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Old 10 Aug 2014, 16:15 (Ref:3443054)   #31
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Originally Posted by Biscuits In A Red Bull View Post
Is Tony finding some sense in his brain that was clearly lacking when he killed a man?
This is the kind of over-reaction I'm talking about. There are still so many questions to be answered. To simply say that Stewart killed a man is wrong.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 16:19 (Ref:3443055)   #32
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It's unsubstantiated that he acted on purpose. A witness a/c is often unreliable, the footage is inconclusive.

Stewart is foolish at times, given to temper. I can see a potential problem with consequences with the behaviour that does go on. But he's no madman. The idea that he accelerated towards a man on the track is so at odds with instinct, it beggars belief. A driver might slow down and angrily give a man a fright with his car, that I can see, but the accusation that he accelerated with intent will need a high threshold of corroboration. i.e. More than an account from a distraught friend of Ward is needed.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 16:21 (Ref:3443056)   #33
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Originally Posted by Biscuits In A Red Bull View Post
However, I still feel that if Kevin Ward Jr was your son/brother than you'd want to see Stewart punished for no less than manslaughter. He, after, intentionally planted his foot on his accelerator, and I don't need to say the rest.
How on earth can you tell whether it was "intentional" or not? We've only got one angle of what happened, and it is far from conclusive. The car ahead of Stewart barely avoided the guy, and I bet if he had hit him, there wouldn't be nearly as much fuss. But because it's Stewart, and because in the past there's a couple of incidents of him losing his temper, he's got blood on his hands...it's ridiculous.

How do you know for instance, that Stewart perhaps didn't see Ward in his dark race suit until the last moment, and was trying to take evasive action? And suggesting that it was deliberate is pretty libellous as well.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 16:24 (Ref:3443057)   #34
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Unfortunately, NASCAR really only has itself to blame. In their sphere, they've done their best to encourage this "boys have at it" attitude. They've glorified that 1979 Daytona 500 fist fight, and every subsequent altercation. On top of that, they've promoted the drivers over everything else, to the extent that they had a car that was absolutely identical across all the manufacturers, until the manufacturers pushed back. They won't suspend a star driver,, because they fear the hit in attendance/TV ratings that could result.

And it isn't only NASCAR in some of these things. If Romain Grosjean had been a race winner, or had hit guys who were normally back-markers, I'm not sure that he would have been suspended after that start incident at Spa. Heck, the fact he hit regular front-runners and championship contenders was highlighted in the subsequent press release on the matter.

(I'll try not to speculate too much, but my engineer's brain, at some level, DEMANDS to figure these things out for itself, and isn't content to just wait to be spoon-fed whatever somebody else has come up with.)

Based on what I've seen so far though, it doesn't sound good for Tony. I'm no fan of his, but I wouldn't wish this sort of thing on any driver, no matter how much I dislike him.

Keep in mind, racing drivers are NOT in line with the general population when it comes to risk-taking, aggression, and a certain sense of invulnerability, or at least, that they think they can avoid situations, and the bad consequences will fall upon someone else who just isn't quite as good. Also, since death has become so much rarer, certainly in the upper echelons of racing, there is a measure of complacency and a lack of carefulness on the part of everyone. It's not that the drivers intend to be careless, but rather, they aren't FORCED to be as careful, and therefore, the level of precaution they take has slipped compared to yesteryear.

Last edited by Purist; 10 Aug 2014 at 16:35.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 16:44 (Ref:3443064)   #35
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And it isn't only NASCAR in some of these things.
Grosjean was banned for "endangering championship contenders" or something very similar. It's as if the FIA valued Hamilton's and Alonso's lives over those of Perez, Kobayashi and Maldonado, because of their prior success. It's disgusting.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 16:56 (Ref:3443067)   #36
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I don't believe for a moment that Tony Stewart intended to kill the unfortunate young man. So either one of two things occurred here.

o He blipped the throttle to throw the car sideways and shower Ward with dirt.

o He was headed for Ward and blipped the throttle to throw the car sideways in order to avoid him.

I sincerely hope it was the latter... but the investigation will provide us with the answer.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 17:03 (Ref:3443073)   #37
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Originally Posted by Biscuits In A Red Bull View Post
Why? The main cause is debatable (that's what we're debating about), but there's no doubting that Stewart played a sizeable part. His car ran Ward over.
And had Ward stayed in his car, or not decided to confront Stewart just off the racing line, he'd still be alive.

I don't know how you can ascertain that it was in anyway intentional, or how Stewart is somehow more to blame. Ward put himself at risk, and could easily have been hit by any other car.

We definitely need to see other angles/see data from Stewart's car, or hear from the guy himself before throwing around defamatory and libellous allegations that it was deliberate.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 17:46 (Ref:3443089)   #38
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This kind of thing had been allowed to perpetuate in so many series that it was inevitable that serious consequences were to be paid by someone. It is very unfortunate that someone had to pay with their life and another may have to pay by ending their career or worse.

I saw 2 people acting irresponsibly in a very dangerous environment but video is not as conclusive as the common, complete statements of witnesses at the track. I hope the police are competent enough to bring justice, if necessary or to draw the conclusion that this is nothing more than a terrible tragedy that robbed a young man of a longer life.

My thoughts and prayers are with Kevin Wards' family and friends at this time as this will haunt them for the remainder of their lives.

Last edited by fieldodreams79; 10 Aug 2014 at 17:59.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 21:03 (Ref:3443225)   #39
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1. This kind of culture of drivers alighting from cars to shake a fist or flip a bird at some other driver they feel did them wrong goes back to the beginning of motor racing history. In American motorsport though it's been encouraged and given a pass by the powers that be as a way of generating drama and rivalries. Not just in Nascar but this sort of thing goes on all the time in short track racing in the USA and has happened plenty of times in road racing series as well.

On the level though, it's a retarded thing to do. You have cars that weigh a ton or two moving at speed on track with a lot of other things going on. That others have not been killed or severely injured(maybe some have) and the fact that sanctioning bodies let this behavior go on, really is a surprise to me. It's dangerous for both involved and ridiculous that sanctioning bodies have not stamped this out before something like this happened.

2. It's impossible for anyone to say that Tony Stewart did this deliberately at this moment in time.

For one thing in my life there are plenty of times I have hit the gas to avoid an accident to get my car out of the way of deer, people and other cars that have jumped out in front of me. These sprint cars don't have great brakes and if someone is running at you on one of these dirt circuits, I'm not so sure hitting the brakes in this case would have made it any better.

3. Has anyone here been to an American short track dirt race with sprint cars at night? Often because there is little breeze at night, the dust hangs in the air. It's dark, the track lighting systems are imperfect, there are shadows, it's dusty, you are moving at speed and your eyes don't work as well in a half lit nighttime scenario. This isn't a paved track at 2pm in the afternoon.

4. Motorsport is a big boy game. It isn't checkers or tiddlywinks. You can die very quickly and especially so doing foolish things. It's bad enough that you can die from sudden deceleration or an incident on track, lets not make it worse with drivers running around on foot on track. People have mentioned criminal charges. That's not the way it works. This is a sporting arena where you can die and sometimes people do. It's a risk and one that some people choose to maximize that risk and some choose to minimize that risk. It's an extremely difficult case to make for criminal charges because of the environment and that the deceased chose to put himself on foot and in the path of circulating cars on a race track. If on a long shot, criminal charges are filled, the defendant will have paid motorsport-specific expert witnesses to testify and it will never stick. A civil court case and more likely a settlement will be the result.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 21:12 (Ref:3443228)   #40
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This kind of thing had been allowed to perpetuate in so many series that it was inevitable that serious consequences were to be paid by someone. It is very unfortunate that someone had to pay with their life and another may have to pay by ending their career or worse.
Why drivers engage in this sort of behavior and then sanctioning bodies do nothing about it, is perplexing but then often it's all about the show, selling tickets and being on TV. To me as a driver, if I have a problem with someone I can sort that out in the pits. Last thing they need is me putting them and myself in harms way to shake a fist at someone. It's completely ridiculous behavior. If I ever run a series and see a driver do this, I'd suspend their licence on the spot if I could do so.

A lot of people are saying this is the end of Stewart's career. It only is if he wants it to be over. Quite frankly what will happen is there will be a teary eyed press conference full of apologies, a settlement will be paid out and it will be forgotten in a few weeks.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 22:16 (Ref:3443292)   #41
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People have mentioned criminal charges. That's not the way it works. This is a sporting arena where you can die and sometimes people do. It's a risk and one that some people choose to maximize that risk and some choose to minimize that risk. It's an extremely difficult case to make for criminal charges because of the environment and that the deceased chose to put himself on foot and in the path of circulating cars on a race track. If on a long shot, criminal charges are filled, the defendant will have paid motorsport-specific expert witnesses to testify and it will never stick. A civil court case and more likely a settlement will be the result.
hmmm. My gut feeling is that this WILL result in lawsuits, and be dragged around the courts for years to come, whether some people look at the drivers as some kind of weird modern-day gladiators or not.

My other gut feeling is that Kevin Ward was incredibly stupid. Unfortunately he paid for that with his life, and I cannot begin to imagine what his family must be going through. Deliberate or not by Tony Stewart, he is going to have this baggage to deal with for the rest of his life.

It's a terrible terrible day for motorsport.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 22:23 (Ref:3443295)   #42
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A lot of people are saying this is the end of Stewart's career. It only is if he wants it to be over. Quite frankly what will happen is there will be a teary eyed press conference full of apologies, a settlement will be paid out and it will be forgotten in a few weeks.
There has to be a full and proper (& lengthy) investigation, during which time Steward HAS to be suspended. If found guity of what this looks like, then how can anyone ever let him race again?
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 22:38 (Ref:3443303)   #43
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3. Has anyone here been to an American short track dirt race with sprint cars at night? Often because there is little breeze at night, the dust hangs in the air. It's dark, the track lighting systems are imperfect, there are shadows, it's dusty, you are moving at speed and your eyes don't work as well in a half lit nighttime scenario. This isn't a paved track at 2pm in the afternoon.
Correct,plus on a sprintcar the outside wing end plate hangs down a lot lower than the inside end plate so visibilty is restricted to the left.
Most sprintcar drivers under caution usually give the throttle a blip aound the corners to keep the temps up.
Sadly the young guy should have stayed in the car until pushed to the infield,thats the rules here.
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Old 10 Aug 2014, 23:03 (Ref:3443315)   #44
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hmmm. My gut feeling is that this WILL result in lawsuits, and be dragged around the courts for years to come, whether some people look at the drivers as some kind of weird modern-day gladiators or not.

My other gut feeling is that Kevin Ward was incredibly stupid. Unfortunately he paid for that with his life, and I cannot begin to imagine what his family must be going through. Deliberate or not by Tony Stewart, he is going to have this baggage to deal with for the rest of his life.

It's a terrible terrible day for motorsport.
No question there will be lawsuits. There are probably already 500 "Slip N' Fall" lawyers queued up for their chance at taking the case, but also on the other side paid expert witnesses who will reconstruct the accident to minimize blame on Stewart are probably warming up in the bullpen right now. There are 2 facts, one is that the deceased driver ran out onto the track surface on a race track and second is that Stewart hit and killed that person. There is a lot of gray area in between in regards to motivations, intent, ability to avoid the accident, ability to see the potential accident, etc.

Most of these types of incidents in the USA will never go to civil litigation. There will be a settlement.

I think it's a shameful day for motorsport. This sort of buffoonery rodeo clown type incident should not have happened and I think a lot of it goes back to this sort of behavior being approved and even encouraged by those running the show. And Nascar is one of the worst offenders.
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Old 11 Aug 2014, 02:58 (Ref:3443353)   #45
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I'm a massive Stewart fan, he and Gordon have always been my favourites. But damn... that's clearcut manslaughter in my eyes. What a shame.

To the people suggesting he accelerated (and it's clear he accelerated - it wasn't someone else off screen) to AVOID Ward? I don't buy that for second. Tony was clearly hot and ran up the track and drifted it to scare him, or maybe flick him with dirt. Plenty of us have probably done something similar on normal roads - perhaps gone very close to a cyclist that's taking up the entire road, or a car ahead that uses up the entire road to turn into a driveway, or even just driven slower to annoy a tailgater. If this was the open road and you kill a pedestrian, you're usually up for manslaughter. It doesn't matter what they were doing on the road, you should have been able to stop.

I see the other perspective though, Ward should never have run on track, almost using his body to stop Stewart. That was ridiculously stupid. I guess from here on out a lot of series will come down much harder on drivers that attempt to confront another car on track, to avoid this situation ever happening again. Two hot-headed guys caught in the moment, only one had a deadly weapon at his disposal.

To actually intentionally speed up alongside Ward, knowing by accelerating it's going to flick the car sideways, Tony really has to go up on manslaughter charges and should be found guilty.

I also think Nascar should separate themselves from Tony now. Don't pretend it didn't happen of course, it was one of their drivers and they need to treat the victims correctly and with respect, but you can't have Tony in that series anymore. Or in any racing series. As a driver or team owner. AJ lost a couple years of his career and is lucky to be back just by taking a potentially prescription ADHD drug. Tony killed someone. I bet in some fans eyes should serve time for it. How can you have him racing again in Nascar?

Tony may end up retiring from racing anyway. Sad way for one of my fav drivers to go. But even sadder for Ward.
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