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Kevin Ward dies after being run over by Tony Stewart's car during sprint race [update]


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#1 finignig

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 06:59

"A race car driver was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries Saturday night after two witnesses say the driver was struck on the track by NASCAR star Tony Stewart.

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"

 

This is crazy, reports suggesting the young driver has passed away, I will ignore that and pray for his safety for the time being.

No official statement from the track yet, you can see the video in the link below

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 that happened.

"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."

 

[Edited to add: BE WARNED: The video in the Deadspin link is shocking and graphic and shows Ward struck by the car very clearly.  - SophieB]

 

[Edited to add 2:

 

I would recommend watching the video until 0:33. He gets hit at about 0:35 so you're safe. Another car passes him before he gets hit so that's your safe point.

 

http://deadspin.com/...ring-1618893708

http://www.usatoday....-park/13855401/


Edited by SophieB, 10 August 2014 - 08:49.


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#2 ensign14

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:17

This is perhaps the most serious incident that has ever happened on a race track.  Because, given the evidence, Stewart will face a murder charge.  At the very least he's facing manslaughter.

 

Tread extremely carefully.



#3 MightyMoose

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:19

A request, if you watch the video be prepared to witness something unpleasant.

Keep the comments adult here, it is a breaking story and not all the facts are known yet.

However, it is reported by the local sheriff that Kevin Ward was declared dead on arrival at hospital and an investigation is ongoing though no charges have yet been filed.

#4 Scotracer

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:22

Intent is difficult to judge. The guy was being stupid going on to the racing line. 



#5 DanardiF1

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:36

This is very hard to judge. A competitor who removes himself from the car and enters the race track and then the racing line is taking his life in his own hands surely?



#6 Jackmancer

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:39

Ugh, the video is sickening. Why does he go to the racing line? And why does Steward appear to move towards him? 

 

There's only losers here =/



#7 Thomas99

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:46

Several reports on twitter the young driver has passed away. This is absolutely sickening and I'm not even going to get into who is to blame as it would just be a knee jerk reaction.



#8 andysaint

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:55

Horrifying, the poor guy and his family and Tony, goodness knows how he is feeling.

It's been seen before in Nascar and Indycar, drivers would get out of their car to remonstrate, I think I have even seen a driver throw his helmet at another competitors car before? One wonders why the governing body lets it happen. Lessons must be learned.

#9 MightyMoose

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:02

.....I think I have even seen a driver throw his helmet at another competitors car before?


The most recent example of that was Tony Stewart (yes, 1 & the same) who lobbed his helmet at Matt Kenseth after a wreck. We've seen crew jumping on cars, deliberate crashes, pushing, shoving, punches and all out brawls but this is over and above that. I can only believe it was a tragic accident, the drives must know the outcome if they hit anyone.

#10 Kraken

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:04

The movement of Stewarts car was after the collision. Looks to be 100% the fault of the other IMO. He basically get in front of the car and crouches, on that surface I doubt Stewart could have done much about it. Horrible, horrible thing to happen.



#11 SophieB

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:04

This is such an awful thing.

 

There is going to be a lot of speculation filling twitter and other social media today. Some of it will turn out to be accurate, some not. Some of the stuff that will turn out to be rubbish will be because people will have taken to twitter genuinely believing they have heard something true which turns out not to be. Some of it, sadly, as we saw in the immediate aftermath of Michael Schumacher's accident, is because there are assholes out there who like to make shit up during times when people are desperate for news. It's worth asking if someone's a reliable source before posting.

 

Please continue the responsible ways you've been trying to make sense of the terrible thing that's happened here. It's greatly appreciated that people are being cautious when it comes to claiming intent. That's best left for the investigation.  In addition, no matter what the circumstances, a man has suffered very serious injuries. They may, sadly, turn out to be fatal. Please have some core respect for him and his family. His actions can be examined but I removed a comment here mentioning Darwin awards - too far.



#12 Jackmancer

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:05

The movement of Stewarts car was after the collision. Looks to be 100% the fault of the other IMO. He basically get in front of the car and crouches, on that surface I doubt Stewart could have done much about it. Horrible, horrible thing to happen.

 

Yes, but the weird thing is that by the sound it appears the car is accelerating, during or after the accident. 



#13 Diablobb81

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:06

So did Tony do it on purpose? Not trying to hit him but to intimidate him?



#14 Cyanide

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:19

My deepest sympathies to his family. Hopefully the bad news is just coming from perverted people who have no other way to amuse themselves on a Sunday. 

 

But I'm sorry, I've always considered sprint racing and NASCAR to be loose cannons. Completely void of harsh regulations and where drivers and pit crew have been trading punches, curses and walking on tracks like they are in public parks. If such actions would be punished severely there would be no intent to get out of the car and on the racing line in the first place. 

 

Regardless of who's at fault, a driver suffered serious injuries and is possibly battling for his life, something that could have been avoided if he had just stayed in the car. Getting out of it is absolutely inadmissible and I've seen it in NASCAR enough times to question whether someone will eventually regret it. 


Edited by Cyanide, 10 August 2014 - 08:25.


#15 dweller23

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:23

My deepest sympathies to his family. Hopefully the bad news is just coming from perverted people who have no other way to amuse themselves on a Sunday. 

 

But I'm sorry, I've always considered NASCAR to be a loose cannon. Completely void of harsh regulations and where drivers and pit crew have been trading punches, curses and walking on tracks like they are in public parks. If such actions would be punished severely there would be no intent to get out of the car and on the racing line in the first place. 

 

Regardless of who's at fault, a driver suffered serious injuries and is possibly battling for his life, something that could have been avoided if he had just stayed in the car. Getting out of it is absolutely inadmissible and I've seen it in NASCAR enough times to question whether someone will eventually regret it. 

Thing is, it wasn't NASCAR race. It was Sprint Cars race. Stewart races in both, so that's the only link betwen NASCAR and this accident.



#16 PayasYouRace

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:30

Thing is, it wasn't NASCAR race. It was Sprint Cars race. Stewart races in both, so that's the only link betwen NASCAR and this accident.

 

I think it's the kind of thing that we often complain about in F1 when it comes to driving standards. If the guys in the top level demonstrate certain behaviours, then it becomes "acceptable" at junior levels and it leads to unnecessary problems. This sort of behaviour seems to be allowed in NASCAR and as a result guys in lower level series in the US are going to think that's just part of racing.

 

Watching the video (I paused as TS entered the fame), an accident was inevitible. Walking down onto a live race track is asking for trouble, especially at night. Impossible to assess any intent on TS's part.



#17 HP

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:30

Yes, but the weird thing is that by the sound it appears the car is accelerating, during or after the accident. 

Since it was already under a caution lap, the incident is inexplicable to me.



#18 SophieB

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:31

My deepest sympathies to his family. Hopefully the bad news is just coming from perverted people who have no other way to amuse themselves on a Sunday.

 
Sadly, way too many stories confirming that Kevin Ward Jr. has died. :(

Washington Post: CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed a sprint car driver who was walking on a dirt track during a race in upstate New York on Saturday night.



#19 LB

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:31

RIP Kevin Ward. condolences to his family and friends.

 

Please please note this wasn't a NASCAR event!



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#20 Jejking

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:36

Geez... I'm not too quickly shocked but this is tough stuff.



#21 dweller23

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:36

I think it's the kind of thing that we often complain about in F1 when it comes to driving standards. If the guys in the top level demonstrate certain behaviours, then it becomes "acceptable" at junior levels and it leads to unnecessary problems. This sort of behaviour seems to be allowed in NASCAR and as a result guys in lower level series in the US are going to think that's just part of racing.

 

Watching the video (I paused as TS entered the fame), an accident was inevitible. Walking down onto a live race track is asking for trouble, especially at night. Impossible to assess any intent on TS's part.

While I have no intention of watching the video, I know that US racing is very keen on cautions for every incident. I'd guess a crashed car on a dirt track would indeed trigger a full course caution which would require drivers to drive a lot slower, because there was an accident and it's night. The question is, did everyone slowed down enough?



#22 Timstr11

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:37

Sorry but what kind of an idiot racing series is this?



#23 PayasYouRace

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:41

While I have no intention of watching the video, I know that US racing is very keen on cautions for every incident. I'd guess a crashed car on a dirt track would indeed trigger a full course caution which would require drivers to drive a lot slower, because there was an accident and it's night. The question is, did everyone slowed down enough?

 

It's hard to tell because there's no track announcer and the video is close in to the spun car and later on Kevin. It's an amateur video so no graphics or anything to indicate it on screen. What is pretty damning on Kevin's part is that he runs down into the middle of the track, looking for Tony.

 

I would recommend watching the video until 0:33. He gets hit at about 0:35 so you're safe. Another car passes him before he gets hit so that's your safe point.



#24 Jejking

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:42

Sorry but what kind of an idiot racing series is this?

What does that have to do with anything? Racing is racing.


Edited by Jejking, 10 August 2014 - 08:42.


#25 MikeV1987

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:42

Looks like Stewarts being a hot shot and trying to intimidate him and it went very wrong, what an insanely stupid thing to do. SO young, Absolutely horrible, R.I.P.

 

I HOPE this ends Tony's racing career at the very least, theirs no room in any motorsport for complete f***ing morons.


Edited by MikeV1987, 10 August 2014 - 08:55.


#26 dweller23

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:46

It's hard to tell because there's no track announcer and the video is close in to the spun car and later on Kevin. It's an amateur video so no graphics or anything to indicate it on screen. What is pretty damning on Kevin's part is that he runs down into the middle of the track, looking for Tony.

 

I would recommend watching the video until 0:33. He gets hit at about 0:35 so you're safe. Another car passes him before he gets hit so that's your safe point.

 

Regardless whether he came on track or not, the accident could easily leave something in the middle of the track, which means you would want to be cautious when approaching the place under yellows.



#27 SophieB

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:47

Sorry but what kind of an idiot racing series is this?

 

Not very helpful.  I suggest you look up sprint car racing on wikipedia and let people discuss the topic, please. Here, even a link: http://en.wikipedia....rint_car_racing

 

It's hard to tell because there's no track announcer and the video is close in to the spun car and later on Kevin. It's an amateur video so no graphics or anything to indicate it on screen. What is pretty damning on Kevin's part is that he runs down into the middle of the track, looking for Tony.

 

I would recommend watching the video until 0:33. He gets hit at about 0:35 so you're safe. Another car passes him before he gets hit so that's your safe point.

 

Thanks for doing that - I will put it in the OP for those who want to understand what happened without also seeing a man die.



#28 Ducks

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:48

OMG, that is one of the most disturbing things ive ever watched.



#29 Timstr11

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:48

What does that have to do with anything? Racing is racing.

Yeah. Who cares about rules and safety standards.

Don't act surprised when these things happen.



#30 RedRabbit

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:48

Wow, that's tough. The only thing I hope is that the organisers learn from this. Hard to believe that drivers are allowed to walk around on track anywhere.



#31 Timstr11

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:50

Not very helpful.  I suggest you look up sprint car racing on wikipedia and let people discuss the topic, please. Here, even a link: http://en.wikipedia....rint_car_racing

 

 

Thanks for doing that - I will put it in the OP for those who want to understand what happened without also seeing a man die.

You missed my point Sophie. I hate these type of racing series because of the culture, i.e. the low standards of safety. When these things happen we should not be surprised.


Edited by Timstr11, 10 August 2014 - 08:50.


#32 Cyanide

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:51

I've finally looked at the video and sorry to say but walking into the middle of the race track with cars flying by at night? He was on the racing line and it was surprising no other driver before Stewart actually hit him. 

 

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but if he had done the reasonable thing and walked away, he'd still live. 

 

And the other thing: it's perfectly reasonable to question the racing series. Zero safety standards or sanctions that discourage actions like the one Kevin took today. 



#33 MikeV1987

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:51

You missed my point Sophie. I hate these type of racing series because of the culture, i.e. the low standards of safety. When these things happen we should not be surprised.

oh ffs...



#34 Ducks

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:55

Would the charges brought to Stewart be under NY law?



#35 SophieB

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:55

You missed my point Sophie. I hate these type of racing series because of the culture, i.e. the low standards of safety. When these things happen we should not be surprised.

 

Timstr11, when your opening comment is to ask 'what kind of idiot racing series is this?', you give the impression you're not coming in with your criticism from a place that's at all well informed. If you've got examples of some previous near misses or something, that's useful context. If not, can you leave the topic for people who want to discuss the actual topic, not which racing series suck.



#36 Dolph

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:00

Honestly, this kind of running onto the track should not be allowed ever. Any guy doing that should get a massive fine. I'm talking massive, not 10,000 USD or smth. It should be smth that you never ever want to do.

 

Talking about the concrete incident: it appears to me as if Stewart ran much higher than the rest coming around the corner. I think he made a mistake there.



#37 Timstr11

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:00

Timstr11, when your opening comment is to ask 'what kind of idiot racing series is this?', you give the impression you're not coming in with your criticism from a place that's at all well informed. If you've got examples of some previous near misses or something, that's useful context. If not, can you leave the topic for people who want to discuss the actual topic, not which racing series suck.

Sorry. Disagree. with your arguments. This is very much about safety standards I I don't understand that you do NOT want that to be a topic.

 

I've been watchinng racing for 25 years. I have a pretty good idea of what's safe and what is not.



#38 MikeV1987

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:01

I've finally looked at the video and sorry to say but walking into the middle of the race track with cars flying by at night? He was on the racing line and it was surprising no other driver before Stewart actually hit him. 

 

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but if he had done the reasonable thing and walked away, he'd still live. 

 

And the other thing: it's perfectly reasonable to question the racing series. Zero safety standards or sanctions that discourage actions like the one Kevin took today. 

Granted he shouldn't have been walking on the track looking for a fight, BUT ffs Tony is over twice his age and has been around the racing scene long enough and he still couldn't show any composure, he didn't have to fishtail his car to prove a point. 


Edited by MikeV1987, 10 August 2014 - 09:06.


#39 Dolph

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:05

I think it's the kind of thing that we often complain about in F1 when it comes to driving standards. If the guys in the top level demonstrate certain behaviours, then it becomes "acceptable" at junior levels and it leads to unnecessary problems. This sort of behaviour seems to be allowed in NASCAR and as a result guys in lower level series in the US are going to think that's just part of racing.

 

Watching the video (I paused as TS entered the fame), an accident was inevitible. Walking down onto a live race track is asking for trouble, especially at night. Impossible to assess any intent on TS's part.

 

To me it appears that the fact that he stepped on the throttle means he saw Ward, hit the throttle and then hit him. If he wanted to intimidate him or intentionally run over him is another matter. But he saw him none the less. At least that's what appears to me.


Edited by Dolph, 10 August 2014 - 09:06.


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#40 Ali_G

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:06

RIP

Absolutely crazy stuff by the young driver. No doubt this will finish Tony Stewart's racing career.

#41 dweller23

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:06

Sorry. Disagree. with your arguments. This is very much about safety standards I I don't understand that you do NOT want that to be a topic.

 

I've been watchinng racing for 25 years. I have a pretty good idea of what's safe and what is not.

This thing happens in SO many racing series, from low sprint cars, through WoOS, ARCA to NASCAR and IndyCars. This has been happening for years in American racing and I find it shocking that in 25 years you did not ever see something like that or hear about Sprint Cars, which were around for decades (and dirt track racing is over 100 years old).



#42 Ducks

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:09

Will these cars have throttle trace telemetry, could be pretty damning on Tony if so?



#43 MikeV1987

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:09

Will these cars have throttle trace telemetry, could be pretty damning on Tony if so?

you can hear it pretty clearly, i dont think telemetry is needed.



#44 Dolph

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:11

Is Stewart running in today's Sprint cup race?



#45 dweller23

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:12

Is Stewart running in today's Sprint cup race?

I don't think sponsors of Haas/Stewart would let him.



#46 GoldenColt

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:14

I feel sorry for both these guys, but surely, running into the middle of this track was not necessarily going to end well. Stupid action, terrible outcome.



#47 fer312t

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:15

Is Stewart running in today's Sprint cup race?

 

In my opinion, there is no way Stewart will be allowed to race - Nascar does not want to risk the potential fallout (and rightfully so.) They will instruct him very firmly to personally opt not to race



#48 dweller23

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:15

http://sports.yahoo....-042049206.html

 

Witnesses say that the race was indeed under yellows after the first crash. This could justify a bit the behaviour of Ward.


Edited by dweller23, 10 August 2014 - 09:16.


#49 DanardiF1

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:16

Would the charges brought to Stewart be under NY law?

 

Depends if there would be charges at all. Ward walked onto a live race track to remonstrate at a competitor in low visibility and on what is a loose surface... That amounts to gross negligence in my opinion.



#50 MikeV1987

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:17

Hardly low visibility in those things...