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Stewart on Ward death: 'There aren't words'

Tony Stewart Involved In Fatal Collision With Other Driver


WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) -- Tony Stewart says "there aren't words" to describe his sadness over the collision that killed Kevin Ward Jr.

In a statement released by spokesman Mike Arning, Stewart says "my thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."

The three-time NASCAR champion struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. with his car on Saturday night as Ward walked toward it following contact between the two during their race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

The full text of the statement read: "There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. It's a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I've decided not to participate in today's race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."

Stewart's team had said earlier Sunday that Stewart would be behind the wheel of his No. 14 Chevrolet when the green flag waved. Regan Smith drove Stewart's car instead.

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Carol August 10 2014 at 5:19 PM

To any one who thinks that Stewart would do that on purpose: Have you ever sat in a sprint car? Visibility is very limited. Top wing hanging down inches from the hood, roll cage bars, helmet, dirty race goggles, no headlights, dark night, dark dirt track & shadows. Now throw in a PEDESTRIAN wearing dark clothes and helmet. I'd bet money that Stewart NEVER saw the guy until a split second before impact. Of course Stewart gunned it and swerved, that's exactly what all the drivers do on a yellow to keep their tires heated up. There's tremendous comradery between racers, and they don't set out to KILL each other. Maybe we all need to wait until we hear what happened from Stewarts perspective, before passing judgment in such a despicable way.

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3 replies
David August 10 2014 at 3:16 PM

Tony, in no way were you at fault. The crash was just racing, and the fool walked out into traffic, at night, with no headlights, wearing all black. His problems are over.The racing community will rally to your support. I hope to see you back next week at Michigan. Be at peace.

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2 replies
cigary43 David August 10 2014 at 5:36 PM

It is about intent and watching raw video of what he did...physics tell the rest of the story as to how his car reacted from before the point of impact and after. Yellow flag was out which means....slow the F down and he chose to gun his engine and that caused it to fishtail which struck Ward...case closed and Tony knows it.

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3 replies
Warbird David August 10 2014 at 7:04 PM

Keep telling yourself Tony was in no way at fault. If that happened on the highway we would all be facing vehicular homicide charges and well on the way to a lengthy jail sentence. No on else raced their engine when they went past the wreck. Not only did Tony do it but he was also driving higher than the rest. Hot headedness will bring trouble more time than not. They both lost their tempers but Tony IS twice as old as Kevin!

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2 replies
Carol Warbird August 10 2014 at 8:01 PM

Warbird - Wrong. When a driver (on the street) hits a JAYWALKER, they are not EVER found at fault. What did Tony have to be mad about? NOTHING. The hothead was Ward, and he jumped out of his car and (sadly) committed suicide by sprint car. Stewart never saw him.

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David Warbird August 10 2014 at 11:28 PM

I hope you like the smell where you have your head stuck.

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Linda August 10 2014 at 4:26 PM

As a race fan I am heartsick over the events that happened at the sprint car track last night. And I'd like to send my prayers and condolences to the Ward family in this dark hour. I'm sure your son was a wonderful boy and obviously had a passion for racing. That being said, I also feel strongly that this accident was just that...an ACCIDENT...Tony Stewart is a first class race car driver and I know he did not intentionally hit this kid and for anyone to say or infer that is just ridiculous. It was a horrible thing and my heart goes out to the Ward family and also to Tony Stewart. I only hope that something positive, no matter how small, can come from this.

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1 reply
cigary43 Linda August 10 2014 at 5:38 PM

Tony has his own past to deal with...his own anger issues and how he drives. He just let his own anger kill another drive...he had two options...slow down under the yellow flag or drift to the left of Ward...he didn't and he killed him.

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1 reply
Carol cigary43 August 10 2014 at 7:50 PM

cigary43 - So what if Tony's a hothead? Tell me, what did he have to be angry about?? A bump on a dirt track? Par for the coarse. He came out of that initial minor skirmish, unscathed. If anything, he was probably amused. It was apparent that he NEVER saw Ward. Wards own anger issues (sadly) cost him his life.

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momsford August 10 2014 at 5:01 PM

Tony, it's time for you to sit back and reflect on your actions. Because of anger and probably on both drivers part, there is young man dead and a family grieving of the loss of their loved one. It's my opinion that every driver in the racing industry should have some kind of anger management classes. It needs to be done in other sports as well; NBA, NFL, NCAA....etc... It just goes to show that in the heat of anger there are now permanent consequences that will forever remain. I've seen you guys in NASCAR get out of your cars, point fingers, throw things, etc....in a caution. This has to stop. Maybe a few fines for the driver, team owner, pit crew etc...for getting out of your car while in a caution may curb some of this. Doesn't look good for the sponsors who pay big money to have their names plastered on your car and you go and do stupid things. Your life can be changed forever when anger gets the best of you. My prayers and thoughts for the Ward family.

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4 replies
bjsmissy August 10 2014 at 3:47 PM

Tony,your not too blame but I know the sadness you feel right now.
my prayers are for the Ward family loss.

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1 reply
biigwillstyle bjsmissy August 10 2014 at 4:29 PM

why do you all say "our thoughts and prayers" are with you???? its just a cliche. prayer does nothing, why say such stupid crap?????

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1 reply
Seth Jernigan biigwillstyle August 11 2014 at 7:25 AM

My thoughts and prayers are with them also. Don't like it? Fk you. Try to stop me from saying it. Please

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tworosescd August 10 2014 at 3:59 PM

1 word "MURDERER", video clearly shows he speeds up and he was trying to scare him by getting close to him that he over did it and ran in to him,its sad but its no different then if you hit someone on the street,you are liable for your actions and must pay,tony should be banned from racing forever and pay restitution to the family and then do at least 20 years in prison,that would be the right thing to do.

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9 replies
shihtzutoy August 10 2014 at 6:07 PM

Seriously, there is a reason they tell drivers to stay in their cars if they are involved in a collision. Very sad, but I have seen the video and the guy was out on track, walking across the lanes, shaking his fist and hollering at passing cars. Gonna race, you are gonna crash, get bumped, spin out, hit the wall.... all part of it.

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realcode04 August 10 2014 at 5:35 PM

Obviously the average race fan does not know that a yellow flag means. It is for the drivers to be cautious. Tony did the exact opposite.

If this goes to court, even *i* could be the lawyer and win the case for the Wards. All I have to do throughout the whole proceedings is say, 'yellow means proceed with caution. Tony Stewart willfully disregarded the yellow flag.'

Do you know why that would work? Because Tony Stewart willfully disregarded the the rule of 'proceed with caution'.

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2 replies
Carol realcode04 August 10 2014 at 7:24 PM

realcode - And what should Ward have done?

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c.perri realcode04 August 10 2014 at 9:14 PM

Carol....To even infer that Ward was at fault is ludicrous. The only mistake Ward made was to get out of his car but it's not a crime to do that. Many race car drivers have done that in their career. The crime is knowingly gunning the car during a caution (which means SLOW DOWN) & not driving far away enough not to hit & kill someone standing there. Ward is the victim not Stewart in any way shape or form. Stewart is the one to blame for knowingly deciding to drive the way he did, no one else.

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1 reply
Carol c.perri August 11 2014 at 12:56 AM

c.perri - I get what you're saying. But at this point I'm giving Stewart the benefit of the doubt. The video looks kind of bad BUT, it could be because of the angle of the footage. My family had sprint cars (dirt & pavement), super modifieds, and an off set. We raced for about 25 years. On more than one occasion, when our guy got into a tangle, from my vantage point, it would absolutely look like the other guy deliberately smacked into him, pushed him, ran over a tire... whatever. And I'd be SO mad, and then I'd get with our driver, and he'd say "no, actually I ran up on him... or whatever. So, I guess all I'm really trying to get at, is things aren't always as they seem. I wish Tony had had a GoPro Nice debating with you

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sgregg38 August 10 2014 at 6:12 PM

For anyone to say it was intentional, is just plain ridiculous!!

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3 replies
cigary43 August 10 2014 at 5:34 PM

Yep...there aren't words to describe how you got away with murder and Stewart knows what really happened. He may lie his way out of this one but he knows what he did...he's a guy who got away with murder.

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1 reply
vracer cigary43 August 10 2014 at 11:13 PM

As a racer I feel for both people involved but Tony You and I both no You don't run out on a dark track or a lit one during a race. and You did what all of us would have done to try and avoid Ward who popped up right infront of You. It's sad but it's racing like We all no it. See You in Michigan Hang in there God Bless

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