surely that is murder with intent, or whatever you guys call it.

 

I don't think so.

 

But reading another article they talk about 20 years old and even 16 years old guys involved in the race. I'm not familiar with north american racing series but if true then WTH does a mid 40 guy doing racing with teens?

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Crazy. What was Ward thinking of walking on the track with fast cars?! Should've stayed in the car - would've been the safest bet. 

 

I thought about going to WGI to watch Nascar (not that I enjoy Nascar or the culture, but thought it would be interesting). This is in my neck of the woods, about 30 mins. away.

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Sad situation, but honestly that video doesn't show anything conclusive one way or the other. People jumping to strong conclusions probably just WANT their opinion to be correct.

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It's doubtful Tony even saw him.. Driving the car he'd be focused on the track, looking where he's going. It's more than likely he wouldn't notice a guy in a black racing suit out of his peripheral vision when all he's normally looking for is cars.

 

I'd add, if any of you have ever raced a car on a dirt track, you'd know how twitchy they are.. If he did see him, and was trying to avoid, then that could have caused/contributed to the impact itself.

 

Also, the guy is an idiot. You don't get out of your car, on a dirt track, at night, wearing a Black racing suit, and go near cars still driving around.. Heat of the moment and all, ya, I get it, I feel for his family, but this is a case of natural selection if ever there was one..

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So this is what all the kerfluffle was last night with EMS? I was at a friends apartment in Canandaigua last night, when it happened. Wow. sad to see.

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Well, it's sad that this happened, but what kind of effing moron gets out of their car and then starts walking into the track like that? Wow.

 

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I feel it's also important for people to know that unlike a NASCAR, or F1, or other major motor sports race, there's no spotter out there in Tony's ear saying XYZ Wrecked, he's out of the car and on the track in Turn #.. 

 

I mean Even when people have done stuff like this in NASCAR, of which Tony is one of them, there have been close calls.. And that's with a spotter, daylight etc.

 

 

I can't speak to the US racing culture, but in several low to mid end racing leagues, the rules are you keep your ass in the car unless it's on fire.. Unbuckle yourself, net down, wait for Emergency Services to get there. I think people see this in NASCAR, getting out and throwing your helmet at the drive and such, and don't understand just how dangerous it is, and that's with far FAR more safety equipment than at your local track.

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I don't think so.

 

But reading another article they talk about 20 years old and even 16 years old guys involved in the race. I'm not familiar with north american racing series but if true then WTH does a mid 40 guy doing racing with teens?

 

Same to NASCAR ...   Age from 18 to around 60.... You can see their faces here: http://www.nascar.com/en_us/sprint-cup-series/drivers.html  

 

I think Mark Martin is the oldest who is still in the Sprint Cup race.

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he derped instead of derp derped

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Yes, Ward made the mistake of getting out of his car. There's no question that this is a dangerous thing to do. But, here are a few observations.

 

A) The same driver (Ward) had just been wrecked by Stewart. 

B) He was passed and avoided by a number of other drivers while on the track.

C) An engine is heard revving just as Stewart's back end kicks out and his car speeds up a bit.

D) Stewart is a professional and is aware of the characteristics of the car he was driving. That is, if he wanted to intentionally kick the back end out and hit Ward, he could've easily done so and made it look like an accident. 

 

This could all be a horrible accident. Then again, this could be murder. But, there are at least a few of the witnesses that believe this was intentional. That's nothing definitive, of course. Stewart could've even being trying to just bump the guy not kill him, which would still be nuts. I sincerely hope this was an accident, but I have my doubts.

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Yes, Ward made the mistake of getting out of his car. There's no question that this is a dangerous thing to do. But, here are a few observations.

 

A) The same driver (Ward) had just been wrecked by Stewart. 

B) He was passed and avoided by a number of other drivers while on the track.

C) An engine is heard revving just as Stewart's back end kicks out and his car speeds up a bit.

D) Stewart is a professional and is aware of the characteristics of the car he was driving. That is, if he wanted to intentionally kick the back end out and hit Ward, he could've easily done so and made it look like an accident. 

 

This could all be a horrible accident. Then again, this could be murder. But, there are at least a few of the witnesses that believe this was intentional. That's nothing definitive, of course. Stewart could've even being trying to just bump the guy not kill him, which would still be nuts. I sincerely hope this was an accident, but I have my doubts.

Tony has only been back racing this type of car for the last few weeks, after having had to stop due to a bad ingry for the past year.

Also, he came down farther into the racing line when Tony came around, if he stayed where he was with the earlier drivers, he would have been missed.

Lastly, Tony had no idea he even wrecked him, not till he came around and saw it..

 

It wasn't murder.. And a lot of the people saying it was are looking at this vidoes over and over, in slow mo, knowing what to look for. It's a very different beast when you are in the moment, behind the wheel.

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This will no doubt be a tough case for both sides to prove. I can see the points every side is making about this accident/murder.

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Tony Seward racing days are done.  He will never be the same driver.  To me, it looks like Steward tried to scare Ward, but hit him instead.  An accident that could have been avoided, if both kept their cool.

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Maldonado's fault.

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Tony Seward racing days are done.  He will never be the same driver.  To me, it looks like Steward tried to scare Ward, but hit him instead.  An accident that could have been avoided, if both kept their cool.

This is kind of what I'm thinking happened.

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You never walk onto the track, always stay in your car till the race comes to a stop and officials are helping you, the kid was an idiot for calling him out while the race was still in progress and letting his anger take over.

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+1, he should not have walked out on the track, considering it was not a very well lit track, his firesuit was black.

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Having ran at that track a few times myself it is well lit, and as stated above Captain Douchebag (Tony Stewart) appeared to be trying to intimidate him and now the young man is dead.  The track was under caution when this occurred and Stewart would have been well aware of it, the track is extremely wide in turn 1 and 2 where Ward made the choice to get out and point the finger.  You could have passed two busses side by side from where he was standing and cleared him, however Stewart made the choice as well to go high and accelerate.  Stewarts spotter as well as the lights informed him of the caution seconds after he caused it.

 

I also want to point out that last year Stewart caused a massive accident at the same track and broke a girls neck who was racing against him.

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Tony has only been back racing this type of car for the last few weeks, after having had to stop due to a bad ingry for the past year.

Also, he came down farther into the racing line when Tony came around, if he stayed where he was with the earlier drivers, he would have been missed.

Lastly, Tony had no idea he even wrecked him, not till he came around and saw it..

 

It wasn't murder.. And a lot of the people saying it was are looking at this vidoes over and over, in slow mo, knowing what to look for. It's a very different beast when you are in the moment, behind the wheel.

From what I understand the accident happened on the back part of the track.  The camera and mic could not have picked up Stewart's engine...it would have picked up an engine on the front straightaway.

 

Ward was WALKING ON THE TRACK and looking to confront Stewart.  I believe Stewart saw Ward at the last second and stepped on his brakes and the car swerved.

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