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Tony Stewart - Did he intend to do it?

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#1
FTodaro

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Drago started a good discussion of Facebook about the Tony Stewart issue, some folks had some interesting perspectives. Mine, this is a sad story no matter how you cut it. There will be  a lot of debate about if he intended to do it or to scare him or just plain did not see him.

 

I do not think there we be enough evidence at the end of the day to prove a crime was committed but some pretty strong evidence that maybe he was acting badly.

 

What ever happens in this case, one thing that i hope comes out of this is a change in the NASCAR world of the Bad boy behavior of pointing fingers, throwing helmets, blatantly taking guys our for payback.

 

You can only hope that the professional in this sport that we all love can set the bar high and lead by good examples. 

 

I hate when i see unsportsman like conduct. It degrades the sport. so maybe they will put a K bosh on that going forward.

 

As far as the blame game goes. I don't don't know for sure what Tony did, but I do know that it was totally a no no to go running down a live track pointing fingers. Just can't escape some of the blame there.


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#2
jrhenson

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That is my take as well. Even in an encounter with a tire wall way off course, I would never exit the car unless corner workers or other officials have deemed it safe for me. Add to that the squirrely nature of sprint cars on dirt, and it was just a terrible decision to go out onto the line and approach the cars. They're still doing 40 MPH under caution I would imagine.

 

As far as Tony's part in all of this. It looked inconclusive to me. Maybe he tried to spook the guy, maybe he didn't, but I am confident that there was certainly no harm intended.

 

It is a bad and sad situation. I feel for both families.



#3
Jim Drago

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First.. 

We all agree that Ward should NOT have ever got out of car and into a hot track, even under caution.  His poor decision definitely cost him his life. My opinion is even though Ward was completely WRONG in his actions, it does not give Stewart a free pass from any responsibility in this tragedy.  More evidence is certainly needed. But IMO, it is pretty clear that Stewart intended to screw with Ward or show his displeasure that Ward charged at his car. I believe Stewart goosed the car and intentionally kicked the ass out to scare the kid and it went tragically WRONG!  I don't think in any way Stewart intended to hurt Ward at all. i think years of Stewarts Antics finally caught up with him and it cost this kid his life.  Unless contradictory evidence comes to the fore front, I think he should be investigated and possible charged with negligent homicide.

 

Interesting article..

http://www.si.com/ra...l-ramifications


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#4
wheel

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Black driving suit, short dirt track at night with about 250 candle power of lighting, no way to yank one of those cars in a tight turn without the ass end jumping out.  If Tony hadn't hit the kid, the next car in line probably would have.  

 

wheel



#5
Mike Collins

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I'm not in the same camp as Jim.... unless some video comes to light that shows that Tony did any anything conclusively then its over now.  Its tragic, but over.  I've watched the video countless times and I cannot beyond any reasonable doubt tell if Tony gassed the car, swerved to avoid, or that the car being upset was simply caused but the contact with Ward....

 

I'm not giving anyone a free pass, but there are ZERO EXPECTATIONS that a live human is out on a race track not covered by a safety vehicle..  YOU NEVER GET OUT OF A RACECAR ON A HOT TRACK unless you are on fire or directed to do so by an official.....

 

If more video comes to light that shows exactly what he was doing and the car was doing then things may change but that video is inconclusive.


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#6
Jim Creighton

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First, I think this is a inappropriate discussion.

 

Unless any of you have ever driven a sprint car and are familiar with the offset of the rear and what happens when the tires strike any object, you have no right to comment.

 

How many of you have been in a full course caution situation and either looked down at gauges, tightened belts, etc. while following another car by 10 feet and then had to react to someone standing on the track?  Just think how much time Tony had to make any kind of move!

 

Come on, discuss things that concern SM. This is a sad situation for all.


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#7
Jim Drago

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I've watched the video countless times and I cannot beyond any reasonable doubt tell if Tony gassed the car

Can you conclusively tell that he didn't?  I can't.

 

Can you say with any certainty that Stewart wouldn't do something like that? His nearly 20 year long career of such antics lead me to believe that not only is it possible that he was screwing around, but probable. 

 

I agree, we need more evidence before an accurate conclusion can be made. My opinion is formed less more video, but that being said, if "I" was on a jury with only that video, I could not vote guilty despite what I "think" happened here.  That may be what ultimately saves Stewart from even being prosecuted. Right now only Stewart knows for sure what he did, he will have to live with this for the rest of his life regardless of whether or not we ever find out what really happened here.   


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#8
Caveman-kwebb99

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I must be one of the very few in life that dont think someone is that malicious to purposfully runover someone.  I suspect as most drivers when we nudge someone or spin them we just want to give that wave of an appology, Stewart is doing this event for fun and to help the sport IMO he already has a career so he sure as hell is not fighting for one on that stupid dirt track, the Kid is trying to make a name for himself, he made a horrible decision to let his emotions take him from the safety of his car into the path of an oncoming racecar.  If Stewart is looking at the kids car to give him a wave or to see that he is alright he sure as hell isnt expecting the kid to jump out there in his all black race suit, from the vid I have watched it looks like stewart is suprised to see him there and tried to make a move to get away from him and hits him.  

 

I can certainly understand guys throwing a helmet or other actions on pit road or in the paddock etc. not saying its right but, this getting out of the car running down the track with cars coming is just plain SAF...  


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#9
Mark

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It would be interesting to know if there was some history between these two before the incident. What happened in the preceding laps, or heats, between them, if anything, that might contribute to Stewarts frame of mind. From the clips (Wards spin and contact incident) I've seen so far Stewart would have no reason to have any animosity towards Ward and attempt a 'brush back' or other retalitory action. 

 

Very sad for all involved. 


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#10
Parity

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We all agree that Ward should NOT have ever got out of car and into a hot track, even under caution.  His poor decision definitely cost him his life. My opinion is even though Ward was completely WRONG in his actions, it does not give Stewart a free pass from any responsibility in this tragedy.  More evidence is certainly needed. But IMO, it is pretty clear that Stewart intended to screw with Ward or show his displeasure that Ward charged at his car. I believe Stewart goosed the car and intentionally kicked the ass out to scare the kid and it went tragically WRONG!  I don't think in any way Stewart intended to hurt Ward at all. i think years of Stewarts Antics finally caught up with him and it cost this kid his life.  Unless contradictory evidence comes to the fore front, I think he should be investigated and possible charged with negligent homicide.

 

 

 

My problem with this is the use of the word "Intended". Outside of God and Tony Stewart no one can make this assertion especially after simply watching a video on the internet. Folks can pontificate and conjecture all they want but that's all it will be. Even after a full investigation we may never really know. IMO the focus here should be on the real easy steps that would have prevented this loss of life. Any and all racing sanctioning bodies SHOULD pass and or enforce rules about exiting a car (fire exception) while the track is hot and approaching a hot track on foot. If driver confrontations are parts of the sport take it to the paddock.


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#11
bones240z

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I think this is an important discussion to have at any level of Motorsport. First and foremost this is an awful tragedy as we are all aware.  I'm glad to read the above posts which point out that getting out of your car on a hot track is a major No-No.  I agree with Mike, unless you're car is on fire, it's the safest place to be on track.

 

Everyone is keyed up while competing and  understandably, someone may feel compelled to act out against another competitor if they feel they were crashed or punted off track. This is an issue to raise to the Stewards and let them handle. I've been run in to a couple times under a full course caution while the driver behind me was looking at a mirror or gauge and not looking ahead. Of course I said to myself "WTF", but discuss what happened at the end of the race, not on a hot track. 

 

A quick scan of the GCR doesn't give specific direction of what to do when your car is disabled on track, but sit there until directed what to do by the safety crew (which I will be on at the Runoffs).


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#12
TJKearney

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If you look at the video frame by frame, Ward actually steps in front of Stewart, then tries to step back (towards outside of track).   You also see Stewart's car turn right.  I've only driven a Kart setup like one of these things (obvious caveats):  They do not turn right without considerable driver effort.  Tony's car passes Ward and ends up very high on the track.  Why?  Doesn't even "goosing" the throttle make these cars turn left?   I'm not passing judgment, but that has me wondering. 


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#13
Jim Boemler

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I'd be with Kyle.  I just can't imagine that any driver is out there "intending" to murder another driver.  Hitting another caged race car is WAY different from hitting a pedestrian, and I don't think there's any driver who that doesn't understand that.

 

If anything, perhaps we had a kid who wanted to break into the big show with a big non-racing move.  In that respect, maybe toning down the show would make such disasters less likely when people try to emulate their heroes.


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#14
Johnny D

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Very Sad.

 

If the kid never lost his mind, (bad thing) got out of the car (bad thing) and walked in traffic, (really bad thing!!!) would we be having this conversation ???

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#15
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Tony's car passes Ward and ends up very high on the track.

I noticed that too. In the prior contact lap, Tony goes in early and ends up high on the track out pinching off Ward. We can't see what line he was carrying during the final lap but if it's late again his momentum would be carrying him up. Not sure what dramatic correction could be done at that point given they're drifting on dirt. The car just prior to Tony's looks like he comes close to Ward as well.


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#16
Jim Drago

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I must be one of the very few in life that dont think someone is that malicious to purposfully runover someone. 

Either that or you didn't read what was written :) I haven't seen anyone say that Stewart did this intentionally. 


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#17
AW33COM

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Don't sprint midgets have thrust diffs, which allows the right rear wheel to step out?  So why do I see here (video) the right front going to the right for a bit?

 

GCR should be updated to suspend all drivers showing aggression, in the manner this poor kid did.  There is a Protest system already for situation like this, no need to walk on hot tracks, trowing fists. 

 

We should still be allowed to make decision if we want to stay in the car or leave the car, on case by case bases.  I don't want to be banned from racing if my best friend is on fire and I'm out of the car helping him.



#18
Todd Tagget

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A couple of thoughts,, the kid was wearing black.. video tends to lighten things up considerably ( if anyone watched the PGA this weekend they kept commenting on how much darker it was in person vs the video feed).. Visibility of those cars is terrible, I've seen a few in car videos' and I don't think there's any chance that Tony saw him until the very last second. The way the wings etc are set up the drivers look left and down. Additionally it looked to me like Tony goosed it to try to get the rear end down when he did see him. 

Bottom line is the kid should have stayed in his car....


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#19
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I think the GCR should contain a penalty of at least a 6 month's suspension to anyone who gets out of their car on a hot track to threaten another driver.  If Ward had known his actions would have gotten him suspended from racing for 6 months he would have never left his car. 

 

Sometimes we have to be protected from ourselves.

 

AW33COM - this was written before your post was received.  I obviously agree with you.



#20
Caveman-kwebb99

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Either that or you didn't read what was written :) I haven't seen anyone say that Stewart did this intentionally.


Yep I reader the part that you said you wouldn't covvict contrarily to you opinion on what really happened.

Earlier this year I felt I was put off on purpose when in fact it wasn't meant to put me off just how things ended... Ifnin fact he was screwing around that is menacing at leastband malicious at worst and he should in fact be punished by law. In any event he will be paying monitarily for this either way... It will either be a long court battle in civil court or the lawyers favorite a settlement.

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