Racer Tony Stewart Kills Kevin Ward in Dirt Track Nightmare

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Courtesy MCT Campus Service

Tony Stewart during a press event earlier in the season.

August 10, 2014 was a regular day for 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. All he knew was he was racing that night, sprint cars.  It is common to be spun out during a dirt track race, but it wasn’t common for it to be caused buy a three-time NASCAR champion. Ward left his car and was walking in the middle of the track, to the right of pro NASCAR racer Tony Stewart’s No. 14 car when it appeared to fishtail and struck ward. To video and witness accounts, wards body was sucked underneath the car and thrown through the air before landing on his back. Kevin Ward was taken to the hospital but pronounced dead.

Contrary to the NASCAR expression, that’s not “just racing.”

Tony Stewart dropped out of Sunday’s NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, hours after the accident. There are several questions remaining after the race. Did Stewart mean to do it?  Was he trying to scare Ward?  Could he not see him in the black fire suit? A friend of Wards, Cory Sparks, said “the timing was [clearly] unsafe,” and “When your adrenaline is going, and you’re taken out of a race, your emotions flare.”  Certainly Stewart himself could relate to that.

Currently the country sheriff’s department is not calling their investigation criminal, but many online and in the media are quick to quick to call Stewart a hothead.  Some have even said he should be charged with a crime.  Currently the only videos of the incident are dim and difficult to see clearly what happened.

Even if he’s not in trouble, will Tony Stewart keep racing sprint cars for a hobb,y or will he find some other sport that can give him an adrenaline rush?