Tony Stewart hit and killed driver on foot, investigation pending

  • Last night, Tony Stewart hit and killed Kevin Ward Jr as Ward approached Stewart’s car on foot. Some witnesses report that the action was deliberate (quotes below). ESPN has been more forgiving, completing omitting any questions of wrong doing.

    Here is the story

    Here are the accounts from the article:

    “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.”

    “Tony Stewart needs to be put in prison for life,” Graves said.

    “People (who could see it better) said the guy got out of his car and was gesturing angrily at Tony Stewart when Tony Stewart came by during the next lap under yellow,” Willis said in a phone interview. “He approached him and evidently when he was driving by the guy standing on the track gesturing at him, he gunned his engine.

    Here is the ESPN article about the incident.

    At 10:30 EST this morning, Greg Zipadelli, SHR vice president of Stewart-Haas racing announced a change of plans hours after saying Sunday is ‘business as usual’, and says that Stewart will no longer be racing today.

  • One interesting note, the ESPN link’s title of the article is “tony-stewart-hits-foot-competitor-sprint-car-race-new-york-state”, yet the title of the article itself is “On-foot driver hit by Stewart dies”. This would indicate that the title of the article was changed to be a passive sentence to avoid incriminiating Stewart. In addition, the video clip in the article focuses entirely on a NASCAR spokesman saying that Tony Stewart will be available for the Watkin’s Glen race today.

    I don’t know much about car racing, but these are my immediate thoughts:

    • These guys should not be walking onto the course, and won’t again any time soon.
    • If these guys walk out on the course they must believe that they are safe based upon the standard abilities of all of the drivers in the race.

  • @approxinfinity Prayers to family!

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