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Old 10 Aug 2014, 13:18 (Ref:3443010)   #16
Paradise City
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Senseless - and it could easily be two other drivers, on a different day, in a different series. You need penalties to be applied if a driver returns to the track or gesticulates to a driver whilst himself on the track. I'm by no means a nanny-state person but a targetted reg or two might be in order here. And if you are at the wheel you need to be vigilant, not reckless. Particularly in a sport where there's contact a plenty, a marooned driver boiling and coming over is what happens. A man w/o a car whilst you're in one, is never a target to intimidate. RIP Ward.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 14:09 (Ref:3443019)   #17
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Even if Tony comes out of this good on the legal end, this will probably push him down the road to retirement as an active driver. He's already had the broken leg and this will probably haunt him mentally and emotionally for a while.

I'm surprised that he's even going to try and race today. If I were NASCAR brass I'd encourage him to sit this one out based on his mental and emotional state. You can't be involved in a fatal accident like that and it not bother you. Even sitting out out of respect of Ward would be a good call on Smoke's end.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 14:16 (Ref:3443020)   #18
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I'm by no means a nanny-state person but a targetted reg or two might be in order here.
The rules are in place, but it's the consistency of their enforcement that is called into question. I don't follow sprint racing but I assume walking onto the track while the race is on is forbidden, even if it is under yellow. The first thing that came to my mind was a BES race where Mucke approached Westbrook to give him a mouthful (both in-car), only to accidentally swipe him and write both cars off. The original recommendation was that his licence should be revoked, but no lasting damage was done so Mucke got a slap on the wrist. It's easy to say that had there been injury Mucke would have been stripped of his licence, but that should have happened regardless of the outcome. It's the intent that we want to get rid of because otherwise this will happen again.

I'm not a big follower of American series apart from TUSC/PWC, but from an outsider's perspective on-track altercations seem to be played up as part of the "spice" of the event (and not just in NASCAR might I add). Stewart in particular has had his fair share of outbursts that even I've seen in promos and highlights. While I don't want to speculate on Tony's actions, I think what tranpsired last night would have been much less likely if the helmet/glove-throwing and window-grabbing were given multiple race suspensions. I do realize there's an element of "alpha male" hot-headedness that will never go away, but at the very least drivers need to be made aware how serious venturing onto a not-empty track is. Ward took his life in his own hands when he went to remonstrate with Stewart, this much we can unfortunately be certain of.

As I don't know the cars very well, do they have throttle telemetry? Even though that wouldn't be conclusive (direct drive, different rear tyre sizes, sliding on dirt, etc.) it would help piece together the sequence of events.

Regardless of where the blame is to be apportioned, this is utterly horrific and my sympathies go to all involved, especially the Ward family - RIP Kevin Ward. I hope this incident goes some way towards curbing the foolhardy attitude we see far too often in motorsports.

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I'm surprised that he's even going to try and race today. If I were NASCAR brass I'd encourage him to sit this one out based on his mental and emotional state. You can't be involved in a fatal accident like that and it not bother you. Even sitting out out of respect of Ward would be a good call on Smoke's end.
I'd go as far as pressuring him not to race, not only for the sponsor fallout/fan response/respect for the Ward family but for his own state of mind. He can't be holding up well having just been involved in a driver fatality. Wouldn't the investigators want him to sit the race out as well so they can speak to him again?

Last edited by J Jay; 10 Aug 2014 at 14:23.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 14:19 (Ref:3443021)   #19
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canamman should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridcanamman should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridcanamman should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
What a shocking start to what was going to be a glorious day at the Glen.
I have watched the video several times and I still cant believe it.
A lot of bad decisions that came together at the same time.

Cant help but thinking about when Tony threw his helmet at Kennseth's
car and how many young racers he set an example for.

Its time for some new universal rules with drivers doing these sorts of retaliation in the race groove it appears.

I hope Tony decides to sit todays race out away from the Glen. He may want to go seek out that drivers family and see if he can be of any help.
They should hear Tony's side of the story from him. They may or may not
receive him warmly.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 14:20 (Ref:3443022)   #20
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Salamus should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridSalamus should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridSalamus should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridSalamus should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I think some of you are over-reacting just a little bit. We still don't know exactly what happened (the video doesn't answer every question).

One aspect that most are forgetting is the inadequate lighting on the track. It was dark on that part of the track. Ward was wearing a black firesuit. I wouldn't be surprised if Tony didn't see him until the last possible second. Maybe he tried to swerve but instead lost control of the car and hit Ward. If you look at the video, the car in front of Tony BARELY missed Ward. And he had to swerve out of the way too.

But again, we don't know exactly what happened. Just a bunch of speculation right now until the police finish their investigation.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 14:56 (Ref:3443033)   #21
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Accident should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridAccident should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I don't think it's wise to treat the video footage as something clear cut, because it isn't... It doesn't show the lead up to the contact to see the angle he was approaching from and such to see if he indeed move up, and people saying they can hear him hit the gas to accelerate... there are how many cars on a small dirt track? And his car isn't even on screen at the time you hear the acceleration I assume many people are talking about, to see if the car does indeed accelerate.

One thing to keep in mind with sprint cars is that visibility is not great. A slick clay track is shiny with lights shining down on it, it was under a yellow meaning that most of the safety vehicles have their bright lights flashing, drivers are often looking through several layers of tear offs and/or dirty visors, and the right panel of the wing hangs much lower than the left side, and (while it doesn't look to be the case on Tony's car) some of them still run unpainted on the inside of the wing panels and those reflect all the flashing safety lights off the wing itself. He would have had to have been watching for a driver in a dark colored suit to his right (where the low hanging wing is) while also watching the recovery trucks approaching (and the guy on his fourwheeler approaching from the infield on his left) and watching what the other cars are doing.

I'm not saying whether or not he meant to scare the guy or anything, as we will never really know, but there are a lot of factors, and a tight dirt track at night in a sprint car isn't the same as far as visibility and space goes compared to most road courses and the like.

Regardless of the why/how, what happened is a massive shame that will scar both Stewart's career and the history of the small track (and possibly the town if it's anything like some of the small town tracks we have around here).

Thoughts go out to the Ward family.

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Originally Posted by J Jay View Post
As I don't know the cars very well, do they have throttle telemetry? Even though that wouldn't be conclusive (direct drive, different rear tyre sizes, sliding on dirt, etc.) it would help piece together the sequence of events.
Nothing like that, much too advanced (and therefore expensive) for this kind of stuff.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 15:00 (Ref:3443034)   #22
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I've seen the footage. The video is obscure, it's darkish and it's actually unclear from the footage whether Stewart even saw him. From my untrained eye, he was off course but his speed seemed unabated which suggests he was surprised and could only swerve. In otherwords, on-site investigation is needed here.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 15:14 (Ref:3443037)   #23
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Police are investigating, and I'd have to say to wait on their word before taking anything as gospel.

I'm a moderator at Motorsport Mayhem and Watkins Glen is my first race serving as a mod at that site, so I know that I might have to take some names there.

But anyways, we don't really have a clear picture of what actually happened yet. Only the investigators know what has happened, or are at least trying to piece together what happened, and, not to sound snotty, I'd trust their word more than people who are speculating on what happened who don't have the full picture.

I'd say give the benefit of the doubt until final word of the investigation comes out.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 15:15 (Ref:3443038)   #24
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Nicholosophy should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridNicholosophy should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridNicholosophy should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Regardless of the outcome of any investigation, drivers and officials need to start taking this stuff seriously. Hefty penalties should be given to any driver (or other nutjob) who enters the track and puts themselves into harms way. Same for any driver who recklessly tries to endanger the life of another driver.

One death is one too many.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 15:19 (Ref:3443039)   #25
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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.
"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."
Graves said he didn't believe it was intentional.
"You never mean to do something like that," Graves told Sporting News. "Kevin was ****ed and he let Tony know. And Tony was trying to give the message back that he wasn't happy either. He went over the line with it."

Ward obviously did the wrong thing, but seriously? A multi-million dollar, iconic, professional "racing driver" accelerated and as a result veered into this young racing driver, resulting in the death of 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. What for? Waving his hands in the air.

At a minimum, that's manslaughter. Stewart wouldn't have wanted to kill a man, but seriously. The man is disturbed and needs attention if that's what he's done. His career will have ended in the worst possible way for him, but hopefully he'll lose the respect of every single motorsports fan that he no longer deserves, although I wish no ill health to Tony.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 15:21 (Ref:3443040)   #26
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And yes, I've seen the video. It's frankly disturbing and NASCAR should not let Stewart race for other competitors safety and their dignity.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 15:24 (Ref:3443041)   #27
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Per ESPN--Stewart has withdrawn from the race, Regan Smith will drive in his place.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 15:32 (Ref:3443042)   #28
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Stewart has withdrawn from the race? Is Tony finding some sense in his brain that was clearly lacking when he killed a man?
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 15:43 (Ref:3443044)   #29
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As moderator of another forum, I'd have to dub you comment as inflammatory. As I've said, I'll wait for the police investigation to end before I portion out blame.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 15:58 (Ref:3443048)   #30
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Stewart has withdrawn from the race? Is Tony finding some sense in his brain that was clearly lacking when he killed a man?
Oh come off it.

Even if Stewart was hauled before the courts, I doubt the prosecutors would be able to put a very strong case against him. Most people with sense would realise that walking down to where cars are passing, regardless of whether it was under caution, is not at all smart.

Of course, I've no idea if Stewart intended to scare him or not, but in my opinion the kid is more to blame. He put himself at risk, barely off the racing line. Stupidity. That said, it's a very tragic incident, and my thoughts go out to his friends and family, as well as Stewart himself.
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