Current Events, People of Interest

Tony Stewart: Where there is Smoke, There’s Fire … and Kevin Ward, Sr.

Anthony Wayne Stewart
Anthony Wayne Stewart

In the past year, I made every effort *not* to publicly comment on the events that took place on August 9, 2014 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Western New York State.  Having grown up in an area steep in racing tradition and having spent more than my share of Saturday nights sitting in Turn 1 of our local track breathing in the fumes and listening to the roar of the engines echo off the landscape, I have always loved racing.  Today, I have friends who race at the same track we spent our teen years at, even family who race there as well.  I have watched some horrific wrecks and was even witness to a driver dying as his car hit Turn 1.

In the beginning, I could understand the anger in the comments made by Kevin Ward, Sr.  He and his family were hurting, seeing the hopes and dreams of someone they loved so deeply cut short in an instant.   Even after the criminal investigation was over and the grand jury decided not to charge Tony Stewart, fans could still understand their emotions. Yet the grand jury decision was due in no small part to the two major facts that Kevin Ward, Sr. seems to conveniently or selectively ignore:

  1. Kevin Ward, Jr. got out of his car
  2. Kevin Ward, Jr. was under the influence of marijuana

We have all watched the video and there are just some pieces of the puzzle that make us ask, “What in the hell is Kevin Ward, Sr. thinking?”  I can certainly relate to his pain; my family has suffered the loss of a few young and vibrant loved ones who died in accidents where they took chances, risks that were directly related to their deaths.  It is worth noting that each were doing something that they loved, just like Kevin Ward. Jr.

Here are some rhetoricals that I can’t seem to work through …

Would Kevin Ward, Jr. have gotten out of his car and gone after the 14 Car if it hadn’t been Tony Stewart behind the wheel?

Here is where it gets down to the heart of the matter.  Did Ward, Jr. have a history of getting out of his car when it wrecked, in direct violation of track rules and regulations? Had he done this before?  Was this standard operating procedure for him? According to reports, he had been involved in racing since his age was in single digits so it would go without saying that at some point it would have (or should have) been pounded into his head that you do not get out of the car until the safety crew arrives.

We’ve been told that Ward, Jr. was a charismatic individual, it’s quite possible that he felt he had something to prove with Stewart on the track with him that night.  Going after Stewart would have been something to talk about after the fact over a few beers in the pits.  Probably a pat on the back from his dad as well.

Did Kevin Ward, Jr. get his hotheadedness from his father?

Ward, Sr. and other family members have not shied away from the press or social media in the past year. They have been almost belligerent to the facts that came out of the official investigation.They clearly want to place blame anywhere but on Ward, Jr.  Even after the video, when slowed down and analysed, shows Ward Jr. making his way down the apron waiting for Stewart to come around under the caution.  Once Stewart is in view, Ward. Jr. goes even further down the apron and some believe even grabbed on to the back right wing of Stewart’s car which caused Stewart’s car to fishtail toward Ward. Jr. causing him to get caught under the back tires.  The video clearly shows the back right wing being brought down, most likely by the weight of Ward, Jr.’s body.

Now, putting these three things together, I just can’t grasp how the Ward Family can place blame on Tony Stewart.  Did Tony tell Ward, Jr. to go against track rules and get out of his car?  Did Tony tell him to make his way down the apron as cars passed?  Did Tony tell him to come closer still to the 14 Car as it drove by under caution?  And, did Tony tell him to grab the wing of the 14 Car?

Did it ever occur to the Ward Family that the marijuana might have caused Ward, Jr.’s initial accident with Stewart?

Does the Ward Family really want us to completely forget that Ward. Jr had “enough marijuana in his system to impair his judgement”? (Source: here and here – added 8/13/15) Is it possible that his impaired judgement and not Tony Stewart caused the initial accident and then, to literally add insult to injury, the impaired Ward gets out of his car, heads down the apron into on coming traffic and once Stewart’s car comes into view, he goes even further down the apron and actually grabs Stewart’s car?

Yet, all of this is Tony’s fault?  I supposed Tony gave him the pot too?

Who knew that Ward, Jr. had smoked pot before getting into his race car?

These are the tough questions that no reporter wants to ask.  Based on lab reports, Ward, Jr. would have had to ingest the pot within a few hours before his death.  That means, most likely, he smoked it at the track.  I hope Aunt Wendi, who claims that Ward, Jr. was with family for the 10 hours leading up to his death grasps the levity here.  Clearly, Wendi and Ward, Sr. are brother and sister – facts cloud their version of the truth.  According to the toxicology reports, at the time of death, the pot in Ward, Jr.’s system was at a level that is defined as “judgement impaired.”  So, someone had to smell it on him, someone had to see his red eyes or the other physical signs that he was high.  Did Ward, Jr’s pit crew and friends know he was high when he got behind the wheel?  He would have had to smoke it sometime after racing officially started at 7 pm. If reports are correct that he died between 9 and 10 pm, the Ward Family has a rough road ahead if they want a jury to believe that Stewart was directly responsible for their son’s death.  It would be hard to believe that no one at the track knew that Ward, Jr. had recently smoked pot or quite possibly smoked it there. Did his family know he smoked on occasion?

Now, the Ward Family has filed a civil suit against Stewart, just days before the one year anniversary of their son’s death.  According to USA Today;

“The suit claims that Stewart caused the accident that crashed Ward Jr.’s car initially, and citing his “unique race car and driving skills” and “extreme skill and control over his car” acted recklessly in revving his engine and not steering clear of Ward Jr. in the aftermath as other cars had. Ward Jr. died of blunt force trauma.”

“The suit does not state what the Ward family is seeking in damages. The suit contains four actions: wrongful death; terror, pain and suffering prior to death; intentional/reckless conduct; and gross negligence.”

“New York law dictates that the suit can only collect for the future loss of expected earnings or care Ward Jr. would have generated. No figure is included in the suit.”

It is my guess that the Ward Family is banking on the fact that Stewart is going to settle before going through the publicity of a jury trial in the middle of racing season.

I fail to see how the court case has legitimacy if Ward, Jr. was only 20 years-old and not financially responsible for his parents.  If Ward, Jr. had a wife or children, then yes, the legal system would expect his future earnings to support his family, but not his parents.  Wouldn’t attorneys have to prove that Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Ward, Sr. were being financially supported by their 20 year old son?  If someone with some legal expertise could comment, that would be great.

My final question is this;  If Kevin Ward, Jr.’s death did not involve a high-profile, established (and wealthy) NASCAR driver and instead it involved Billy Bob Rivers who raced cars on the weekends and worked Monday through Friday at the local Pep Boys, would the Ward Family be taking Billy Bob to court?

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431 thoughts on “Tony Stewart: Where there is Smoke, There’s Fire … and Kevin Ward, Sr.

  1. I’m so glad you published this. It is very interesting article. I’m a administrator on a Nascar page on facebook and shared it. I believe Tony is being treated wrong, the Ward family should really think about what really happened .I know they love and miss their son (RIP) No amount of money can bring him back , Tony lives with what happened everyday! It was a horrible accident!

  2. Thank you for this article!
    Needed to be said!!!!
    It should be noted that driving under the influence in a race car, in any car but he endangered all drivers on the track and possible spectators.
    His judgement was impaired.
    This is not Tony Stewarts fault . It has effected his entire life. He hurts for the loss for all. I pray the judge will see all this for what it is and also all the drivers on the track that night that were endangered as well.
    Thank you

  3. There will be no real winner from this action. Why do this and destroy their son’s memory. I have lost loved ones suddenly and don’t understand this at all.

  4. Excellant writing!! And as a mother of sons who race you climb in that car knowing anything could happen: you as a driver accept the responsibility when you climb in the car! We as parents have choosen to support our childs choices because they love it!! Racing is a dangerous sport its a family sport and sometimes bad stuff happens!! Its a sport that you cant control!!

  5. if you watched the video then why doesn’t any body else see where ward gets out of car and walks down the track and after the first car goes by he walks even futher down the track !!! as we all know in a sprint car your vision is not that good with the wing being in the way so with every thing that has been said and fond I say ward sr suck it up cause your boy messed up in the first place by getting out of his car !!!

  6. I totally agree with the above article. I, too, lost a son in a motorcycle racing accident. The person who killed our son was convicted in court. We did not sue or seek revenge. There is no amount of money that could replace our son. the Wards need to realize forgiveness & letting bitterness go is the only way to move on with their lives. I pray they realize this & leave Tony Stewart alone . I’m sure this has not been easy for him to deal with. The person involved in the death of our son has not had a happy life. I wish that were not so & wish him the best.

  7. It’s the craziest thing iv ever seen. I’m a racer and iv done the exact same thing that ward did ,but not being high. I’m blessed that I haven’t been seriously injured in some way. I hate that someone lost a loved one and I hate it for tony.

  8. Tony killed the kid on accident and he knows it… Sorry Tony but we all make mistakes and your mistake killed a kid. I hope that you find peace with yourself and that the lord forgives you. Pay the family and live the rest of your life with his death in your heart.

  9. Very well written, and with accuracy. Tony Stewart is a responsible driver and a generous humanitarian. This was an accident. I sympathize with the loss of the Ward family, but they need to stop this and accept the facts.

  10. Thank You! These are exactly the questions I have been asking! Like you, I to gave the family the benefit of the doubt at the time of this incident but at this point they need to stop and place the blame on the correct shoulders. Kevin Ward Jr. Is the only person responsible for his sad and untimely death. Actions have consequences.

  11. I totally agree and couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you for that article it means alot to this Tony Stewart fan. I have asked this over and over in my head also. I know Tony has to live with the fact he hit Ward Jr. and he was killed. It was an accident Tony would have never done it on purpose. Thank you again for the nice article.

  12. You are dead on with your honest view.Your right about all of it. Stewart is in no way responsible for what happened to Ward Jr. and his family is wrong on all accounts.I’m sorry for what happened to him and his family has suffered greatly but Ward Jr. should be held accountable for his own actions even tho he’s gone.

  13. I agree 100% with this article. Thanks for writing what so many of us are thinking. Yes we feel for the Ward family but they need to realize that it was not Mr Stewart’s fault. And going after him for monitary loss just makes them look money hungery.

  14. If Tony were “Joe Blow” and NOT famous, the Ward family would NOT be suing….they are just looking for an almighty “payday” from Tony !!!! Trailer park TRASH !!

  15. If the ward family would of been decent, with his BIG HEART HE WOULD OF TAKEN CARE OF THE FINERAL EXPENSES AND IM SURE WOULD OF MADE SURE THEY WERE TAKEN CARE OF… I hope they don’t get a penny!! This post says it all!!!! 🙂

  16. I am a race car owner and Drive I do it all my self No Help. You do not get out your car in till tea k officials get there. Even on small local Dirt tracks like the one I race on. In my thoughts Tony is at no Fault. RER Racing.

  17. What if Ward Jr’s actions had
    caused Tony to crash and become injured or die? Would he be suing the Ward Srs?

  18. You failed to mention the very low visibility in the car under cation. The two other drivers said later that they barely seen him.

  19. This is the truth and the whole truth. Read it Ward family. We all understand and feel your grief but the contributing factors as outlined here make this a sad indication of your departed sons choice. Let’s all hope his soul rests in peace.

  20. If the first car hit him, no criminal action or civil actions would have been taken.
    The Wad family should have reached out to The Tony Stewart Foundation to to put drug testing in place at the smaller tracks in honor of their son. Instead their only interest is how much money Kevin’s body might be worth.

    I hope Stewart does not settle.

  21. Thank you so much for pointing out the many questions the public in the stands has been asking, but the Ward family and their cult followers refuse to answer. I am not a legal expert, but have been following this story closely.

    No, I don’t believe that Kevin Jr would have gotten out of his car had it not been Tony Stewart. After hearing his father bluster, I can only think that he or other members of the family were hoping that he would do something to bring attention to himself for Tony to notice him and place him in bigger payout events.

    Yes, I believe Kevin Jr’s family are all just as hot-tempered as he showed that night on the track. That is evidenced by the constant trash talking by the family–especially “Aunt Wendi” and her rant on FB the night of the accident.

    No, I don’t believe the family wants to even acknowledge the fact that Kevin Jr had enough THC in his system to impair his judgment. They don’t want to acknowledge that their son put EVERY SINGLE PERSON on that track in danger by racing under the influence of a controlled substance. Could the other drivers sue the family for allowing him to race while impaired and placing them in jeopardy? Just asking….

    Who knew that Kevin Jr was stoned before the race? I agree with you–everyone around him should have known. Unfortunately, that fact will be covered up as much as possible. Too bad they can’t find the one that sold it to him…

    In the documents filed, article 39 states that Kevin Jr, “devoted himself to the welfare and comfort of his family, who contributed substantially to the comfort, support and well-being of his adult parents, who worked regularly for his father’s business, and who but for being killed, would have one day taken over his father’s business.”

    (https://drive.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fi.usatoday.net%2Fsports%2Fmotor%2F08-07-15ward-v-stewart-original-complaint.pdf)

    This tells me the parents want money to make their lives easier. Maybe Kevin Sr can’t take care of his own business without his son? Maybe he needs the money to put into the car he co-owns for another driver?

    You said, “If Ward, Jr. had a wife or children, then yes, the legal system would expect his future earnings to support his family, but not his parents.” We all know rumors run rampant, but one very strong fact is that Kevin Jr’s girlfriend has delivered a baby boy–quite possibly his–he has his name. Maybe they are suing for support of this child? Which leads me to ask, Why isn’t the child mentioned in the suit? Could it be because the girl was under the age of consent at the time and he would be accused of sex with a minor? Why didn’t the child’s mother sue for support of the child?

    I don’t think the family wants this to go to trial. They want a payday. It isn’t about justice. It isn’t about closure. It won’t bring their son back. It is about finding someone to take the blame for their son’s bad choices, and their failures as parents. I empathize with them–truly, I do. However, this family is morally corrupt if they think that filing a lawsuit for a RACING ACCIDENT is going to help them move forward from this tragedy.

  22. The point that should be brought home is, Ward Jr. caused the initial wreck. He had no reason to be mad at Stewart. He was just show boating because it was Stewart, and his ignorance cost him his life

  23. You have made a well thought article. I also had the same thoughts. It is a shame that Kevin died as a result of his actions . The courts will decide just how much of this was caused by Kevin Wards actions.

  24. Very well written and straight to the point. I like many others feel sorry for the Ward’s loss, but as you have stated, it is not Tony’s fault. They need to accept the facts and move on. If this keeps going, I hope Tony counter sues them for the pain they keep causing him and for the loss of money this thing has caused him in his career.

  25. This is a great article and I couldn’t have worded it better myself. My heart aches for Tony Stewart. I’ve seen the video and I’ve read almost every article about this horrible accident. Not once did I ever suspect Tony of purposely killing Ward Jr. Pot aside, what NASCAR driver (or any racecar driver, for that matter) would get out of their car after a wreck before the safety crew got there? It’s obvious that Ward Jr. was mad, that’s understandable. Most drivers are angry after an accident. However, that doesn’t make it okay that he got out of his vehicle and started walking right into on coming traffic. Stewart most likely saw him out of his car, but not before it was too late and he couldn’t do anything about. Not to mention it was a dirt track. I understand the pain of the Ward family but I think they just don’t want to accept or admit that their beloved son was in the wrong.

  26. Having attended a BBQ at Jimmy Spencer’s father’s
    home with Tony and seeing how he handles himself with people, I cannot fathom him causing the things this father is saying. Must be the chance for him and some lessening lawyer looking for retirement. Hang in there, Tony

  27. Hi Mary Ann I think Tony Stewart is going to win this case,because i think the ward family just trying to get some money out of Tony and blame him.I think Tony Stewart is Innocent 100 %

  28. Hi Angie! Thank you for sharing the article on your FB page – apparently you have a lot of readers – as of a few moments ago we had over 11K reads on the article. I agree, this isn’t Tony’s fault and you know he is hurting, the Ward Family is really making things worse and appearing to be something that I am sure they would not want to be.

  29. Thank you so much for this . It asks a lot of questions I would have questioned . And I’am not the only one that see’s its all about the money for this poor boy’s family .I’am and always will be a Smoke fan ! I so hate seeing him in pain . And all the haters out there that think he’s not are just blooming idiots ! And I so hope he fights this all the way .Their greed is not going to bring their son back !

  30. I’ve been saying since this happened that I can’t get people to understand on this…..A) Tony had NO IDEA the caution was out for Ward. These cars have no mirrors. Tony passed him clean and slide jobs happen multiple times in every sprint car race. So why would Tony be “mad” at the kid and try to “teach him a lesson by buzzing him” as you hear so much? B) The “revving of the engine” was NOT, repeat NOT TONY’S CAR! Watch the video again. The person holding the camera is zoomed WAY in. You cannot hear the engine of the car right before Tony goes by Ward. The “revving” sound is from a car passing by the person holding the camera, or at least much closer, than the several hundred feet away than Tony and Ward are. The revving sound is NOT Tony’s car. So there was no “trying to buzz him” at all. None. Watch it again, tell me I’m wrong.

  31. There’s nothing but $$ signs in Wards’ eyes and brains!! Hope Tony will not settle because he did nothing wrong!!!!

  32. Exactly, Nick! The Ward’s even mention the revving engine in the filing papers in the civil suit. That sound is coming from another car revving near the person with the recorder, not the accident site. I honestly feel that if Tony wanted to teach this kid something, he would have talked to him after the race. Tony has been very clear about how he sees his role in series outside of the Sprint Cup – he wants to teach in a positive way. Plus, I have seen enough sprint car races and sat in enough of them to know there is no way Tony saw Ward coming toward him. Thanks for reading!

  33. I agree Cat, yet, I think Tony’s camp will just pay and try to move past this. I just hope they include a gag order because the Ward’s have really worn out their welcome with fans who initially had sympathy for their loss. Now, I feel that fans think they have simply pushed things too far.

  34. I only read the first part of this article, so I’m not sure what the remainder said, but I’m sure it’s the same rehash of this story by someone new.

    Only one point of the two points you suggested that has not been addressed by Mr. Ward Sr. is: Kevin Ward left his car, and put himself in harms way, and that is all. Drugs have nothing to do with it.

    The Ward family is only after $$$, but that won’t heal the pain in their hearts and souls. Sorry he made that decision, but he did, and paid the ultimate price.

    R.I.P. Kevin…..

  35. Thanks for reading, Floyd, but I totally disagree about the marijuana in his system. The level at the time of death was determined to be at the level legally classified as “impaired judgement.” That could be translated into many things, specifically, not realizing how close he was to on-coming traffic, disoriented as far as how far down the apron he was. As I said in the article, his impairment could well have been the cause of the initial contact with Stewart. Lots to look at and consider.

  36. I personally believe that Ward, Jr’s actions on the track led to his own death. I can feel for both the Wards and Stewart,but Tony would never cause an incident that someone would be hurt.

  37. I’m so glad you published this, your so right on, they would never have went to court if Tony wasn’t rich, all they want is money, and that is so sad they should be morning their son death, they should face the fact that their son was smoking something he should have never smoked before getting in the race car.

  38. Jennifer, as I stated in the article, my family has suffered losses of members who were very young, taking risks doing something they loved. In all of those cases while others could have stepped in and possibly prevented the accidents, we always came back to the idea that they were doing what they loved and they were responsible for their own decisions. So, if it were my son, I would be hurting but I would be cognizant of the fact that he made specific choices in a dangerous sport and it cost him his life.

  39. Totally agree, Sandy. Tony’s passion for the sport would never lead him to do something like this. The Ward’s seem to have blinders on as far as their son’s role in his own death.

  40. I never thought for one minute that Tony tried to buz the Ward kid but I did wonder why on earth a kid that’s well schooled in racing would being of sound mind just get out of his car to confront Tony about anything about a race during a race, unless he was under the influence of something other than his own good sense. I also feel that once it is decided lawfully that one is not guilty, then one is not guilty. I don’t believe a civil law suit is lawful. I think think if it were a good idea it would have been in the constitution from the beginning. I think it was added for those who are greedy and just want money, and attention.

  41. Karen, I would love to see Tony fight this but I really do think that he is just going to write a check so he can move forward. As I said elsewhere, I just hope he includes a gag order on it so the Ward Family can start healing.

  42. There is no way Tony was in the wrong. I seen it happen, that kid walked out in front of tony. He should have stayed in his car. The family is only out for the money. Nothing they do will bring their son back. I feel sorry for tony. They are really messing his life up.i hope this doesn’t cause him to give up what he loves. Sheila

  43. There is no way Tony was in the wrong. I seen it happen, that kid walked out in front of tony. He should have stayed in his car. The family is only out for the money. Nothing they do will bring their son back. I feel sorry for tony. They are really messing his life up.i hope this doesn’t cause him to give up what he loves,besides that,the ward kid had drugs in his system, so he should have never been racing anyway. He could have killed somebody. Sheila.

  44. You all really make me sick. To read the shit people like you post about Kevin and the rest of the family is SICKENING. You all really need to grow up.

  45. Is there anything here that in is correct? Have I misquoted anyone? Have I misrepresented the facts? If you feel I have come to some wrong conclusion I am more than happy to discuss and edit the piece. Feel free to show where I am wrong and provide supporting evidence and I will certainly fix it. Thanks for reading!

  46. My worthless 2 cents as I see the facts: #1 I have no doubt Tony had no intent to injure Ward
    #2 I grew up in the 70’s and experimented some and as a current race car driver I’m confident Ward could not have driven a sprint car under the influence. #3 Tony’s temper is well documented. #4 I personally think his intent was dust Ward off and it went awry. #5 Ward was foolish to get out of his car though this was commonplace at every short track I’ve ever raced. There were no winners in this accident, about the only thing “good” to come from this is tracks no longer put up with drivers leaving the car.

  47. The Ward’s family only want $$$$
    Tony Stewart #14 Race driver did not i mean did not do anything wrong. We are behind Tony Stewart 100 percent

  48. I agree with this article 100% I would also like to add that if they original video was shown I do not see Tony’s car hitting ward jr. in the first place. ward jr was high on the track (literally) and close to the outside fencing. his own miscalculations nothing in that whole senario was Tony Stewarts fault except he has a big name and everyone knows him. He is one of the best sprint car drivers around knows the sport. Did he suethe driver that spun in his path causing him to flip and break his leg. NO it is racing this stuff happens, every night at the track yeah drivers get upset have words IN THE PITS after the cars have come to a stop and then it is on to the next race. this has gotten so out of hand. GO SMOKE! you are the best,

  49. Here is one for you!How about the Ward family racing in Canada as soon as their son passed away? They had the car in Canada after he died so no one in the states knew they were still pulling money in from the car! If Wards want to pursue it i have proof! Videos don’t lie.

  50. Were you paid by Tony To write this unbelievable article. The video I saw was eye opening and why did he get so close. I can only believe that he didn’t mean to kill him, but he did and every day he wakes up he has to remember what he did. He is a professional driver, when was the last time you saw a professional driver drive that close to an accident. He deliberately got close and I’m sorry he misjudged it and screwed up

  51. First of let me say I’m a Tony Stewart fan love him yes I agree the Ward’s should leave him alone, We all know there were no charges filed, in a wrongful death suit,depending on the laws in state are easier to prove, I personally think they see dollar signs. I am having a hard time understanding why they filed a suit, Kevin more than likely was not their sole support if he supported them at all. I know they’re having a hard time with the death of their son, I’ve seen with my own eye’s how it affects parents it is an awful thing to see and go through. I also see what this is doing to Tony I can only imagine the pain he goes through each and every time he is in his car on and off track. Praying for all. GO SMOKE !!!!

  52. Hi Joe, Thanks for reading. No, I wasn’t paid by anyone to write this piece. It is just my thoughts and opinions from reading and reviewing evidence. There are lots of questions that need answering but I guess what I would ask is how you suspect Tony knew that Ward was coming down the apron toward him and would get closer?

  53. As I said in a post as soon as I saw it on Speed Sport News, Tony should go to court and the judge should award Tony compensation for a frivolous lawsuit and let the Ward family lawyer learn his lesson too.

  54. I was there at that track that night. We were sitting only 150 feet from the accident. We were on the bottom row, just into turn 1. If anyone is to blame, it is Kevin Jr.’s parents, for condoning, and promoting his behavior. I saw it all, when Kevin came around the side of the car in front of Tony, he ran down toward Tony’s car pointing his finger. When he grabbed the wing, it was to try to prevent him from going into the right rear wheel of Tony’s car, because he lost his footing on a slippery track. Yes that is right. Kevin Jr., lost his footing, and slid into the right rear wheel of Tony’s car. His body, actually did 1 1/2 revolutions, attached to the right rear wheel of Tony’s car. Yes, Kevin Jr., was not a kid, but a young man, but his decision making, needed to be improved. The lack of support in that, from his parents, squarely, in my mind, places the blame on them, not Tony.

  55. Dakota, it seems it might be a societal thing – some never seem to want to accept their role in an event that has a negative outcome. It is always easier to blame someone else.

  56. Tim, I believe your perspective because it fits what we can partially see on the video. Ward rolled away from the back of Tony’s car and toward the wall. If his parents knew he was smoking at all and allowed it to go on and put him behind the wheel of a race car, they are more negligent than anyone else. Thanks for reading!

  57. Amen, Richard! Yet, I think Tony is just going to want to end this and try to move forward. I just hope he has a gag ordered put on the settlement. Thanks for reading!

  58. I am so glad you posted this article. You are the only writer that has had the bravery to write the truth about this entire situation. I hope Ward Sr can take a long hard look at himself between his grieving and realize that this lawsuit is a waste of the tax payers dollars. The attorney should be ashamed of themselves for filing such a frivolous complaint. Everthing you wrote can be used as the defense attorneys answer to the complaint and be used as a motion to dismiss. Amen to people like you that have no issues with writing the truth!!!!!

  59. Regardless of what the video shows, regardless of what everyone thinks, regardless of who said this or who did that…. the fact remains that this was, pure and simple, a racing incident. Racers are instructed prior to each race to not depart their cars in the event of an incident until safety crews arrive. Racers are also instructed they are not to be imbibing in illegal substances. Kevin Ward Jr. chose to ignore both of these dictates and it cost him his life. Sure, when racers are racing… the adrenalin kicks in….they are competitive…. they want to win…. they are aggressive…. they even think they are invincible at times….. they make stupid decisions even when they are NOT on illegal substances…. Kevin Ward Jr. made a stupid decision. In one split second, he made a decision that ended up with him losing his life!

    Ward Sr. and Mrs. Ward Sr. have lost a son. Apparently Ward Jr’s girlfriend has lost the father of her baby…although nothing was said about that in the lawsuit. The town has lost a ‘racing hero’ (perhaps?), and the community has lost another young man who may have gone on to do something great. And that’s a great shame. And a tragedy.

    However, the facts are the facts. Not mentioning them doesn’t make them go away. The facts are all there. The Ward family, friends, neighbors, community are going to have to own up to the fact that the truth states that there was no blame on anyone’s part other than Kevin Ward Jr. Suing someone other than the person mostly to blame for the death of someone is not prudent. Stewart was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But he is not to blame for the actions of Ward Jr. And as soon as Ward Jr’s parents accept it and understand it, they will be able to grieve the death of their son and go on with their life. I feel for these people; I honestly do. But their intent in this lawsuit is one thing and one thing only: MONEY. Maybe they think money will bring their son back to life……….

  60. Becky, First, thanks for reading and thank you for the kind words. I always try to write clearly and fairly and be the voice of reason. One of the family deaths that I mentioned is very recent but no one has even mentioned a law suit for the simple fact that the decisions made to take a risk showed onus on the person who died, not those who allowed him to do it. The truth is what really matters here and no amount of money is going to help the Ward’s heal if they can’t face the fact that their son made some really bad choices. Thanks again!

  61. You nailed it! You cannot evaluate this incident without examining the two major points I highlighted – 1) Exiting the vehicle and 2) Using an illegal substance while behind the wheel. As that line goes in “A Few Good Men” – These are the facts and they are undisputed. Thanks for reading!

  62. The wards roofing business must not be doing very well this year so they need other means if income.

  63. Doug, If you read the details of the court docs, it seems very desperate and either their attorney has given them false hope for a huge return on their investment or they simply are still in denial. Thanks for reading!

  64. go Tony. U R the greatest. Grew up in Evansville, Indiana watched tony all my life. He is one heck of a man. Just ask Steve Kinser.

  65. Fantastic article, again Tony did NOT kill Kevin, Kevin jumped to his own death. Kevin got out of his OWN car on a dark corner of a track with moving cars, same as getting out on a highway standing in the road in the dark and approaching oncoming traffic. Kevin lunged towards Tonys car, in no way shape or form would Tony had seen him there….. Sad very very sad for all involved.

  66. Thank you for reading, Kristen. There really is not way Tony could have, or should have known that Ward was going to lunge out like that – it is sad that his family cannot see his role in his own death.

  67. Thank you so much for reading this article. You have said everything that I have thought and felt all along.

  68. Thanks for saying what so many of us have for the past year.
    The Ward family’s steadfast refusal to lay any of the blame for this horrible accident on Kevin himeslf has always, even before the information about the drugs in his system were released, made me wonder what role his upbringing might have played in his making the series of fatally stupid choices that ultimately killed him. Children who are raised in a household where they are allowed to blame the outcomes of their bad choices on other people grow into adults who believe they will never have to face the consequences of their own actions. As a parent, I can believe that it’s probably easier to blame a famous race car driver with deep pockets than to face the fact that your son is dead because he made some incredibly stupid choices. They don’t deserve a dime, but ultimately collect, not because Tony is guilty, but because he’ll find it easier to write them a check than to endlessly relive that night in an ugly court battle.

  69. Boom, Aurora! I didn’t want to go after the parents in the article but it certainly crossed my mind that if the parents believe this, then their son probably did as well. Thanks for reading!

  70. Hi Purley – Sadly, I think they are going to want to settle and get on with the rest of the season. I am sure they are not going to want this to drag out for months of discovery, interviews, etc. I just hope he writes the check and includes a gag order on the Ward Family. They really are their own worst enemy.

  71. One more thing that I’ve never heard mentioned: It appears to me (I haven’t slowed the video down to analyze it) that Tony and Kevin never touched, Kevin just ran out of room and hit the wall. If they didn’t touch, then how would Tony have even known that Kevin would be upset with him for anything? There aren’t 2 way radios in sprint cars so nobody could have told him. Only Tony can say for sure if he even knew that he was somehow involved in the incident that caused the caution flag to come out.

  72. Thanks for reading, Brian – Honestly, I don’t think I have even seen the footage of the initial contact. I will certainly take a look – also another great point is the radios – people often think that all race cars are just like the ones we see on NASCAR.

  73. Ya know, There is nobody that didn’t feel for the ward family and were sorry this happened but now I am just upset that this is still going on……… I feel very bad for Tony who in no way went to this track to go out there and kill anyone……….Tony has suffered very deeply and if you have watched NASCARfor as long as I have, you just know Tony from watching him week in a week out for the last years Tony has raced, it has hit Tony very hard and he has lost a step in his Demeanor……Tony looks lost like he doesn’t know how people feel about him. He hasn’t been concentrating on his team or his car like he used to, he is seriously crushed by this incident and I don’t know if Tony will ever put himself back together again……….I hope he does for his sake cause it was an accident and no way Tony should be blamed no how or way………..I have never been a Tony Stuart fan but I watch him because I love NASCAR and he is a big part of it, But I like Tony a lot now and feel so bad for him and would love to see him happy again sometime soon, he deserves to be happy cause he did nothing wrong……….As far as the Ward family goes I feel very bad that they lost their son but he was the one who contributed to his own death and his parents should see that and just leave tony alone he has a hard road ahead of him as it is, having to wake up every day knowing what happened and that it was his car that hit that young man, but he sure did not mean for that to happen………. Tony is a great guy that something bad happened to and it will never leave him, but he deserves to go on with his life and not be tormented by this anylonger………… I with ya Tony and wish you the best………….

  74. Great article!! I have always been a Tony Stewart fan since his IRL days and I will ALWAYS be a fan. I proudly sport the #14 logo on my clothing and on my pickup. I hope he fights to the end to show he did nothing wrong. The parents deserve nothing from him. Just a tragic accident. I want the old “smoke” back. Just an fyi, I think you’re all ignorant must be aunt Wendi!!!

  75. In the end, regardless of what Ward Sr. Thinks, his son was a hot headed pothead, trying to prove to the world he was above the rules. No matter what way they look at it, no matter what new evidence they have, as has been stated here, Ward Jr left his car. Any fool would know you don’t leave your car and step out into the path of oncoming race cars. Ward jr. Caused his own death, plain and simple. Mommy and daddy have to understand their son was far from the golden boy they thought he was and have to face the harsh reality that their son acted irresponsibly that day in many ways. I know as parents they are hurting. As a mother, I would be hurt at losing my child, but I would not make excuses or blame others for my sons actions if they were the result of his demise. They need to stop placing the blame on Tony and let their son RIP. Tony has gone through Hell and if I were him, I would counter sue for all the grief and anguish they have caused him over the last year. Tony has to live with this the rest of his life thanks to their son make a very bad judgement call. I stand behind Smoke. I will never stop believing in him.

  76. Very well written and truth be told. I’ve volunteered on that tract as EMS and all drivers are instructed NOT to get out of their vehicles. That side of the track is dangerous, dark, rutted and slippery. From the looks on the video, it looked like Tony tried to avoid Ward Jr, but Ward just kept coming. Tony lives with this the rest of his life and so does the family. Both side suffer a loos here.

  77. This article does make me laugh I have to say. Yes it makes some points that many don’t think of. But in the end a family still lost their son. So yes they more than likely would take Billy bob to court. And why don’t you check your facts cause he does have a very beautiful son that he will never get to hold or see. So he does have a family he needed to take care of. They are not money hungry in the least bit. They want justice for their son that they lost. I’m with the ward family the entire way.

  78. I have seen it over And over and tony taunted ward then felt him under the tire as tony gases it and got loose due to ward being his speed bump. Tony got away with murder in my eyes. Look what tony did to keslowski not long after on pit rd. he had a bad temper and zero disregard for anyone around him.

  79. Thanks for reading, Fred. I think you made a point that I tried to elude to in the article – the Ward Family has allowed this to go on and has pushed for it to go on. They seem to be very reluctant to accept the facts that the rest of us clearly see. Thanks!

  80. Hi Lori, I agree – I do think though that Tony’s side is just going to write a check and try to step away from all of this. I would love to have the old Smoke back as well. And, yes, it occurred to me that comment might have been from someone in the Ward Family. Thanks for reading!

  81. I can see both side, I really can – I just can’t comprehend how the Ward Family can make comments like, (paraphrasing) The authorities shouldn’t be looking at what their son did, only what Tony did. …. That to me shows denial.

  82. Very well said, But I am sad to here the Ward family wants to drag there son,s death out and tell every one that there son was a good son. As no one new he was drinking and smoking before the race that ended his life.Tony i am not a fan of yours in any way ,But what happened was not your fault as I know you will never forget what happened.

  83. Hi Brenda, Thanks for reading. I was not aware of the fact that Ward had a child. That has not been made public and from what I read, the child is not referenced in the court documents either. The civil suit is for his parents. While those close to the Ward Family may know about the birth of his son – I have not seen a source for this piece of information. That would be bad journalism if I were to mention the child without a source document. When that information becomes general knowledge, I will write about it. Just as an aside, another comment stated that Ward’s ex-girlfriend had a child and named it after Kevin, Jr. So it would be irresponsible to include that in the article. If this is true, then when is the child not mentioned in the civil suit?

  84. T, Is there a video out there that has not been shared publicly? When did Tony taunt Ward? I would caution you on the sound of the revving engine that is heard in the video. Keep in mind that the sounds closets to the recorder are going to be heard in the camera, not the sounds from between Turn 1 and Turn 2. As I mentioned, there is video that certainly could give the impression that Ward attempted to climb on Stewart’s car. Murder is a very strong word, and it implies intent. The fact that you completely disregard Ward’s poor choices in the incident shows you’re cherrypicking information. But, keep at it with me – if you make a better argument, I am willing to listen.

  85. We ran their weekly at one point their was no way Tony an Kevin made contact Kevin entered the corner way to high to make the turn with out hitting the wall. Tony never saw him.

  86. Phil, I have never been to the track there but have been to several dirt tracks in the Upstate area and I can see your point. As I mentioned in a previous response to a commentor – I have not seen the video of the initial event but would like to. Thanks for reading!

  87. The Kid and I mean that literally was HIGH ON POT !!! That right there should throw this whole case out of court. His tox screen came back he was legally high and impaired and should not have been driving. While i feel bad for this family obviously his bad decisions caught up him and I highly doubt this was his first time driving while impaired. It’s a good thing he did not kill multiple people during this accident. This only proves that NASCAR NEEDS TO IMPLEMENT MANDATORY DRUG TESTING BEFORE ALL RACES FOR THE SAFETY OF ALL DRIVERS, PIT CREWS AND STAFF INVOLVED. Mr. Ward Sr. is unwilling to see the reality of his own’s son’s addiction. Not to mention ward Jr’s pit crew members i’m sure were aware of his drug problem. This whole situation is just sad. Tony Stewart should not have to pay his family any money since he did not financially support them.

  88. You guys have a problem understanding the civil suit? Its their only recourse since the criminal case is over. Its no different than the OJ case. He was cleared in the criminal case but lost a civil case. The intent was to hold him accountable. I don’t think for a minute it was about $$ then and neither is this case. As for the Ward family going back to racing..its what they do..just like Tony.

  89. Thanks, Michelle, just one comment to your message – this was not a NASCAR sanctioned event. Tony was participating on a small dirt track in Western NY on a day off from Sprint Cup racing. Thanks for reading.

  90. Jack, I don’t think anyone said they had trouble understanding the civil suit as a whole – the part I was questioning is how the family can claim damages to future earnings, etc. without establishing that the Ward parents were dependent on their son for their livelihood. Just curious, if it isn’t about money, then what is is about? Would love to hear your POV!

  91. Many points to be made here. 1st and most importantly is motive. Tony clearly passed by Ward Jr in the turn. Tony had no way of knowing who brought out the caution. Race control doesn’t announce who caused or was in a wreck. So clearly intent is out of the question. 2nd point position of Ward Jr’s approach to Tony’s car. Likely Tony had no idea he was being approached from that angle on the racetrack. If you ever sat in a sprint car you’d understand. So even if “and I say if” Tony saw him it was at the very last possible second and likely could have caused a wheel jerk reaction by Tony to avoid contacting said pedestrian on a live racetrack. All else that has happened after this tragedy is or should be mute. Chalk it up to a bad day at the racetrack and a youngster’s bad choice to leave his wrecked racecar. To the Ward family we all feel for your loss, but understand your sons choices put him in harms way. To Tony Stewart. I wish you comfort in putting this tragedy behind you so you can move forward. Remember life if full of choices. Some good some not so good. Not all choices end in tragedy, but some do… Peace be with all involved in this.

  92. Kevin Ward had no business getting out of his car that night, it is very unfortunate that he lost his life but, in reality Kevin was responsible for his own demise and his parents are looking for retirement money. The whole thing is just sad to the enth degree.

  93. Wayne,

    Very well said! Thanks for reading and while I haven’t ever driven a sprint car, I have sat in them and “obscured view” is clearly the word of the day!

  94. I certainly hope that the Ward family will take the time to read this article,these are the facts on this tragic situation,I must say this is a well written article,and hopefully some positive will come out of it,Tony Stewart is in no way at fault for anything that took place that tragic evening. RIP Kevin Ward JR

  95. In nys laws you can not operate any motor vehicle. Under the influence withen the boundary’s of nys.any were.that includes your yard property or race track. Case close. Please feel free to look it up in the nys law books. My heart goes out to all who lost love one. And the pain for all in evolved.

  96. Very solid point, Pat. Thank you for reading. NY has very specific laws – I have to wonder of the pit crew could be held responsible of they knew that Ward was out there under the influence.

  97. The easy way out for the long term for Smoke “might” be to write the check and have the Ward family sign a non-disclosure. I don’t believe for a moment it will be what is best or easiest for Smoke to live with however…or for any other “well-to-do driver” down the line and also for their families. It could set a really terrible precedence in the racing community that I personally don’t want to see. We know who was at fault….let’s learn from it and go forward making tracks safer banning substances and exitting vehicles under cautions and make that the Ward legacy instead of a pot head kid whos’ family wanted a payoff.

  98. I’ve enjoyed hating Tony Stewart during his whole nascar career. When I first watched the video of the tragedy I was ready to call for Smoke’s head on a platter. Nope. It was obviously Ward, Jr.’s lack of judgement that was the cause. Then I heard about the weed. Case closed. The Wards should be ashamed of themselves for their behavior. It’s pitiful and childish. Any money Tony might pay should go straight to grief counseling and psychiatric help for the Wards. They are obviously not well.

  99. Great Article! If Tony had done it on purpose I don’t think he would have stepped away from racing for a few weeks. He was definitely affected by all of this. I am sorry Ward Jr died but he caused the issue… If he had stayed in his car nothing would have happened! Thanks for posting!

  100. Dirt, Thanks for reading, and I am of the same mind – write the check and have a clause that if anyone, in particular outspoken Aunt Wendi says one disparaging thing – the money stops.

  101. Did anyone else ever see Tony get out of his car and throw his helmet at another car/driver, in a Cup race ? I have, he has quite a temper !!

  102. Nope. This article sucks. Tony Stewart himself has been guilty of getting out of his car, throwing helmets, and using his car as a weapon after races. He was racing with unlimited funding and took out an underfunded local team. I don’t want to hear that this kid was high. If he was smoking marijuana before the race, he would have been running around the track in last place half asleep. How the hell is this article trying to tell me that Kevin Ward grabbed the wing of Tonys car and caused him to lose control? That’s really reaching. Why was tony going so fast after the caution was thrown? Isn’t he a veteran of sprint cars, cup cars, and indy cars? Does the caution in sprint cars mean something different? The Ward family lost their son. They feel that Tony got away with murder. If they want to sue, then sue. I’m not going to judge someone for what they do after a terrible accident that claimed the life of the person that was everything to them. This article puts all the blame on a KID. The blame should be at least a 50/50 split. I don’t need to hear how Tony did absolutely nothing wrong.

  103. Thank you so much for this most informative story. I feel so sorry for Tony, he does so much good for others and this thing is tearing him down. He would never intentionally hit another driver he is just not that type of guy. I sure hope that this does not go to court, the people may regret for the rest of their life that they made it known that their son was a hothead and a pot smoker. You did a fantastic job on this article.

  104. No MusingMaryAnn, I believe that you misunderstand completely. I don’t believe that Smoke should give them one red cent…nada. it won’t bring the kid back. It won’t set a precedent I want to see in the future with other drivers. They weren’t impacted by losing his future earning and if they were, then they needed financial counceling along with their psychological counseling. The Ward family does indeed need help but a check written by Smoke isn’t going to heal what’s wrong with them and they first need to see the truth and accept it…then they need to stop acting like 12 year old Facebook drama queens.

  105. I am not disputing the fact that Kevin got out of the car and shouldn’t have…a lot of drivers have, including Tony. What I have a problem with is people judging why the Wards are suing Tony. Are you people psychics? I don’t want to judge anyone, including you people, but this is getting out of hand. One person, or thousands of peoples opinions do not make something a fact. You all are not in the Wards minds and you weren’t in Kevin or Tonys minds when the accident happened either. I just find it sad that you all have made up your minds before the hearing has even been held. Hope everyone thinks about this…are you all so righteous that you have never done wrong in someone elses eyes?

  106. Thanks for reading, unfortunately, I think we need to give a little credence to the fact that no criminal charges were levied and while some, like Ward’s family, refuse to believe that he was under the influence, it is hard to argue with the toxicology reports. He was legally determined to be impaired – that is hard to defend. Don’t you think? He did get out of his car as well. Hard to ignore that as well.

  107. They both made very poor decisions and it cost one of them their life. I feel sure the ward family holds Tony responsible and have a hard time accepting their son’s part in this accident. I don’t ascribe to the under the influence part of this. Based on my own experience with both I do not feel a sprint car could be driven while high regardless of what’s being reported. Dont know anything about Kevin Ward however Tony’s temperament and aggressive nature is well documented and its it part why he’s been successful. It’s also the reason he took half the field out and permanently paralyzed a driver in another sprint car race earlier. Only Tony and Kevin Ward really know what happened. I think he should feel very fortunate that he wasn’t criminally charged. Regardless there’s definitely more attention to track safety now on every level

  108. Thank you, Shelby! I appreciate the compliments! I have a feeling that Tony will want to settle to just put an end to all of this. Yet, there is a part of me that hopes he decides to fight it. I am sure there is a lot of evidence out there yet to be made public.

  109. MJ, You may have missed the fact that last year, after the authorities finished their investigation, they determined via grand jury that there was not enough evidence to charge Tony with anything. The fact finding has been done. Is there probably more info out there? Sure, but the thing is, the Ward’s aren’t thinking about what this civil suit will entail. EVERYTHING will be on the table – not just Tony, but them as well. No one has claimed to be righteous, we are questioning the Ward’s ability to make cognizant decisions. The seem blinded by their pain. Dragging this into the courts is not the route to go.

  110. Very well put. I do feel for the family but bottom line if he never left his car or ran at Stewarts car he would still be here. Its time for them to start heeling instead of all this

  111. Here is a simple fact you might be missing. The courts already hashed this over and found no fault to charge anyone. But in today’s society that simple fact means nothing.

  112. That’s correct, Wayne – no criminal charges, this new civil suit is to seek (supposedly) lost income, etc. In NY the proof is much lower in a civil suit than criminal. If the Stewart camp decides to go to court and not settle, this could get interesting quickly.

  113. It’s ironic that the lawsuit repeatedly mentions Stewart’s obligation to act in a safe manor. Wasn’t it Ward Jr.’s obligation to himself and fellow competitors to act in a safe manor? Is smoking pot hours before a race safe? I don’t for one second think that the Ward family will settle. I think they want to push this as far as it can go. I also believe it’s a very slippery slope when you start allowing competitors to sue each other for injury and death. Bottom line, we aren’t having this conversation if Ward doesn’t try entertaining his drug induced Napoleon Complex. If he does have a child with the ex, it goes to further demonstrate his poor decision making.

  114. Sad part of this is. All said and done. Tony had raced all over the country in sprint cars. Since this tragic event both fans and tracks have missed out on many big named racers coming out to smaller weekend warrior racetracks. That in itself is a hit to many fans who may never get to a NASCAR track to see them. Not meaning to sidestep the current topic, but I am sure it is a result of this topic.

  115. I feel sure he will settle…a civil case in most states is much easier to win. I’m sure he would like to put this behind him. I expect language in the suit that he admits no fault. Lawyers will be the real winners here.

  116. In a wrongful death suit, guilt has no bearing and a jury will sureiy award damages based on sympathy. Just like the woman who sued Mc
    Donalds for the hot coffee she spilled.

  117. To Luis Eli Moreno, Have you ever heard of someone drunk or stone walking in to traffic on a street or highway and they get hit? Is it the driver’s fault the impaired person put themselves in the line of traffic? NO Would any driver expect that someone would be walking there? No Would ANY non-impaired person continue into the line of traffic after at least one car has already swerved to miss them? No. Your response SCREAMs of a family or friend of the Ward family and not a person with any objectivity. Would you have been so upset had Ward hit someone or crashed into someone in the race and killed them under the influence? The reality is that Ward Jr had no business driving to the track , let alone be racing on the track under the influence of POT. I will not be surprised if we don’t find out his family knew about his drug use and want this lawsuit to get relief from their own guilty and embarrassment for allowing their son drive stone. They may even had believe he was the next Tony Stewart and was their hoping he would take care of them financially. Another reality is that if you are needing pot before you race, you will never make it out of the little league. I am sorry for Tony the boy died, but he was never going to be the next Nascar Star under the influence. We have enough example of the failures due to drugs to prove drugs DO NOT make you a better drivers!

  118. If they were that heartbroken why did they wait a whole year to file. Did they think people would forget the outcome on the grand jury investigation. Money, Money, Money. Hoping for a settlement or a pathetic jury that knows nothing about racing, especially sprint cars. I hope they get nothing due to their actions.

  119. While an attempt at seeming to be informed, you clearly are ignorant to several things listed throughout your article. First and foremost the fact that Kevin Ward stepped out of his race car is nothing new, in the years of your so called Sat night racetrack experiences have you not seen drivers get out of their racecar in frustration? I have seen this dozens of times both before and after this accident. Second, Ward clearly did not cause the accident due to his marijuana impairment, Tony tried to slide him and missed. Stewart clearly was at fault on the initial contact. Third and finally, Ward must have been quite strong according to you to be able to grab a 1400 lb rolling object and “cause it to fishtail” … You obviously wasn’t paying attention in physics class. Probably ought to stick to things you know about before stroking the keyboard next time!

  120. Unfortunately where there is smoke there will be fire. Tony Stewart race trailer burnt on I 74 the 3 miles from mahomet il today

  121. Maybe if Stewart had sent his condolences to the ward family. I dont mean through press but in person the wards might have thought different of the whole situation. But since he never said one word in person. If you ask me that makes me think Stewart was a cold hearted person with no remorse. Maybe if Stewart faced them and took responsibility for the accident . Just maybe the wards would not be bring suit against. Maybe if he sat with the family to just find out who ward jr was instead he ran off like a coward. Stewart would of known that jr was going to be a father of a beautiful baby boy which he was named Kevin ward 3rd. Yes his son was born on his daddy’s birthday ! The son who will only know his daddy through pictures and stories. He will never be held or make memories of his own.

  122. I know someone who races in ESS and he told me that there was no rule about staying in your car during a caution before Kevin got hit

  123. Another thing to remember… Tony was in a Pack of cars, ALL Going the same speed under caution. Some of you should go on U TUBE and watch some in-car cameras of how they run at a dirt track. See how dirty the screens are and their helmet shields are. I guarantee he never saw the kid. BTW the APRON in on the BOTTOM of the track. Know your racing facts before you speak. I am 30+ years working at a track in NY Flagging
    included.

  124. I pray tony counter sues! That family is a disgrace! Bottom line they want some money. The fact is and it all boils down to Jr got out his car!!! End of conversation, I don’t care if tony wanted to smash him back up run him over put it in gear and run him over again. That kid doesn’t leave his car and we aren’t even having this conversation. I’ve been around local short track racing in NY my whole life!!! From dirt track street stocks to ROC asphalt modifieds. My family has been racing since the early 70s. And this I know is true. Even when 2 racers are having issues, when they hate each other’s guts. If something was to happen to one of them the other would be nothing short or totally respectful. And no one would ever consider to purposely run over another competitor. Tony Stewart, cup champion, multimillionaire, team owner, mega star, super celebrity who races on Sunday’s with the best of the best! Who has the career that all the local track guys dream of is going to consciously and willingfully run a man over? A man who (honestly) he could give two s&$ts about and ruin everything he ever worked for and earned at a local hole in the wall dirt track in absolutely positively absurd. That kids dad wants money. That’s all. Not justice! He wants an easy payday. His soon was foolish and went after tony and it cost him his life. Hopefully his dad goes after tony and Tony can sue him for everything he has. So they lose everything. From a son to every Fn nickel they have. I’m sorry. I’m disgusted that these people are still pursuing this and now I hope they go bust and lose everything. Because obviously losing a kid wasn’t enough.

  125. Very well said. And it’s time for the Ward family to move on and leave Tony alone, I’m sure there still hurting just like any family does when they lose a loved one and also Tony has to live with it the rest of his live, but he did nothing wrong.

  126. Money can get you out of everything. But if you have a conscience admit what you did. Im not saying you wanted to take his life but to prove a point. Im Tony Stewart. ……Plp say he was under the influence of marijuana but the facts are you can be under the influence of marijuana 4 days so did he smoked pot before he went on the track nobody can prove that facts are there’s a young man who will never race again an a NASCAR superstar just race whenever he wants and to me he feels no remorse just my opinion sad situation for the Ward family. Oh yeah didn’t Tony Stewart jump out of his car a few years ago and throw a helmet at Matt Kenseth wonder where these young drivers get it.

  127. I don’t understand why so many people forget the fact that had Kevin not gotten out of his car, he would still be alive today !!! Regardless of the fact he was high, had a temper or was showing off because Tony was there, he still got out of his car in the middle of a racetrack !! I feel bad the the Wars family lost their son, but facts are facts !!

  128. After the original accident the only car that did not slow down or try to avoid the accident is Tony Stewart’s car. He is going much faster than anyone else and clearly looks like he’s trying to get close. Tony’s temper and previous incidents demonstrate his temperament and I believe he got away with manslaughter. He was not criminally charged and like OJ and Casey Anthony , enough said.

  129. Our family loves you Tony sorry for thier loss but in video’s we have watched he was in the wrong just sayin…..💕

  130. Most people have never been in a sprint car so they don’t know because of the wing panel you can barely see out of the right side of the car …I’m with you Toni…

  131. Courts already found no wrong doing! I would go through the civil suit to prove a point, the parents are trying to get rich off Tony Stewart and not facing the fact of what there son did! It’s a very sad situation all around!!

  132. Real proud of you tony for sticking up for yourself you was not in the wrong they need to understand that there are risk in driving and that you didn’t mean to hit him it was just an unfortunate accident and I totally agree if it was some regular joe out there driving and had hit him we wouldn’t hear about it it’s a shame that there trying to run your name into the ground and get some money while there doing it team smoke forever

  133. the initial crash was simply that Stewart clearly passed Ward entering the turn. He then moved up and took the line ward then took himself out by not lifting when he clearly had no room to go anywhere. This happens on every track every race night across this country. totally Ward’s fault should’ve been mad at himself. I’m so tired of hearing how he gunned his engine to swerve at him because you can hear it in the video When it was clearly a car going by the video camera location not Tony’s car halfway across the track that is being heard. Some have been critical saying he drove to close to the accident scene he wasn’t any closer then the other cars that had already passed it’s just that Ward came at him and caused the swerve which was caused by a 1500 pound car running over something that size. I wish people would use their heads and really look at things this is a black eye on the sport cause by a stupid decision made by a young under the influence kid only being made worse by a family that should place blame where it really needs to be placed.

  134. Well said great point’s made, The only thing I have to say is I am from PA and I know a few families that have sued for damages in the death of family members that were not responsible for them, it is legal to do and they have won small amounts to donate in honor of the relative for charity and college award’s for school student’s. But I have to agree that Tony is in no way responsible for his parent’s or any other damages Ward Jr. was high and out of his car putting himself in danger’s way being out of the car is against the rule’s and every track I have ever gone to in the driver meeting you are told NOT to ever get out of your car when car’s are on the track in motion and to wait for emergency crew’s before exiting your car!. After all of this I have to wonder would they be doing all of this if it weren’t Tony? just some average person just coming to entertain people and win a trophy and some cash? Now I have to state Tony is not my favorite driver so I feel I can without prejudice. Tony is a very talented driver with great skill’s he may be hot headed at time’s but anyone can be in the heat of the moment but , although I don’t know him personally he seem’s to have a heart of gold. and I’m sure the death of this young man hurt’s him deeply.

  135. Agree 100%’ also Kevin ward Jr does have a son. His girlfriend was pregnant when he died and the baby was born a few months ago.

  136. Perhaps the reason the girlfriend’s child is not mentioned is because it’s not his? She says on her Facebook that her due date was May 15. 40 weeks(the entire length of a pregnancy) before that is August 28th. Ward died 3 weeks before that.

  137. If this involved Billy Bob Rivers who raced cars on the weekends and worked Monday through Friday at the local Pep Boys, would any of you care? Would your heart be breaking for Billy Bob like it is for Tony? I think not. Has Tony even reached out to the family at all over the past year to apologize for being the one who happened to strike their son? Just as a decent human being? I bet he hasn’t.

  138. Great Story! Great factual points! Luis is jaded…It would be no different if someone ran out into the street in front of your car. The kid ran out in front of a moving car. When that happens sometimes the results are fatal. Ward made the mistake, Ward set the stage for his demise, and Ward paid the ultimate price.

  139. I’m not sure if the author is searching for publicity or is just plain ignorant. Anyone who knows the Ward family would know that they are most definitely NOT in it for the money. They have always been very generous to all the competitors racing against their son through the years. They have even loaned parts from their own karts and cars to other people who don’t have as much money. Also, “musingmaryann” who claims she is a “race fan” must not really know racing as much as she would like to say. When throttled, sprint cars pitch to load the right front tire. This is what makes them so fast in the corners. So the wing being moved was a direct result of Stewart pressing on the gas. I would like to also say that lets not forget Tony’s anger issues in the past. He has thrown helmets, said he was going to hurt people, and used his car to show displeasure in more times than any other professional driver. Maybe if Kevin hadn’t seen Tony approach moving cars and throw helmets at them he would not have gotten out. Both drivers could have prevented what happened that night. Let’s not be insensitive and blame only one person. Remember if the Wards wanted money they would have never got out of the go karts in the first place. They just want some of the blame to be on Tony and not all on their son.

  140. There always a moment when swing a leg over a Race-Bike or slide down in the Seat Race-Car or even a Race Gokart . When you think I want have some fun and be safe .

  141. Yes Kevin Ward, Jr. made a wrong decision by walking on the track. But I don’t think it was nessacary of Tony to rev up the engine. And Tony could’ve turned left instead of right. And I’m sure they still would’ve taken “Billy bob” to court. It wasn’t about money. It was about the loss of their son. Tony offered to give them a lot of money to recover from the loss of their son. They didn’t take it because money won’t bring back Kevin Jr.

  142. The Ward family is looking to profit off of a tragic mistake their son made. I hope Tony doesn’t settle he did nothing wrong!

  143. Only Tony will have to live with himself! let it eat you away or let it set ur mind free,its not about the money its about the fact there was no repercussion. for actions are consequences. no one should be above the law. every experienced driver knows what he was tying to do. he was trying to dust the kid not hit him but he did ,and there are radios that the track uses to talk to drivers saying green flag caution etc. so I’m pretty sure that the track said caution car spun middle turn 1-2 go low. driver out of car, and i been around racing more than 29 years dirt runs in my blood.I seen over 30 people get out of cars on a red , caution, to show the other driver at fault they are displeased. but never in my life i have ever seen anybody get hit. and with that said. tony is more skilled than most of the drivers I’m talking about .just “my” opinion about the whole deal.

  144. Something people have seemingly failed to mention is that marijuana was found in Kevin Ward Jr.’s system, which indicated he had smoked sometime in the last 28 days, neccessrily that day. As a former pot smoker who also use to race, I’ll tell you there is absolutely no way I would smoke pot on race day, I’d also abstain for many days prior to race day. I’d have to doubt he was stoned or was even having a weed hangover that day.

  145. Lots of great points here Shannon! It really depends on the attorneys – I am sure the Ward attorney will want to settle because it will be a quick payday for them. The Ward’s, as you said, might want to push this. Yet, I think the racing world is tiring of them. We have been a sue-happy society for quite some time, sadly.

  146. Wayne, often times those visits from big names are what keep some of these small tracks in the black at the end of the year. It would be sad if this deters drivers from making appearances at smaller tracks – everyone suffers, the sport most of all.

  147. Harley, I don’t know all the details in the McD case but I think there are some specifics in this case that will keep a jury from offering a large payday. The Ward’s are taking a risk in the forum of public opinion at this point.

  148. I found it very interesting that the Wards filed this lawsuit so close to the anniversary of the accident.

  149. Adam – It has surprised me how many people have stated in the 100+ comments on this blog, that the pot in his system didn’t matter. Either they haven’t read in detail that the amount was significant – enough to meet the legal definition of “impaired judgment.” This wasn’t residue from pot he smoked a few days prior – this was a few hours prior. Those who want the legalization of pot are going to refuse to accept that it had a role in this event.

  150. Frank, some feel that they were using the timing of the one year anniversary and the fact that Tony would be racing in NY as well to get attention to the case. Also, I checked and apparently in NY you have up to 3 years from the date of the injury to file – so they timed this it seems.

  151. Tony can’t settle. He has to fight this out and he knows it. As a race driver, car owner, series promoter, and race track owner he understands something the Ward’s apparently don’t: the racing business! There are only a couple of insurance companies left that will insure a race track or series. Liability insurance for chassis builders has reached an unaffordable rate. They can’t win! We can’t let them win. If they win racing on the short tracks is over! A settlement out of court would be an admission of guilt and wld set precidence. Tony’s lawyers have already pointed this out in sure. They are now busy pointing this out to USAC, WOO, UMP, IMCA, NASCAR, etc. this isn’t Tony’s fight its everybody in racings fight. If you make your living in racing, do it on the weekends, or love to watch its your fight. The powers that be will spend 10x the money that they could’ve bought the Wards for to beat them because they have to!

  152. I agree that this was an accident. A driver watches the cars in front and behind him. He was not looking for an idiot walking out on the race track. Now having said that … am I the only one that thinks it appears that the front of the car hit Ward Jr, spinning him out and THAT is why he grabbed the wing at the back of the car? It looks to me, seriously, like the right (passenger) front corner, clipped Ward Jr and spun him. I think Tony was getting out of the way and Ward kept coming for him. Not Tony’s fault – it’s all on Ward Jr. and his behavior.

  153. The angry mob that called for Smoke’s head after the accident has lost quite a few members. That is evident in the percentage of posts here. The few that are defending the Ward camp are making blasphemous statements based on their hatred of Tony or an inability to understand a couple undeniable facts. One loon went as far as to make comparisons about this accident to the OJ Simpson double murder case.

    Truth is if Ward jr would have stayed in his car, this discussion would not be happening. There would have been no reason to discuss hot headedness from either side, over funded versus under funded, an assumed revved engine, vision, no indictment and toxicological reports that point to impairment.

    The Ward parents joined an exclusive club where membership is gained by burying a child. I can’t imagine their pain. However, their son’s actions and poor choices are the reason this thread exists. Let’s not forget that.

    Thanks for the article and having the stones to have printed what many of us believe.

  154. Dayton, Thanks for reading and replying. First, if you want to split hairs we can do that. 1) Yes, I have seen drivers get out of their cars many times, under caution but they stay close to their vehicle – most often to assess the damage. I have even seen them shake a fist but I have NEVER seen someone go that far down into traffic or attempt to grab on to another car. 2) I have yet to see the video of the initial contact but if Ward, at the time of his death, had the legal definition of “impaired judgement” I really don’t think you have much wiggle room here particularly in Ward’s advancement toward traffic and specifically toward Stewart’s car 3) Some tracks don’t have true “aprons” – dividing the racing surface from the infield – if you have ever raced or been to races in NY, you would know that many tracks, particularly along the grandstand side of the track, have a wall instead of an apron that divides the racing surface from the infield. 4) With regard to the fishtailing of Stewart’s car, I would suggest to watch this video from YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmusFB_Q8nk&oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DMmusFB_Q8nk&has_verified=1) The person who narrates the video shows the wing dips down (not up) . There are other videos as well that this person made that are pretty convincing. As far as your comments about Physics – Newton’s Law of Motion – An object that is in motion, stays in motion UNTIL another force – I believe it is call “inertia.” Thanks again for reading. Trust me when I tell you, I don’t write things I cannot support with convincing evidence.

  155. Sonia, This is just my personal opinion, but I don’t think I would have personally gone anywhere near the Ward Family in the days, weeks or months after the accident. From the very beginning they were lashing out at Tony to any media outlet that would give them airtime or print space. They repeatedly stated that Tony killed, murdered their son. There was so much anger there, I seriously doubt they would have been open to just sitting down with Tony and talking. I don’t ever remember hearing the Ward Family invite Tony to do anything like that. Considering the press and the pending investigation, it would not have been appropriate for Tony to try to do something like this uninvited. Please, do not use this purported son against Tony because it works both ways. One could certainly question Ward’s “impaired judgement” and irrational behavior if he indeed knew that he was going to be a father and someone else was depending on him. Doing some quick math – that is 273 days – 39 weeks. A baby’s gestation is about 40 weeks. It is quite possible that neither Ward nor the mother knew she was pregnant at the time of the accident. Why hasn’t this been made public by the Ward Family? This would certainly add to their case. I saw no mention of this child in any of the court papers either. As I said, I am not going to report on Ward having a child if there is not a source that can be verified.

  156. You Nailed it, This lawsuit is about nothing more than greed! Tony has money and Kevin Ward Sr wants some of it! This was a horrible accident brought about by a hotheaded young man wanting to make a name for himself, well, He succeeded!

  157. maryann, you say you haven’t seen the video of the initial accident. it was posted on espn’s site, for the first month or so after the accident. it clearly shows there’s absolutely no contact between tony’s car and kevin’s car, before kevin rides his mistake into the wall. ward jr was way too high on the track(pardon the double entendre). he got loose and smashed the outside wall. at that point, there was no way for tony to have known he was even close to the event which caused the caution.

    as to someone’s assertion that tony was driving too fast under caution, was the guy in front of tony driving too fast, because tony wasn’t going any faster than the car in front of him, who only just missed ward jr(the video clearly shows him swerving to avoid kevin, when kevin was almost beside his car)? tony had no warning that ward jr was there, other than perhaps a 1 second window to react to whatever caused the driver in front of him to swerve. no chance he knew kevin was on the track, let alone had time to decide he was going to throw a scare into him, or any other nonsense.

    jack jenkins, i’d have to presume your brain is still pot-addled, if you assume nobody else could drive under the influence, because you couldn’t. pot impacts everyone differently. i’ve known plenty of people who didn’t become zoned out zombies when they smoked and would have no problem driving just as fast as everyone else on the track, if not faster. regardless, it impairs decision making, and clearly kevin ward jr. made a horrible decision, getting out of the car. tony stewart’s temper history has nothing to do with this situation. he’d have had no clue why the caution was thrown, let alone any idea ward jr was on the track in front of him. no radio in the car, so no way to know. there wouldn’t have even been a spotter with a pit board to tell him what was going on, even if the spotter could have known. ward jr. can clearly be seen reaching for the wing of stewart’s car, before he gets hit. that means he knew how close he was. stewart never had a chance to do anything real to avoid the accident because he had no way of knowing what was coming. and btw, yes, tony has gotten out of his car. but i’ve never seen him walk into the racing line, during a race, let alone do it on a dark track, wearing an all black racing suit and from an area where oncoming drivers can’t possibly see him. what i’ve seen is him standing on the inside of the “do not cross” line, on the track apron, and throw his helmet at a passing car. that’s far different from walking in front of a moving car, on a track. and yes, this civil suit is about money. this isn’t about some pursuit of justice. even in their grief-fogged brains, they know there was nothing stewart could have done to avoid hitting their child. other than not be on the track that night. and being on the track is no reason to award the family any money. plus, don’t you think this suit would have been filed sooner if it wasn’t about money? why wait a year? probably because they had to find an ambulance chaser attorney who would take on the case in spite of the facts.

    in the end, kevin ward sr. let his son get in the car stoned. kevin ward jr. made a bad mistake, charging into the corner high, in hopes of passing stewart(the big nascar stud) on the high side. ward jr. hit the wall because of his mistake. he then chose to compound his own mistake by getting out of the car, hoping to make a name for himself for challenging the big nascar guy for something the nascar guy didn’t even do. unfortunately, he paid with his life. there can be no winner here. i just sincerely hope that tony stewart doesn’t give the wards a free ride, in hopes of putting this all behind him. it won’t help him sleep better at night and it certainly won’t help the ward family accept the cause of their loss and find a way to make peace with it. it will be interesting to see, though, if a judge might not throw the case out, before it ever gets to discovery, for the simple fact ward jr. shouldn’t have been on the track in the first place.

  158. The Wards are suing the wrong party. They need to sue the idiot that sold their son the marijuana! Tony was NOT at fault

  159. Hi Josh,

    Thanks for reading and for sharing about the insurance aspect of this – something that many may not think about. If I write more on this, I’d like to quote portions of your comments, with attribution of course. I had thought the same thing, this is about the future or racing at the early levels – the place where racers are born and learn their craft. I just hope people are whispering in Tony’s ear that he may not want to, but for the sake of the sport, he may need to fight this. Great comment!

  160. Hi Jojo –

    Yes, that was clearly planned. I did some checking, in NY you have three years from the date of an incident to file a civil suit. They were smart, not only the anniversary but also the same weekend that Tony was in NY racing at Watkins. Thanks for reading!

  161. Hi Carol – Thanks for reading, I don’t know about being hit by the front of the car, but I will watch the slow-motion version again to see if I can catch that. But, you’re right, Ward’s behavior set a chain of events into action. I just hope that the judge sees this for what it is and throws it out.

  162. Hi Craney,

    Thanks for reading. I noticed, and as you will read in some of the comment replies, that while in the beginning, before the toxicology reports were made public, etc. There were many who were in the Ward camp. Yet, over time as the Ward’s became almost belligerent with their refusal to accept the facts that were glaring them in the face, many people quietly stepped away from them realizing that they were stuck in the Anger Stage of grief.

    I appreciate the compliments as well – I feel strongly about this and that is why, when the civil suit was announced, I decided that it was time to post something. 🙂

  163. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for reading, I hope I didn’t mislead you, the Ward’s are suing for their son, which seems odd because at the age of 20, I cannot see how a child that young can be considered financially responsible for their parents. I am not aware of Ward having any siblings. The parents submitted the civil suit, no one else.

  164. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for reading, yeah, I agree, I think this is all about money but I really do think that the Ward Family is so stuck in the Anger Stage of grief that they don’t even realize that they are losing support from the public with each passing day. You cannot refuse to address the bad choices that Ward, Jr. made and try to pin this all on Tony. I am still amazed that they mentioned the revving engine in the court documents. Anyone who knows anything about video recording knows that the microphone records the sounds closest to the recorder. The images of the incident are at good 200 to 300 feet away – that revving was from someone coming down the straightaway, not from any vehicle in Turn 1 or Turn 2. Nice point, he made a name for himself, just not the way he or his family hoped he would.

  165. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for reading, your review of the incidents is pretty spot on. I love what you wrote! I did check and apparently in NY you have three years from the date of the incident to file a civil suit. Clearly the Ward’s chose the anniversary AND the fact that Tony was running a Cup race in NY this past weekend as well. They wanted to grab some press and probably also interfere with Tony’s race with additional press surrounding the civil suit and quite possibly unnerve him.

  166. This is about one thing and one thing only…….$$$$$$$$$ It’s really hard to not think Tony has been trying to settle this and the Wards are being unreasonable. Tony is innocent but will likely settle just because the courts are unpredictable.

  167. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for reading and venting! 🙂 I have been attending races off and on for about as long as you have. I have seen a lot of hotheads BUT, as you stated, they wait and go after each other in the pits, not out on the track. I agree – I don’t think this is about justice, or the memory of a son. It is about cashing in and dragging Tony down with them. I cannot remember the site, but another writer mentioned the phrase, “Jackpot Justice.” That is what this really is.

  168. Hi Sassy,

    Thanks for reading and your kind words. As I shared in the article, our family has has our share of grief with loved ones lost in accidents. Yet in none of those cases did the parents vehemently go after those who might have played a role in the losses. In each case, the family knew that doing something like this was only going to hurt us all more, drag out the grieving process and tarnish the memory of these amazing and charismatic people who made us laugh and smiles for decades. As one comment mentioned, it probably would be a good idea if a few members of the Ward Family sought counseling. They seem to be stuck in the Anger Stage of Grief.

  169. Well written article. You sign a waiver every time you go to a race track, you know what can and has happened. I also think that race tracks should enforce their rules on everyone, which I am sure is a difficult task. Being under the influence has always been an issue for a long time. I also agree that had it not been a driver with a name and money, things wouldn’t be going this far. I feel so sorry for the Ward’s losing their son and hope that they can find a way to cope. I also feel badly for Tony, he also has to live with this tragedy.

  170. I notice all the folks that are saying pot had nothing to do with this, are conveniently forgetting a man that grew up at the track, knew the rules and consequences(read: danger), got out of his car during a race.

    No…that’s not impaired judgement. No, not at all.

  171. The fact that Ward jr didn’t support his parents doesn’t have anything to do with the fact his parents being able to file a lawsuit, or tha fact that Ward jr isn’t established financially doesn’t play a role in the ability to file a suit either. I was driving on a highway in Iowa, I had a stroke, hit a young man on a motorcycle that was 26 yrs of age. He didn’t live at home, nor did he support his parents, & they didn’t support him. The parents filed a lawsuit against the guy I worked for, as well as myself. They got a settlement, I don’t understand how they won a settlement, due to the fact , I had a stroke, & that is what was the cause of me hitting him, on top of that , I spent 15 days in jail, I paid a $ 2000.00 fine as my payment for the 2 tickets they gave me. The tickets were for: running a red light, & failure to stop within a safe distance. I’m not sure how you stop from doing those 2 things when you have a stroke, are unconcious, & almost died. But the fact that the family filed a suit on there sons behalf, & he didn’t support them, & he wasn’t supported by his parents. The young man wasn’t married, nor did he have any children. So the fact that the family can file a suit is something that can be done

  172. Russell,

    Thanks for reading – Just to clarify, it isn’t “people” saying he was under the influence – it was part of the toxicology of the official investigation. According to the reports, there was enough pot in Ward Jr’s system to define him in the legal sense as “judgment impaired.” This means he smoked it within two hours or so of the accident. Racing started at 7 pm, he most likely smoked it while at the track. So, those facts HAVE been substantiated. I think there are a lot of people who would disagree with you about Tony not feeling any remorse. Yes, Tony threw his helmet at Matt Kenseth, but, I am pretty sure there were driver venting in this manner long before Tony started racing NASCAR. This speaks to a larger issue, we are all responsible for our own actions. Tony is responsible for throwing his helmet and Kevin Ward, Jr is responsible for the pot he smokes prior to the race AND for walking into traffic on a racetrack that cost him his life. Tony just happened to be the person behind the wheel and because he was Tony Stewart, that is why we have what we have here with this situation. If this had been one of the drivers that Ward, Jr. raced against weekly, I seriously doubt that there would have been any kind of civil suit once the criminal case was closed.

  173. I will not trash the Ward family for their opinions. But they have lost a son and they are just trying to justify it. Tony is the only one they can take it out on. Tony will be found innocent (again) and all will still not be well. Tony grieves as much as the Ward family. We can only pray for all involved. We love you Tony and stand beside you.

  174. Hi Sue,

    Thanks for reading and yes, that is really a fact that is indisputable. Even if he got out of his car to look at the damage, he was high up and out of traffic, but he made the decision to walk down into traffic and, as some believe, reach out and grab on to the right wing of Stewart’s car. Those are decision HE made, no one else.

  175. Hi Joe,

    I am going to have to disagree with you on this. The 45 Car passed right in front of Ward on the track and less than two seconds later, according to someone who reviewed the video in slow motion, Stewart passes and Ward has now moved closer still to the flow of traffic. While I have never driven a sprint car, there have been more than enough comments on this article alone by sprint drivers stating that the view from the driver’s seat is so obscured on the sides, it is next to impossible to believe Tony had the time to even see Ward, let alone react to his approach to the 14 Car. Comparing this incident to OJ or Casey Anthony is a significant exaggeration. Another comments went so far as to call is hyperbole. But, come to me with some better evidence and I am more than willing to watch, listen and allow you to convince me otherwise.

    Thanks for reading! I do appreciate it!

  176. Hi David,

    Thanks for reading, even with the pot aside, there is still the fact that Ward got out of his car, went down the turn and then, when Stewart’s car came by he went down even deeper into the flow of traffic – Tony had no control over what Ward did. Many believe that Tony most likely didn’t even see Ward, let alone have time to react to his approach. Unfortunately, and this, I feel is part of the issue with the Ward Family, you cannot ignore some of the facts because you don’t like them. As soooo many have commented here – if Ward hadn’t got out of his car, none of this would have happened.

  177. Hi Brad,

    Thanks for reading and commenting (I fixed your typo – by the way! 🙂 I think you make a point that many of us agree with – this is racing – and it was an unfortunate accident but for anyone to think that this was intentional or that Tony was trying to “teach him a lesson” – I just cannot get there. Tony races at these smaller tracks to help them, to help the sport and to energize the sport from its roots. It would have been a split-second decision and how he knew it was Ward – just too much to assume for me. But, if someone wants to try to convince me, I am willing to listen.

  178. Lotty,

    Thanks for commenting – you summed everything up very nicely – I had to almost laugh at the engine revving assumption because it is just so far from reality. I was stunned to see it mentioned in the court docs that the Ward’s submitted in the civil suit. I guess it goes to just how desperate the Ward Family is to place blame anywhere else but at Kevin, Jr.’s feet.

  179. Hi Michelle,

    I think your comment is true for so many race fans, the Ward Family refuses to accept their son’s role in this. They have blinders on and if Tony decides to fight them in court, I have a feeling the Ward’s are going to end up with nothing. I suspect that the Ward’s attorney is banking on a quick settlement but if this were to go to court, I wouldn’t be surprised if before the first court date the Ward’s decide to drop the case entirely. I don’t think they have as much to work with in the court room as they think.

  180. Sally,
    Thanks for reading and for commenting – comments like yours are the ones that mean the most – there are several that have come forward admitting that Tony is not close to being their favorite driver. Their perspectives are more significant because, as you mentioned, they are without prejudice. And yes, anyone who thinks Tony isn’t affected by this, they are just not being honest with themselves.

  181. Hi Jay,

    Yes, several have mentioned Kevin Ward, Jr’s son. Based on the date of the accident and the day that the baby was supposedly born, I am not 100% confident that Kevin Ward, Jr. knew about the baby at the time of the incident. I did some math and based on the date of the incident and the date of birth, it comes out to 39 weeks, not 40. If you go back in the comments to a woman named Sonia, she claims that the baby was born on Kevin Ward, Jr’s birthday, May 20, 2015. If this baby really IS his, I have a hard time with the fact that he wasn’t mentioned in the civil suit. That would certainly aide their case with a sympathetic jury. It hasn’t been made public either, so I have to be cautious at this point with posting this as fact.

  182. Hi Meg,

    Thanks for commenting. I am still unsure about all of this. As I mentioned in previous comments – there are 273 days between the date of his death and the day the baby was supposedly born (May 20th). That works out to 39 weeks. At the very least, it would be hard to believe that Ward, Jr. knew on 8/9/14 that he was going to be a father. Also, I would think that the Ward Family would have made this public because in the court of public opinion this baby would have helped their position. Lastly, as you stated and I tried to say indirectly, the son might not be mentioned in the civil suit because it isn’t his. It wouldn’t be the first time someone claimed paternity for the attention or the potential financial gain.

  183. Hi Scott,

    Thanks for commenting and reading the article. Many have made the case that you have, no matter where you are, if you run out into traffic for whatever reason, it is your decision, no one else’s. The Ward Family seems to refute each and every mistake their son made wanting to put all of the onus on Stewart.

  184. Tony it seems that the majority of the racing audience that has commented on this thread and ALL other threads I have seen, blames Ward and not you. I have been in the racing business as a safety equipment supplier and driver for 40+ years and I can not see anywhere, where you are at fault. Please don’t give into these rats, I know the racing world will support you on this. Please fight them, the rats are only after your money. I’ve raced ASA with a lot of your Nascar colleagues and I just can’t imagine getting out of my car until the safety crews get there.

  185. I’ve never been a huge Tony fan, BUT what the Ward family is “trying” to do to him is just plain silly. Yes it is very sad they lost a child. As a mother of two boys (both who play sports) I couldn’t begin to think of what they must be going through. However if the lab results showed that Ward Jr. was high at the time he raced, his family should be great full that he didn’t kill someone. Then thy would be the ones who would be getting sued instead of trying to sue Tony. Who ever allowed him to get behind the wheel of a race car high should be the person the Ward family is going after, not Tony. While this whole event is tragic, but it also shows how choices one person can make (good or bad) can affect tons of people. The Ward family need to stop trying to get money, and start moving on with their lives. Hard as it may be, keeping this going by dragging it into court time and time again is not going to bring their child back or make the pain go away. Its only going to make the hurt stronger.

  186. I was just say to the people noticing he was high portion of the article, it isn’t a given. 1. If Ward was a semit/habitual smoker, his tolerance could mask the symptoms. Not everyone’s eyes get super blood shot. 2. He could have used a vaporizer, which are mostly odorous. 3. There are racing fumes everywhere, the smell may not have be overpowering compared to other track smells.

  187. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for reading and for commenting. To answer your questions, I never expected the attention that this article has gotten. As of just a few hours ago, it has over 100K hits. If I gave anyone the impression that I thought the Ward’s were not good people, let me set this straight, that was never my intention. That certainly doesn’t mean they are not pushing this as far as they are because this is Tony Stewart, and not someone they may have raced against every week. As I said, I have family involved in racing so I know the culture that you mention of the relationships between teams, etc. Those who don’t share in this way of thinking do not last long in the sport. With that said, I am not afraid to admit that I don’t know a lot about sprint cars, so the information about the cars pitching to load the right front tire is good to know.

    Here are a few of the videos, made my people much smarter than I am, who evaluated the video is slow motion and their findings are what I based my conclusions on.

    I would recommend that you read the comments to each of these videos too. The third one in particular shows Ward’d Jr. hanging off the wing of the car. How did he get up there?

    I am going to conclude here with a comment I have left multiple times here: I will not allow anyone to say that Person A behaved a certain way because Person B did it too. This is an override social issue in our nation that needs to be addressed. We are all responsible for our own actions, you cannot displace blame for the sake of covering for someone’s bad choices. We all make choices everyday, some good, some bad but we have to live with them. This seems to be a lesson that the Ward Family refuses to recognize. They have allowed themselves to get stuck in the Anger Stage of Grief. The racing community allowed them that emotion for a very long time. Now, over a year later, I think they are quickly tiring of it. It is time to move on.

    As far as your claim about the money, I suggest that you go read the civil suit documents, in a civil suit the only kind of restitution is money. So, tell me how they need money to blame Tony? They have blamed him in the media, on social media and in just about every interview they have had in the past year. And, in all honesty, they have never even given the impression that they feel their son is at all, or in part, responsible for his own death.

  188. Jordan,

    Did you read what you wrote? Do you even understand what a civil suit is?

    1) Tony didn’t rev his engine, it has been made clear that there is no way the video recorder could have picked up that sound from 200 to 300 feet away. That revving you hear on the video is from a car close to the recorder.

    2) If it isn’t about the money, if the Ward Family was offered a significant amount and refused then why the civil suit? The purpose of a civil suit is to “Unlike a criminal case, which is looking to punish the wrongdoer for a crime, a civil case is meant to compensate the victim.” This is according to ALLLAW.COM.

    3) So, why take Tony or Billy Bob to court if the only result is to gain financial compensation?

    So, Jordan, explain to me how this civil suit, that can only result in Tony writing a check to the Ward Family, is about the loss of their son?

    I look forward to your reply.

    Thanks for reading!

  189. for tony ,has to live with it.. for ward family get a life, you should have controlled your kid better….

  190. Hi Tracie,

    I have been fielding some interesting comments all morning. Some say that is isn’t about the money, it is because they want to blame Tony for their son’s death. Well, they have been doing an amazing job of blaming Tony since the day after the accident. The only result from a civil suit is for Tony to write a check to the Ward Family. Compensation is the only purpose of a civil suit.

    Some have made some interesting comments about Tony not settling because it could set a precedence for future cases making the sport far too litigious for anyone to be willing to race. Insurance for smaller tracks is hard to find as it is, this would make it worse.

    Thanks!

  191. Thank you for the article. Tony Stewart has to live with what happened for the rest of his life, even though it was an accident. He is a human being and he has feelings and emotions too

  192. Fred,

    First, thanks for reading and commenting. I guess my question for you is, how do you define “repercussions”? Most commentors here who have much more sprint car experience than I do, are having a hard time believing that Tony even saw Ward,Jr. let alone have time to even think, decided and attempt to “dust him.”

    Thank you for the info on the radios – I will check on that and see what I can find out. I was told that there were no two-way radios in the cars, but I will certainly ask.

    There are a few videos on YouTube that are pretty interesting, some believe that Ward, Jr. actually grabbed the right wing of Stewart’s car causing his car to move like it did. If only we had a better video, I think we could get more answers.

  193. M,
    Thanks for reading, you would be amazed at the number of people who things the marijuana is not big deal. I think some haven’t learned that the official investigation provided toxicology that put Ward, Jr.’s in the category of legally “judgment impaired.” Not that there were traces of it in his system but that at the time of death he was judgment impaired. Some want me to believe that it would have had no affect on him. I refuse to accept that.

    Thanks for commenting – it is much appreciated!

  194. Hi Connie,

    I have thought about this and I have a feeling if the civil suit moves into the discovery stage, the Ward’s are going to get to a point where they will drop the case. There is so much that can be investigated and so many people to interview, they may not like that much of an invasion of privacy.

  195. Hi Doug,

    Thanks for commenting. I have gone rounds with some who say “it isn’t about the money.” Well, a civil suit is nothing more than finding enough blame to establish a financial compensation. I’m afraid the Ward Family might not be too happy with the fact that a jury may well find more blame on their son’s side than Tony’s.

  196. Tina,
    Thanks for commenting. You bring up some good points – I wonder how strict the track in question was about getting out of the car, etc. The drug use is really going to be a sticking point for the jury, I think. A few have commented that they don’t think Tony has any remorse – I have to strenuously object to that conclusion. His performance since the accident has been poor at best. He has lost his edge – some have said it is time for Tony to step away from the wheel and focus on being a team owner. The next six months should be interesting in this situation.

  197. Hi John!

    Yeah, that has been a point that I have had a hard time digesting. I think I made the point in the article that he had been involved in racing from the time he was in elementary school – he had to have know the rules – he chose to ignore them – and so now we have this very sad situation and a family that refuses to let go.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  198. Hey!

    Thanks for the insight, your story is crazy. It wasn’t like you were reaching over to change the radio – you had a stroke. But hey, I am glad you’re ok! It will be interesting to see how this all plays out!

  199. Tania,
    Sadly, some deaths cannot he justified. My family is still learning to live with a recent death that was more of an accident than in this case. It is all about choices, some good, some bad and some that are just not completely thought out. Blaming Tony and ignoring their son’s role is not going to make anything better.

  200. Hi Doug!

    Thanks for your comment and insight – I am in the same camp as you. I don’t want to see Tony settle, because I don’t think it is what is best for the sport. It may leave an incredible precedence that will have a linger negative effect on the future of the sport. As I commented to someone last night, I witnessed a member of my family, in so uncertain terms, tell his son who wanted to drive one of their cars that if he EVER got in a wreck and got out of the car before the safety crew arrived, that would be the last time he would sit behind the wheel of a race car. Sure, get out and check the car if you want but Lord, do NOT do what was done here!

    I don’t see the fault either but some see it clear as day!

  201. Hi Andrea,

    You made a great point, I wonder what the Ward Family would be saying if their son caused someone else’s death and his blood was taken and it revealed the “judgement impaired” determination. The shoe could very well have been on the other foot. Again, I agree about moving on, keeping this going is not going to allow them to compartmentalize the hurt away from the media and move forward.

  202. Hi Chad,

    Thanks for your comment – one thing that maybe I wasn’t clear enough about in the article but, while there may have been a masking of some of the visible signs, the toxicology is really indisputable – at the time of death, he was determined to be, under the legal definition, “judgement impaired.” Hard to backpedal from that.

  203. Hi SK!

    Thanks for your thoughts. What do you base your opinion on? Is it because you don’t like Tony or do you feel that the family has a legitimate case against TS?

  204. Hi Paula,

    Thanks for commenting – I am starting to side with those who thing that after Tony’s broken leg and now this incident that has been dragging on now for a year, it might be time for Tony to get out of the driver’s seat and focus on being an owner. He may have lost his competitive edge and is now shying away from the Tony that we knew.

  205. I personally think Tony might settle on a civil suit just out of guilt. I am sure he feels terrible about what happened even though it was NO fault of his own. But when you are depressed because you are even the teeniest bit involved you will feel the guilt. The Ward family is going to play on that guilt and Tony will settle so the family doesn’t have to “drag their son’s name thru the mud” type junk or just because he feels some responsibility. I hope I am wrong, but I can see the writing on the wall because of the type of person Tony appears to be. He should NOT settle but what makes him feel whole again is what matters. A court of law can TELL him he is not guilty but it all depends on what he feels inside. I say let it ride, go to court and have the facts come out and don’t pay the Wards one red cent.

  206. Interesting thought, in Brazil if you attempt to cross a busy street and get killed it is considered suicide. The risk is death, you own the risk.

  207. I agree, it’s time for Tony to hang up his helmet, he was a great racer in his day ! he’s on a slide in the wrong direction !

  208. Hi Ken,
    Sadly, if it weren’t for the leg and then this incident with Ward, Jr. it would be a different story. But he still has a lot to give to the sport as an owner, etc.

  209. Hi Carol,
    Those are my thoughts exactly! I would loves to see Tony fight this but I think he will do what is going to get this all out of the media and put everyone back in their neutral corners. The Ward Family really needs to get past this and move on with their lives. If it were me, I certainly would not want my family to behave like this in my name.

  210. Hi Justice,

    Thanks for reading and for your comment. While I am not aware of Tony reaching out to the family – as I responded to another comment, the Ward Family has never given the impression they would be open to something like that and I think it would have turned ugly quickly. If the Ward Family wasn’t open to meeting with Stewart, it would be wrong to push this on anyone. While I have no confirmation on this, a commentor claims that Tony offered the Ward’s money but they refused.

    If this did involved Billy Bob, I think the racing community in NY would have done a lot of good, lots of fundraising etc. for the family. Locally, I am confident there would have been an outpouring of support. Of course, because of the national stage that Tony sits on more people care.

  211. the LORD SAID IT IS SAINTLY TO FORGIVE , COME ON WARD FAMILY YOU ARE JUST MONEY HUNGRY AND ANGRY

  212. Very well written article. I would never wish this horrible tragedy on anyone. That being said, the best way to honor the memory of a loved one is to do good deeds not seek revenge. I get that the parents are grieving but I hope Tony and his attorneys don’t settle. Perhaps a request from the Ward family that Tony Stewart make a substantial donation to a children’s charity or for cancer research in the name of their son would be more appropriate and appear less self serving.

  213. It seems that a great deal of our nation is going down the same path. Some day we need to stand up and take responsibility for our own actions. A driver under the influence should never be on the track. Think of the danger to him/herself, the other drivers, officials and spectators. The cars are not nerf, they are deadly steel.

  214. Leave Tony the hell alone!!! What the hell is wrong with Kevin Ward he should know what is rite from wrong !!!!!! DROP IT Ward family…Face it your kid screwed up….

  215. Love this article, it actually states the facts! I’ve always wondered too, if it was any other driver would his family react the same? It definitely wouldn’t have made national news? I too, would like to know if this was Ward Jr.’s usual reaction to being “wrecked or wronged” on track? If not, he was just feeling cocky because it was Tony. If he had a problem with something that happened, he should have waited until racing was over and then gone to Tony’s pit for the “discussion”, like most racers do. But of course then he wouldn’t have a crowd to show off for.

  216. Maryann, this is one of the most ignorant post I’ve seen regarding this accident. To blame marijuana on this is just stupid. You have shown you know nothing about the effects of marijuana, and to imply he was under the influence just multiplies your stupidity. I agree he shouldn’t have gotten out of the car. That’s is the only valid point you have made. We all heard Tony’s car throttle up, we all know what happens when you gas a sprint car. What a epic failure as a writer… you really should be ashamed…

  217. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for reading. I never implied that Kevin Ward, Jr. was under the influence, that fact was already determined and confirmed by the toxicology reports as part of the official investigation. The amount of marijuana in his system was at such a level as to meet the legal definition of “judgement impaired.” Here are two links from news sources. If you Google it, you will find dozens of article that confirm this fact. 1) http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2014/09/24/kevin-ward-jr-marijuana-toxicology-report-tony-stewart-grand-jury-decision/16160043/

    2) http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/11582576/tony-stewart-face-charges-death-kevin-ward-jr

    With regard to the throttle – the video, as many have mentioned here and as addressed in the grand jury investigation – was from a car close to the recorder, not about 300 feet away. The sound on the video was from a car that was most likely coming down the straightaway near the recorder.

    You may want to also watch the video that is part of the ESPN article I posted above.

    Thanks for reading and I hope the above info clears up any confusion you may have had.

  218. These parents are only bringing dishonor to their son’s name and memory. Money and ugliness will never bring their son back. Honor him with dignity and let him rest in peace.

  219. Hi Jim,
    That is really an underlying story to this entire situation. You would be amazed at the number of people who have commented here that the marijuana was a non-issue in the accident. I love your line – cars are not nerf!!!

  220. Hi Brenda,
    Thanks for commenting and reading the article. These are questions that people are asking. Since the news that there was marijuana in his system, the Ward Family has lost a lot of support in the racing community.

  221. You guys do realize that pot more than likely had any effect on this situation. He was hyped up on adrenaline from being in the race and I can tell that the adrenaline would have overpowered any effect the weed was having. Adrenaline, in my opinion, would be much more likely to make someone angry and get out of their car, weed doesn’t do that. There’s no need to act like pot is much worse than it actually is and try to link it to this tragic situation especially considering the majority of the effects from smoking weed wear off in the first hour, maybe 2. Adrenaline is addictive and it kills when you do extreme things (base jumping) to seek the rush and when you make rash decisions while its pumping through your veins. He should have set in his car and waited until he calmed down. I bet if smoked some weed after the crash he would of been much more calm about the situation.

  222. So glad this article was written, and nicely done. I just want to say to Luis Eli Moreno – key word you mentioned in your comment “accident” look up the word and know it’s meaning, more than likely Jr would still be alive if he didn’t get out of his car, he’s a hot head who was high. To Robin – seriously? He got out of his car!!
    I was in shock when I first heard about what happened, I used to be a huge NASCAR fan and Tony Stewart was they guy I routed for. Like everyone else is thinking I believe that Ward family just sees the dollar signs and are looking for a huge payday, I really hope that Tony doesn’t settle, he has no reason too, I’m sure he feels the affects of the fateful day every single day, it’s something he has to live with, it’s a dangerous job, accidents happen, but to have a family come after you after what happened is just being spiteful and money grubbing. Please Tony do not settle with these people, they are looking to cash in on your fame, don’t give them the satisfaction, you have a ton of people behind you, supporting you. Don’t give into these people, they want a piece of your fame and they do not deserve it. It won’t bring their hothead son back, let him RIP. Love you Tony Stewart, you are a good man.

  223. Hi Mary,

    I really don’t know how to handle this – the drug testing would be so expensive and I really don’t know if test results can be produced almost instantly as would be the need here before a race. Maybe we need to put more onus on the drivers and pit crew members to alert the track staff if they know or feel someone is not in a physical or mental condition to race. I am sure it will be a conversation if it isn’t already.

  224. Hi Bonnie,

    Thanks for your comment. I think we all could understand the anger and disbelief that the family felt in the early months and even after the grand jury decided not to levy charges against Tony. Yet, when they came out and started saying that the marijuana in his system didn’t matter, that they need to focus on Tony, not the behavior of their son, that is when I think people started to realize the family was in denial.

  225. Hi Cory,
    Thanks for commenting. Again, as I told Mike a few comment below. The toxicology determined that at the time of death, there was enough marijuana in his system to legally define him as “judgement impaired.” That was part of the official investigation. They believe he most likely smoke within hours of the incident, that means at the track. So, there are some questions that need to be asked to him crew, friends, etc.

  226. Speaking of hotheadedness. I’ve been watching NASCAR and Stewart for many many years and have seen Stewart do a lot of STUPID shit. I highly doubt Stewart didn’t see him or try to avoid him. I think he tried to scare him, but killed him instead. He will NEVER fess up. I don’t care if the kid was high on weed ,LSD, coke and drunk off his ass. What Stewart did was mostly intentional and avoidable. He’ll rot in Hell !!!!

  227. Hi Steve,
    I don’t think anyone is denying that Tony is/was a hothead. Many here have experience behind the wheel of a sprint car and doubt that Stewart even saw Ward, let alone had the time to react and try to scare him. There are some pretty convincing video analysis on YouTube that show Ward making every effort to get as close to the 14 car as possible. Scroll through the comments and you will see the links have been shared a few times. Just want you to have access to as much of the info as possible. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  228. AND… You just lost me. Tony will retire when Tony decides to retire–not because others think he should. At this point, support in the face of the ‘jackpot justice’ as it is being called should be the focus by the public and fans–not suggestions or assumptions of his retirement. It will be a sad day for him that will come sooner than most of us will want, and that talk is not warranted while he is reeling from this injustice.

  229. Hi Sparky’s Mom,
    I hope I didn’t come across in a way where I was “telling Tony” what to do. I never implied he should retire from racing, just maybe from driving. He has another 30 years in the sport as a car owner, track owner, etc. There are simply things in life that one never can truly come back from. Be it health related, personal, etc. I know personally, an event that took place over 20 years ago changed my life forever. Trust me when I say, I am the last person to want Tony to stop driving BUT if it is the best thing for him personally, I will support that as well. He has a lot to teach to younger drivers and lots of knowledge to share with people in the sport. He can still contribute to the same level, if not more if he stepped away from driving and focused on the other aspects of his professional life. I hope this clears that up. Thanks for mentioning this – sometimes I try to respond quickly to a comment and maybe need to clarify my POV a bit more. I will work on that.

  230. I totally agree with your article! This has changed Tony on the NASCAR track. This is something he is living with every day. I support Tony 1000%. This was a young boy that made an impaired, bad choice getting out of his car and walking down the track. Unfortunately he paid the ultimate price for a bad decision. His family should accept that fact and move on with the healing process and stop trying to get a payday off their son.

  231. How many nanograms were in Ward Jr.s system , who decides how much to make one impaired ?
    I’m just asking , because some people can drink one beer and be impaired while others can do the same and not be ???

  232. No worries. Because I have been following this story so closely, sometimes I take things out of context–which is hard to do when you aren’t actually speaking to someone. It could have been me, too ?-) I’m still interested as to why the Ward family has not mentioned the child that Kevin’s girlfriend had in March and named Kevin Ward III. (She can be googled.) Is it because she was underage and just starting high school? It is because they are unsure if it is their grandchild? Many people are watching this part of the story and waiting for it to unfold completely. You have to wonder–who are they protecting, and why? Or are they trying to hide it and spring it last minute to shake up the defense? Why wouldn’t they file the suit for his child? It doesn’t make sense.

  233. That is the question I had – a baby would certainly add to the emotional effect of the civil case. I will look into it and see what I can find out. But, the details I was given was that the baby was born on May 20th – doing the math- that means 273 days after the accident/ 39 weeks of gestation. So, it is his? Maybe, maybe not. I haven’t been able to find anything that substantiates the baby is Ward, Jr.’s. Thanks for your reply!

  234. Sorry! I meant to type May! Geesh! How could I forget it was born on Tony’s birthday? We are all on the same page! It would be great if you could let us know if you get any answers. You seem to know what you are doing. 🙂

  235. Replying to Nick’s comment earlier about the “slide job” Tony put on Kevin. He had the pass made and the second car normally is going to lift enough to let him up and then return the favor in the next turn. Ward didn’t give an inch, thus causing his own situation bouncing over the cushion. Secondly, I assisted a young driver a few years ago in the USAC midgets. We raced against Tony’s teams on numerous occasions. We had a motor issue one evening and ended up “borrowing” an ignition box from Tony’s team. Their response was “just return it when you are done tonight. Didn’t ask for any $, just helping us out. Tony has been known to help a lot of racers when they are struggling, and I am willing to bet he would have ended up talking to Kevin Jr. later on had the events of the evening turned out differently. I am sad for the lose of Keven Ward, Jr. I am more embarrassed for the actions of the Ward family. Hang in there Tony and maybe some day you can look back at this and find peace within. We know it is tearing you up!

  236. Very well written article!. I agree with everything said!. As a dirt racer myself I cannot fathom getting out of the car until the safety crew arrived. Ward Jr broke the cardinal rule at EVERY track to stay in the car and he paid for it with his life. I would love to see Tony fight this suit and WIN. Unfortunately our society loves to find blame and is greed based, and I have to reluctantly agree that Tony will most likely settle and try to get on with his life. I feel sorry for the Ward family at their loss, I also feel sorry for Tony because he will have to live with the fact that he was involved in a race accident that cost someone their life.

  237. Wow! Just wow! But this is the Tony that most of us know – quiet with his generosity and not wanting any attention or publicity for it. Very nice! Thank you!

  238. Did anyone watch and listen to the video where Tony reved the engine and spun the tires when he got to the subject .

  239. Musing,
    I don’t disargree with a lot of things that you have writen in you blog, however this is not a case against Kevin Ward Jr. It a case against Tony Stewart. Did he do everything in his power to avoid this accident.
    I will not argue with you that Kevin was high and put everyone on the track that night in danger. However I do not believe he is the first nor the last to drive under the influence. Even NASCAR has banned drivers for the use of banned substances.
    As far as Kevin’s hot head, how about Tony’s hot head? Youtube search Tony Stewart fights and there are an array of videos that will come up showing him fighting with other drivers. Including one of him waiting on a corner for Kenny Irwin to come around. In which he threw his helmet at the car and tried to crawl through the window and throw punches at him. I am not saying Kevin watched that race or even NASCAR but you can watch any sport these days and see profesional athletes fighting each other. In fact there was even a fight at Watkins Glen the same weekend of the lawsuit being filed.
    No one is going to deny that Kevin did not act appropriately by smoking before the race and getting out of his car and walking down the track. The question is did Tony act in a reckless manner that caused Kevin to lose his life.
    I will be honest with you and let the hate messages come my way I geuss but I have ties to the town where Kevin was from. I did not like Tony before the accident and Hate him now. I feel as though Tony caused Kevin to crach but not in a manner that was malicious. It looked to me that Tony pinched him off to pass him. Kevin could have let off and let him go but what die hard racer do you know that is just going to give up a spot. After rewatching the video I can not say Tony was going any faster than the other drivers who went by Kevin. Kevin was in all black on a not very well lighted track. After finding a super slow motion version I could see Kevin handing onto the wing which I did not see before. However the tire on that side of the car is about 2 feet wide. So my question is was he trying to go after Tony or realized he was about to get run over by that massive tire and try to hang onto the wing to get away from it. The camera angle is not the best and it just happens that the camera was coming back to Tony and Kevin when the incident occured. Maybe there will be more camera angels coming out that will shed more light on the situation. We know Kevin moved down but did Tony move up, could Tony have stopped the car (do belive there are brakes in those cars) instead of trying to get around him. I really do not know.
    I just feel like everyone is attacking a 20 year old kid for mistakes he made. Who among us has not made bad mistakes at his age. Over reacted and did something they regret. We just happen to live through it where Kevin did not and it just happens that Tony Stewart a man with a lot of money is also attached to the story. He has a great family who are upset at the loss of a loved one because of someone in my eyes did not need to be racing that night. It was not even the “big boys”. I know this is your job, I tried to do this in the best manner and most professional way I could even though I am not a writer. Sorry about gramtical or spelling errors. I just had to say something because my heart bleeds for his family and the media a people in this world latch on to certain things taken out of context or in the heat of the moment and run with them. I would love to hear back from you. Thanks

  240. Hi, I am not a Tony Stewart fan, but a racing fan indeed!! I also have many times seen Tony loose it on the track… That being said this displays poor sportsmanship and I personally believe he has no business trying to be any kind of example to any kind of driver, let alone young aspiring ones!!! He really needs to tone down when racing a dirt track as most of us well know that things get a bit messy and slippery out there… I can not and will not down the wards for what they are doing, and shame on you who have!!! If this was one of my four sons I would be doing the same, and yes #1 to have my sons manslaughter receive justice in at least one court because Stewart had to have known about wards accident, he was near when ward wrecked and went all the way around the track before hitting ward!! Duh!!! #2 yes for money… Apparently they may have a grandson to help raise, and obviously tony is greedy!! He acted like he was going to quit after the incident, and in my opinion this was only to seem like he has compassion, but did he??? No!! What kind of crazy person #1 gets away with this after having such a fowl record of similar outbursts and #2 could even stomach getting back in a car!! Look what he did to Alisha Ruggles!! I know this girl personally!! He needs to shut up and pay!! Chances are this family will put this money to noble use. I do not know them, but it sounds like they would, and so what if they don’t. Tony Stewart most likely did not kill this child on purpose, but regardless, he was driving the car that did… He messed up our canandaigua drivers twice now, one year right after the next. The innocence he is claiming in this shows he has no compassion for people!! Letting him off free and clear shows that his anger is condoned… Justice needs to be served!! No, I’m not neglecting the fact that Ward should have stayed in his car, or that he may have been high, that DOES NOT change the fact that his driving was a threat to Tony’s win, and as we all see here, Tony will do ANYTHING including break some girls back, and kill a young man just for a win!! Shame on you people defending him, he’s a big boy, let him try to defend himself… That’s right he can’t!! Because this is by NO MEANS an isolated incident!!!

  241. The reason the lawsuit was filed at the time it was is that NY law states the person being sued has to be in the state and the Wards knew Tony would be in NY for the Nascar race. I am not a defender of the Wards and this lawsuit but wanted to answer the question it seemed people were asking about the timing of the lawsuit.

  242. Yes Tony has done that but it was the heat of the moment and the same would go for him as it does for Ward Jr. If tony had been hit and was killed well I would feel bad but unfortunately it would have been his own fault at that time also………thank god that didn’t happen but many have done this and were lucky nothing serious happened to them………..

  243. I don’t understand why people say tony tried to dust ward jr. Why? The didn’t even touch. The kid wrecked himself. I would be laughing my ass off seeing him in the fence when I went past

  244. sorry to the ward family for their sons death but any (repeat) ANY ass can see that their son (JR) was his own demise!! wake up &leave stewart alone think of what tony has to live with the rest of his life and if u watch the film ward wrecked himself stewarts car never made contactthe lap prior to ward wrecking himself period watch it wards family! milk someone else not tony stewart reality speaks stewart should sew the wards for raising a spoiled brat

  245. I’m amazed by individuals whom make claims of fact when they have no clue of reality. All this information is mere speculation, and promotes ideals that ultimately miss the mark. It is not logical in any form to state something as fact when it is impossible for one to do so.

    Individuals are not thinking for themselves, they have allowed an outside source to control their actions and words. An opinion is one thing, but stating an opinion as a fact is another, and that is deceitful.

    A human being has lost his life, yet many place the value of the human life below that of their own opinion, falsely proclaimed as fact. Do you not see that in doing so, you are diminishing your own value as a human being…shame on you.

  246. Very well written, Sir. If the person sitting/standing next Ward Sr when Ward Jr got out of his race car, would have heard Ward Sr say, “WHAT IN THE HELL IS HE DOING”, GET BACK IN THE CAR JR!

  247. I am so glad someone finally puts the blame where it belongs, on Ward Jr. I pray that Tony lets this go to trial and does not settle. This in no way is his fault.

  248. 100% said in any racing the owner is responcable for driver and crew this is fact check the rules SR !!!!!

  249. DL,
    In other comments this has been addressed. Based on where the recorder was in relation to the accident, there is no way that revving sound was from the incident. I am guessing that the distance from the recorder to the accident was 300 to 500 feet if not more. The revving came from another car, not in view, that was most likely coming along the straightaway to the recorder’s left. There is no way that the recorder would have isolated a sound that far away. Thanks for the read and the question – it is an important one.

  250. Very sad that this young life was lost, but it was clearly all his fault. He took his own life by walking out on that track.

  251. Dear Home in NY,
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments. While others have tried to state the same thing – they certainly weren’t as levelheaded and I first want you to know how much I appreciate that. I truly do. To address some of your comments. I too am from NY, this driver could have been one of my relatives or friends who race on the dirt tracks all over Western, Central and Northern NY. So don’t think for a moment I don’t get the fact that this impacted a community and people who loved Ward, Jr. But, here are some things that you may not know – I have seen reports that Ward, Jr. had an argument with someone prior to the race. Yes, at times Tony has acted out, been a hothead too but you cannot attribute someone else’s bad behavior and choices on to someone else. We are ALL responsible for our actions. There have been no indications, to my knowledge that Tony was being a hothead that night. In fact, while Tony has a history of this, the man is quite a bit older and those incidents are occurring less and less I think. One point that is important to mention is Tony does events like this one in Canandaigua is because he feels a responsibility to grow the sport at the lower levels. He owns a dirt track or two, owns teams and sponsors drivers. Why would he want to “take out” “buzz” or “teach a lesson” to someone who he is trying to help overall? These small tracks make a ton of money when the stands are full on nights when notable drivers are there.

    If you read through the comment section you will see several people who feel that Ward, Jr. simply ran out of room and misjudged his own ability to get past Stewart in the first place. It is quite possible that Tony didn’t even know at the time that he Ward, Jr. had hit the wall. Going further, you and others seem to think that Tony somehow was supposed to know or should have known what Ward, Jr. was thinking and what he was going to do. How can you in good conscience expect Tony to know what was running through the mind of someone he had never met before? Now is that really fair? How do you expect Tony to see someone out of his view? You said Tony should have stopped when he saw Ward Jr. Do you have any idea what would have happened if Tony, while in the flow of traffic, suddenly braked and came to a full stop in between Turn 1 and 2? Things would have been 20% worse and there would have been more injuries. You do not stop on a caution flag – only a red flag. Stopping would have caused a chain reaction behind Stewart with probably 8 or more case piling up behind him.

    Your comments are misguided here – just because someone comes from an awesome family that means that someone else is at fault? I can tell you, I made some incredibly stupid decisions in my 20’s and I took the brunt of those bad decisions because I made them, no one else. That is really the heart of what we’re talking about. Your side of the argument wants Tony to be some sort of mystic that knew with forethought what Ward, Jr. was going to do, how far down the track he was going to go and how close he was going to get to Tony’s car. Yet, you want everyone else to excuse the bad choices that were made by a 20 year old kid because someone with more experience and money was out on the track with him that night. To answer your question about the brakes here is input from someone much more knowledgeable that me (http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a11095/what-you-should-know-about-the-car-tony-stewart-was-driving-17091178/) Clearly, it is much more complicated than when meets the eye.

    Bottom line, for me at least, you can’t ask the world to ignore decisions that directly impacted someone’s own death but speculate about why the other person didn’t know about these bad decisions and be prepared to react to them.

    I am being as kind as I can but it seems that far too many people close to the Ward Family are only seeing their hurt and using it as an excuse to ignore the facts. Yet, none of this can be put at Tony’s feet.

    I hope this helps. If you want to comment more in private, you can always email me. Thanks!

  252. Dear Sympathy,

    Thanks for your comment but I am confident you are not going to like my reply.

    1) You do realize that civil court and criminal court are two different things, I hope. And for the Ward’s to win this, they have to prove Tony was responsible for what took place. And, the only compensation that anyone is awarded in a civil suit is money. So, for the Ward’s to say it isn’t about the money, when money is the only outcome of a civil suit is, at the very least, conflicting. The Ward’s will get no justice, only money.

    2) The Ward’s have no publicly acknowledged a grandson and he is not mentioned in the civil suit, which is odd, but if you do the math, there is a chance that the baby isn’t Ward, Jr’s. The baby would have been conceived the week of the accident. As you well know, a baby’s gestation period is 40 weeks, the baby was born 39 weeks after Ward, Jr’s death. Sources have shared that the due date was 5/15/15 and the baby was born on the 23rd. So, I find it hard to believe that the Ward’s did NOT mention the baby in the civil suit if he is actually their grandson, that information would certainly help their cause with a jury. How does the Ward having a grandson make Tony greedy? I am having a hard time following your logic here.

    3) First, if you are such good friends with ALYSA Ruggles, you should probably know how to spell her name correctly and second, Tony said publicly that the accident with Ruggles was his fault and if you are buds with her, you have probably seen the photo on her FB page of her hanging out with Tony at the Glen AND her comment on the photo of her smiling with Tony that reads, “What an awesome man!” You want to also see the pics on there of her riding some really crazy rides at an amusement park – Soooo I don’t think anyone’s back was broken either.

    4) Claiming that he is innocent shows he has no compassion? ok.

    5) So, lastly, you see no responsibility on the part of Ward, Jr.? It is ok that he got out of his car on a caution? Walked down the turn into oncoming traffic? Running into oncoming traffic just a few feet away from a 1400 lbs. sprint car with limited visibility in a black fire suit? Oh! And also fitting the legal definition of “judgment impaired” based on the about of marijuana in his system at the time he died? You have no problem with someone smoking pot before they get into a 700 horse-power race car?

    You cannot hold Tony, or anyone else responsible for that fact that Ward. Jr. was “judgement impaired” – there is MORE than enough to defend Tony and in case you missed it, the criminal investigation determined there wasn’t enough evidence to even levy charges against Tony. So, the official investigation seems to have defended him already.

    I hope this helps clear up some of your confusion.

    Thank you!!

  253. Hi Diana,

    Thank you, I was looking into this and saw that there were different time limitations on responding to the suit based on how the other party received the documents. If they were hand delivered they had 20 days I think it was to respond to the courts and if they were mailed, they had 30 days. Please, no one quote me on that, that is just what I remember reading on a NYS court official website. I could have the number of days wrong. Thanks for your input, Diana.

  254. Hi Fred,

    If anything good can come out of this, I hope that track officials become more diligent with enforcing safety rules and pit crews become more responsible about exactly what kind of state, physical, mental or otherwise, they allow a driver to get behind the wheel of any kind of race car.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  255. Hi Jim,

    I think they felt that the dusting was at the time that Tony’s car hit Ward, Jr. not at the time of the initial incident that put Ward, Jr. into the wall in Turn 2. When Tony came around on the caution, some believe Tony saw him out there pointing at him, taunting him and chose to try and teach him a lesson. That is what some feel he could have done. I have seen more than enough evidence about the limited visibility from inside a sprint car to come to the conclusion that this was very unlikely.

    Thanks for commenting!

  256. Hi Charlie,

    Thanks for commenting. I appreciate all of the comments from people who can at least recognize that Ward, Jr. made some pretty bad choices that night which directly attributed to his own death. The family really needs to take onus of what their son did. The excuse that he was just a kid, etc. That doesn’t fly with me. If he was not mature enough, he had no right being out on that track.

  257. Ummm, your comment, while appreciated, needs some context. What claims to fact have I made that are mere speculation? There are only two facts that I presented 1) He got out of the car on a caution and 2) He was “judgement impaired.” The rest of the article were a lot of questions that many of us would like answered.

    If there is information that I am portraying as fact, that you can show isn’t please let me know and I will happily update the article with a correction.

    Anxious to hear back from you!

    Thank you!

  258. Hi Jackie,

    Thanks for commenting. I really do feel that if the shoe were on the other foot and Ward, Jr. had been the driver, he father would be screaming his head off about how the other driver never should have gotten out of the car and made his way down the track into traffic and we would be hear about the impaired judgement as well.

    Is that what Ward, Sr. said? is someone claiming that is what he said? If he did, then he really has some explaining to do.

  259. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for commenting – Yeah, I know that those who race in my family – safety is something they are always harping on with anyone that is even around their trailer in the pits.

  260. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for commenting – it has been said here over and over – if he had stayed in the car, none of this would have happened. Who knows, Tony could have been impressed with him and offered to help him in some way. We will never really know.

  261. Dear Sympathy, If you know the Ruggles, then you know that Alysha and her parents–especially her dad–have come out publicly in Tony’s defense. They all say that the accident that she was involved in was a RACING ACCIDENT and that they do not blame Tony. Mr. Ruggle recently stood up for Tony again and said that Ward Jr should not have been under the influence or gotten out of his car.

  262. i think every driver in that race sould file suit against ward sr for riskin their lives by lettin a stoned driver in his car see how he respones

  263. DOES IT SAY IN THE RULE BOOK ABOUT GETTING OUT YOUR CAR. IF IT DOES THEN HE VIOLATED THE RULE THAT HE WAS UNDER WHEN SIGNED IN AT THE PIT SHACK. I’VE READ ENOUGH RULE BOOKS AND SIGNED IN. YOU SETTLE DISAGREEMENTS IN THE PITS. I LEARNED YOU DON’T GET OUT OF CAR UNLESS THERE IS FIRE. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

  264. Hi Terry!
    Thanks for reading and for your comment. The ESS Rulebook that is available online is only updated to 2007. Am going to check with the ESS for info on this.

  265. The rules of the track say you don’t get out of the car on the track while racing is going. The fact that he was under the influence of drugs, it may be pot buy still a drug. He was in a car that weighs 1000’s of pounds and is a weapon. But he chose to get out of his car on the track, and he wanted to make a point because it was a famous driver. There was an accident and dumb ass got killed. Now the family wants fast cash and make a case. Please do the world a favor and get your head out of your asses. He feels bad as it is and his racing has suffered ever since. He gets punished everyday. Maybe you should have taught your spawn that drugs are bad and be safe not stupid.

  266. Hi Terry – trying to find this out for sure. One would assume it is in there. If it is just considered to be basic knowledge and not in the Rulebook, then the attorneys have some wiggle room.

  267. Yes, the present track rules for 2015 state just this. I do not know if it was added this year after the accident or if this was in place prior for the 2014 season.

  268. I know that track well as I went there many times as a kid. My cousin raced at that track. Hate to see something like this happen anywhere especially from my home area. Fact is, it was a racing accident and the boy was being a hot head and did not follow track rules to include drugs and not staying in the car and approaching moving race cars. I don’t race but I know that is just plain stupid for someone the family says would be a star race car driver.

  269. Hi Bill,
    Thanks for reading and for your thoughts. These are really the two points that are indisputable and whether he would have been a star or not – I guess we’ll never know.

  270. I would not call one of those issues indisputable. I do not disagree with anything you say, but you are speculating that the pot impaired his reason or reflexes. Pot will impair you from 3 to 10 hours after you smoke it, but it tests positive in your blood for 30 days, so assuming he was impaired is just a guess. Using that in your line of reasoning just looks like you are piling on a bit and stretching for another reason to bolster your argument. I don’t disagree with your thoughts or position on the matter, its just that adding that as a valid argument, like it is fact, actually weakens the effectiveness of your article.

  271. Mr/Ms. Witt,

    Thank you for commenting but you have to understand, I think I was pretty clear in the article, the official investigation stated that based on the toxicology, the amount of marijuana in his system at the time of death was enough to be legally defined as “judgment impaired”, not me. I did not speculate, assume or guess. So, I am not stretching anything to bolster my argument. If you would prefer, I will add these links so there is NO question as to what the investigation found. They also state that he would of had to smoke the pot within a few hours of his death. I hope that clears things up for you.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2014/09/24/kevin-ward-jr-marijuana-toxicology-report-tony-stewart-grand-jury-decision/16160043/

    and

    http://nascartalk.nbcsports.com/2015/08/09/report-kevin-ward-jr-smoked-marijuana-within-hours-of-last-race/

    Both of these are from September of 2014. I would suggest you specifically read the 2nd article in its entirely because it mentions not just the amount of marijuana and when he smoked it but it also references the speculation that Tony’s car.

    ““It made it very clear that Tony Stewart was driving on a straight path until he collided with Kevin Ward and then he veered to the right, up the track as a result of the collision,” Tantillo said. “When you look at it you may say, ‘Oh, it looks like he swerved.’ But in reality that was not substantiated by the lab work.”

    Please know that when I write something, I make every effort to make sure that the facts I present are substantiated by multiple sources. I have some damning information that I have not shared publicly because a) it would be inappropriate and b) the sources are not sources that I am comfortable with as reliable. I only have one source, not enough for me.

  272. Sadly, it appears from reading the first 100+ responses here, the Ward’s will now face all the negative, hateful remarks that Tony faced a year ago before the legal fact and decisions were made public. Tony life also drastically changed since that terrible day a year ago. I just don’t see anyone winning this civil suit.

  273. I am by no means confused and if you read my original note then you would see how I said I didn’t condone the pot smoking or the getting out of the car!! And I’m sure you won’t like me pointing out that 40 weeks is absolutely full term but drs will wait till around 43-43 weeks sometimes to induce if there is no need to get the baby out faster, and friendship of Alysha Ruggles is not what is of discussion, she is obviously moved past her accident… And I was saying that although civil court will not render tiny guilty as a criminal case could have, but it may be some comforting reassurance to the ward family that tony is punished in at least some way for his role in this incident…this comment section is for opinions and discussion not to be going around insinuating that people are stupid for their opinion. I said nothing rude or offensive to anyone personally, so I do not appreciate you trying to tear apart my opinion.

  274. As a member of a long time USAC race team I know it is discussed in every driver’s meeting, at every track, for every open wheel race….DO NOT get out of your car while the track is hot…in other words…cars are still racing. End of story. This was NOT his first race. Put me on the jury please!

  275. Oh , and like I said I am not trying to be rude, these are just opinions, but if your going to correct me on the spelling of alyshas name, then you need to at least spell it correctly yourself. And re-read the part of my ORIGINAL comment where I acknowledge Ward’s wrong also, but understand Ward and his family have already paid the ultimate for his mistakes. This is exactly what’s wrong with the world today, people need to stop talking badly about the Ward’s, its not going to hurt you all for them to do what they think will make them feel better…

  276. It seems to me, this is like pulling the scab from an old injury. Only this time, the Ward’s son will be left with the biggest scar. Bad past and present advice from a greedy attorney who is seeing big dollar sign and his own fifteen minutes of fame.

  277. I have to ask, if it were one of your sons behind the wheel of the 14 car and someone was going after him so vehemently – would you feel the same? You’re asking for sympathy, and I think the Ward Family got a whole lot of it in the months following the incident. Yet, once the video was reviewed and the fact about the marijuana came out, people started to realize there was more here. Yet, to this day, I have not seen anywhere where the Ward Family has accepted the fact that their son was even partly responsible for his own death. What most of us here are trying to say is that unless someone can prove that there was intent, that Tony meant to and make a cognizant decision to dust, buzz or scare Ward, Jr. then you cannot blame the driver. How really was Tony going to know just how far down the track Ward would go? You want to punish Tony for something someone else did. It is the reasoning behind this kind of thinking that so many of us are questioning.

  278. Sympathy,
    The Ward’s do not seem to feel that their son made any mistakes. They put total and complete onus on Tony Stewart.
    As far as who gets hurt by this – I will be posting more about this in a few days. I hope you’ll come back and give it a read.

  279. Teri,
    Give the court docs a read – they are completely void of even the mention of Ward getting out of the car or the marijuana in his system. Now, more than ever, I want to see Tony fight this.

  280. I too, would like to see Tony fight this. But more importantly, I wish to see Tony heal the quickest and easiest way possible. I also wish peace for the Wards.

  281. Read the legal document. High-priced, Uptown New York attorney talk. It is the plaintiff’s legal representation’s job to present the plaintiff’s view. I am very confident Tony also has access to extremely effective attorneys that will be able to defuse each of these accusations. Plus bring out those the Ward’s obviously, do not want mention. So sad. I do admire the girlfriend and her family though, it appears they are trying to protect a child and grandchild from all this negative environment.

  282. I love the reply by Sparky’s Mom. She seems to know all of the inside info. If what she states is true, wouldn’t it be interesting if the Tony didn’t give them a settlement, but instead took it to trial where all their dirty laundry would be made public? I would call their bluff and watch them drop the whole thing. There is no way they can win. The kid was a pot head (and a hot head!)

  283. food for thought and well said i hope tony dont settle he has been through enough with this and stand his ground he owes them nothing

  284. I know this family personally and its sick that they can’t take responsibility for there sons actions and want money from someone who has to live with what happened that day for the rest of his life. Yes you lost your son but it was from his own stupidy people make choices ever day and ward Jr lost his life from his decision . This family doesn’t deserve any money from tony .

  285. And if the child in question is Kevin Ward’s , I would not be a bit surprise to find that Tony would discreetly arrange for financial support for this child. That is the heart we know as Tony Stewart.

  286. I have only one question: isn’t it against the law to drive a vehicle while being impaired, & the last time I heard, smoking pot is being legally impaired???!!!!!
    Interesting article!!!

  287. Jessica,
    Thanks for commenting – most of the people who support the Ward Family seem to be people that know them personally. It is nice to see someone who knows them and can still recognize that their son made decisions that lead to his death.

  288. Very well written. I have to say this has touched my heart from the time it happened. I’m a huge Tony fan & have been for many years, but even if I wasn’t this would have touch me anyway. I want to tell my story & I’ll make it as short as possible so I don’t bore anyone. Ten years ago this September 11th, I went to the store to get a gallon of milk. On my way home, A car crossed the medium with no headlights on & hit me head on. There were 3 people in the other car, none of them were wearing seat belts. Two died at the scene. They were all drunk & high. After this happened with Tony & he finally broke his silence about the incident, I remember him saying “It has definitely affected my life forever” he goes on to say “It’s a sadness & pain I hope no one ever has to experience.” I cried when he said that because I have said those same words myself & to other people many times thru the years, I still live with the memories of that horrible night as I’m sure Tony will live with his own memories. I had said I hated the driver of the other car while I recovered from my own injuries. One day a nurse came in my room & said the driver of the other car was in the same hospital I was & wanted to know if I wanted to speak to her. I said no at first but a few days later I told the nurses I wanted to talk to her, I guess I needed to put a face with the person i hated so much. As the nurses wheeled me down to her room I thought about what I was going to say to her, When they pushed my wheel chair in her room, she stared at me & ask if I was the other driver, I said yes I am. She started with the words “If I could change anything”. I stopped her & told that it was important to me, for her to know that I forgive her with all my heart. I really meant those words. She started crying & ask if she could hugged me & I said yes. The nurses cried. I felt an instant relief & no more anger or hatred toward her. A week later the Highway Patrol came to my room & told me she had passed away from injuries she received in the wreck. That left me being the sole survivor. To this day I still deal with bouts of survivor’s guilt even though it wasn’t my fault. Ward Sr. needs to do some forgiven & move on & let Tony move on as well. No amount of money in the world will bring his son back & hating Tony won’t either. I wish the Wards’ the best & Tony the best. I hope one day I will be able to see him race in person. Sorry this story was so long, but I wanted share it. Thanks.

  289. Your article was right on point, very well written. It’s disgusting that a family would trade their son’s soul for money. Everyone makes mistakes fortunately they usually don’t result in death, but when you add drugs to obvious hot headedness you get a person out of control. You have to wonder if he was not high would he have been stupid enough to grad onto the car??? Please Tony take them to task – stand your ground you owe them nothing.

  290. Hi Donna,
    Thank you for your kind words and I think 95% of the racing world, if not more, is in Tony’s corner on this. I have bad people from as far away as Germany, New Zealand and the UK read this article so it is far reaching, that is for sure. I think if the Ward’s push things any further, Tony is going to have no other choice than to fight it out in court.

  291. Let’s address the contention by the Ward’s that Tony accelerated and steered toward Kevin. If you watch a sprint car race, during a yellow the cars are always being “goosed” to keep the tire warm and to check the reaction of the oil pressure. When they are “goosed” the rear end kicks out to the right. I would bet you can find video of Kevin Ward doing the same thing on a yellow. What a way to disrespect a son by the Ward’s.

  292. Hi Wayne,
    Thank you fro commenting and reading – I will post more on this today or tomorrow – but we have seen similar comments about this and even how according to the official investigation that Tony’s line didn’t change until after making impact with Ward. Reading the official docs from the civil suit – I really do hope that Tony fights this because they are calling fact what the investigation clearly disproved. I am more and more convinced that their attorneys think this is going to be a quick payday and just threw something together – or the Ward’s are really that blind.

  293. I think Stewart should play it out and and not settle. Then when he wins he should counter sue causing Ward St to have to dissolve all his assets including his construction business. Because to me Ward is basically scaling Stewart

  294. “Ummm, your comment, while appreciated, needs some context. What claims to fact have I made that are mere speculation? There are only two facts that I presented 1) He got out of the car on a caution and 2) He was “judgement impaired.” The rest of the article were a lot of questions that many of us would like answered.

    If there is information that I am portraying as fact, that you can show isn’t please let me know and I will happily update the article with a correction.

    Anxious to hear back from you!

    Thank you!”

    Brief illustrations where your statement represents fact, while in reality are an opinion.

    “Ward, Sr. and other family members have not shied away from the press or social media in the past year. They have been almost belligerent to the facts that came out of the official investigation.They clearly want to place blame anywhere but on Ward, Jr.”

    “Clearly, Wendi and Ward, Sr. are brother and sister – facts cloud their version of the truth.”

    I offer a quote from Mark Twain: “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

    Now please apply that logic to your article, and the responses you have garnered. When done properly…truth will prevail, and fiction will be exposed.

  295. PdLakota,

    Thanks for replying. Yet, your response in nothing but innuendo. Are you trying to say that the two facts that have been presented are fiction?

    Ward, Jr. never got out of his car?

    There was no marijuana in his system?

    You haven’t given any proof to how fact became fiction. All of this cloak and dagger stuff does nothing to shed light on the truth. I hope whatever you are calling truth comes out soon. I am all for the truth.

    Would you like me to dig through all of the articles since August, 2014? It wasn’t until the CBS article that I posted in the article last evening that the family even admitted that their son actually got out of the car. Mrs. Ward said she didn’t believe her son was impaired.

    The Ward’s are grabbing at straws right now. Have you even read the court documents? They claim their son was “standing” on the track. If you want to convince me of something, you need to try a little hard. But I am willing to listen.

  296. DaKota…..I consider myself an intelligent individual, but I fail to understand the point you are attempting to make here. Are you merely, offering YOUR opinion concerning another’s opinion and observations? I personally found the author to be concise, reasonable and well informed. She has also been extremely cordial to everyone, including those disagreeing with her views.

  297. I find it very interesting that no one in Ward Jrs. family, who claims to have been with him all day, did not notice anything unusual about his being high. Then it occurred to me, if they didn’t smell anything or notice anything, perhaps it is because they all were smoking with him. One tends not to notice things in others when they are high as well.

    Tony should fight this to the end and not settle. He is a man who cares for others deeply and that shows in the foundations he has set up to help children, animals and other racers; as well as the other things he does for people he has never met. He has EARNED his money, and not gotten them from being irresponsible. He has always been a man of integrity.

    This article brought some questions up that needed to be put into words for many people. Anyone who will think for themself will realize that NO ONE could have done anything different than Tony did that night to prevent a horrible accident. This very law suit shows that the Wards did not teach their own child common sense or responsibility.

  298. Thank you Eva, for reading and commenting as well. It is going to be interesting. I think Tony just wants this thing to end and he will just write a check and be done with it. Some other comments made some really great arguments about why he should fight it. One in particular stands out – apparently there are fewer and fewer insurance companies that will now insure tracks like these. Yet, it is here where the likes of Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and Tony Stewart get their start and it is why they still try to support these smaller tracks, helping to bring in revenue to keep them alive. The fate of the roots of the sport could be on a thin thread if things like this keep happening.

    As far as the marijuana goes, according to the official investigation, he would have smoked it within two to five hours from his time of death – meaning he most likely smoked it at the track. I highly doubt that someone was with him every moment of that time – there are mundane things like trips to the bathroom, getting something to eat, coming back from the drivers meeting, etc. Aunt Wendi isn’t making a respectable argument unless she was the one that was with him for 10 hours straight and never left his side – ever.

  299. Oh boy, where do I start, you seem hell bent on pointing out everything wrong that Kevin Ward did on that night, but clearly are blatantly blind to the actions of Tony Stewart that ultimately killed Kevin…Just the fact that you deny the purposeful gassing of the car by Tony Stewart which caused his car to fishtail up the track into Kevin Ward with his wheels turned to the right all the way through the kill as he drove up to the crash scene while the race was under caution shows that you are clearly biased. There is no denying the fact he purposefully, wrecklessly, and dangerously gassed his car, this has been confirmed by several eye-witnesses both on and off the track and can CLEARLY be seen and heard in the video.Just like all the biased, blatantly ignorant Stewart “fanatics” that stick to the “official” story as stated by the D.A and Sheriff Povero which is clearly untrue. There was and always will be abberational driving that night by Tony Stewart that ultimately killed Kevin Ward jr no matter the excuses and lies yourself and any other Stewart fan can come up with as long as the video exists….

  300. I was at Bristol the night that Tony Stewart got crashed out of the race he got out of his car and through his helmet at the front window of the offending driver as he came round past the crash site Perhaps this young kid just wanted to make the same point that Tony did that night at Bristol,the differance being Tony walked away afterwards this kid didnt

  301. Well, I guess we need to ask you a few questions. Where was the person sitting that was taking the video? The gunning of the engine could have been any car in the vicinity of the recorder, it would not have focused in on the vehicle of Tony Stewart. And, if I remember correctly, even the expert analysis as part of the official investigation proved that it was not Stewart’s car gunning the engine. If you could share the links of these eye witnesses because, at the very least, there are a number of eye-witnesses, some even having posted here, who say it would be impossible for Tony to have even known Ward was out of his car and have the forethought to even consider going after him. So, there is that. You can call us fanatics, that is your prerogative but you are making some pretty serious accusations about the Ontario County officials that oversaw the investigation. If there were any kind of misconduct on the part of the investigative agency, I think the Ward Family would have already pressed charges against them as well. They were very cautious on their investigation I feel that if there were any misconduct, someone would have come forward by now. So, I guess the only thing I can tell you is that just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

  302. Just a few things. First, I feel that Ward was showboating because Stewart was there and it cos him his life. As far as making a point, using a helmet vs. your own body, that is saying something. 🙂

  303. The investigation makes no mention of the revving of the engine, in any case the video is very clear that Stewart gunned his engine, there is no denying it. If as you say Stewart didn’t know Ward was on the track then why is he gassing and fishtailing his car up the track as he drives up to the crash scene while the race was under caution? The D.A stated and I quote, there was no abberational driving on the part of Stewart, his car veered right after the impact with Ward and prior to that his course was pretty straight…Why is it then that in the slo-mo replays as soon as Stewarts car comes into frame his car is fishtailing up the track into Kevin Ward with his wheels turned right all the way through the kill…? A fishtailing car with it’s wheels turned right is not a pretty straight course…Not to mention the D.A stated that Ward came down a hot track while cars were still racing…That is also a blatant lie…Yes these are serious accusations towards this crooked D.A but it is blatantly obvious that he is lying about what really happened….If you want to believe what a lying crooked D.A wants you to believ that is your prerogative, I choose to believe what I see in the video…

  304. I found this article to be very interesting and accurate. I do see where some people are alluding to this child of Ward but I have seen nothing on any of the family’s facebook pages about this child except for one picture on the sisters page. Who is the alleged girlfriend of Wards? If she
    did indeed have this child why have the parents omitted this child from their lawsuit? I agree with your opinion on that matter that the child is most likely not Wards as the dates would not line up. I do not watch racing of any kind but I have followed this since day one and have formed my own opinion based on what I have seen and clearly feel this young man would be alive today if
    he had stayed in his car. The video also clearly shows him walking further onto the track towards the car that hit him. The others were able to avoid him but he did indeed keep walking further onto the track into the path of the car driven by Tony Stewart. I feel these parents are in denial about their sons actions because of their grief. It is very sad for all involved but Tony
    Stewart should not have to pay for his recklessness. Their son also put a lot of others at risk that night by getting out of his car and walking out onto the track, he could have cause many more people to be hurt or possible killed by his actions alone. I am sorry for their loss but they need to look at their sons role in his own death and stop pointing fingers.

  305. If you watch the press conference, I believe the revving engine is addressed there. And as far as the final report – if that has been made public, and you have a link to it, I would love to see it. And I would love to know how you feel that Ward didn’t come down the track. It is abundantly clear that he got out of the car, started his way down the track, when the other cars passed him and when Stewart’s car comes into his view he moves even deeper down the track. I honestly don’t know how you can say he didn’t. I might suggest that you view so of the videos on YouTube where people with the right software/equipment slow down the video and in one, it shows the right side wing ONLY buckle under what is most likely the weight of Ward, Jr. This gives the impression that Ward actually reached out and tried to grab the 14 Car. If you want to keep arguing the point, that’s fine. But I will not be surprised if the federal judge throws this case out.

  306. I couldn’t agree more, Kathy. With regard to the baby, it is something that I have researched and looked into and it is most likely one of two scenarios. 1) The Ward Family doesn’t believe this baby is their son’s or 2) It is and they do not want to admit it publicly until the civil suit has been decided. Some have emailed me stating that this girl friend’s age might be an issue, etc. In all honesty, if this baby is Ward. Jr.’s I would like to be respectful of the fact that this innocent baby needs to be protected from the media and left alone. I have information but will not write about it for this reason. Thanks!

  307. Great article, Ruben! Thanks for sharing! I appreciate having my points validated, some still refuse to accept the facts. As the articles states, no one out side of the grand jury members heard this amount of information about the incident, the testing, the video analysis and most importantly crash incident investigation.

  308. Pingback: Musing Mary Ann
  309. Hi MaryAnn!!

    I just wanted to check in and see if you had seen the photos that his family posted of him enjoying some beers? They were included in this blog: http://opinionatedbroaddiary.blogspot.com/?zx=957989d4dbd66b02 .

    It sort of goes along with the toxicology reports that the Wards now want to question. If they knew he was drinking, and covered it up, why wouldn’t they try to cover up the drug abuse?

    I also found a photo of one of Kevin’s sisters holding the baby. Not sure if you saw it either, but can send you the link if interested.

    Hope this finds you well! The new entry is fabulous.

    Be Well,

    Sparkys Mom

  310. WOW! That pic of him passed out drunk on the table at the wedding from 2012 says it all. He would have been 18 or so. Apparently his parents condone his drinking underage. You need to be 21 here in NY.

  311. Wow, reading through all of these comments especially by the author has made me lose faith in humanity. Talk about victim shaming at it’s worse. The denial from you Stewart fanatics is appaling. Disgusting human behaviour. None of you will be able to help Stewart in a court of law with all of your blatant lies and excuses about what Stewart did or didn’t do that night. We all know what Kevin Ward jr did that night, he confronted Stewart on the track because Stewart purposely put him in the wall even though Ward took the outside line and gave Stewart room on the inside to race like a professional. That’s what got Ward out of his car pissed, drugs had nothing to do with that, it’s all on Stewart for taking him out and putting him in harm’s way. Ward only did what many including Stewart have done before him, it’s part of the history/culture of racing. There is no denying Stewart gassed and fishtailed his car UP the track into Kevin Ward with his wheels turned right in a counter-steer, a clear indication he hit the gas, BEFORE he struck Ward while the race was under caution. A crooked D.A says there was no abberational driving by Stewart and before hitting Ward his course was pretty straight? Really? Then why do we see in the video the fishtail and wheels turned right BEFORE he hit him? Don’t want to believe me? Still want to stick to the “official” story or like me, would you rather believe what you see…Let me show you…Go on YouTube to the video by Walt Maiken – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zsyx5dzKGjg – Tony Stewart / Kevin Ward Accident, 1/20th Speed Slow Motion Version. Watch repeatedly from 6:10 to 6:15, you will see as soon as Stewarts car comes into frame he is fishtailing up the track into Kevin Ward with his wheels turned right BEFORE and all the way through the kill. The cars position is clearly in a counter-steer indicating he was on the gas. Speaking of the gassing of the car, there are several eye-witness statements from people on and off the track that have confirmed he gassed the car. Here is one example on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il-6xFX-Xyw – Stewarts Friesen says Tony Stewart uses sprint car as weapon!?!?. There was no need or reason for Stewart to gas the car as he drove up to the crash scene he caused, Stewart is known for these kind of antics on the track and this time it backfired big time on him and he killed a man….Everyone else on the track that night saw and avoided Kevin Ward jr, the 45 car ahead of him was able to turn left down the track Stewart should have also, but just like Kevin Wards aunt said, Stewart wanted to be a dick and ultimately his actions are what took Kevin Wards life….

  312. Let me ask you a few questions:

    If Kevin Ward had stayed in his car as per track rules would he still be alive today?

    Should Kevin Ward have used an illegal substance within hours of driving a 700 HP sprint car?

    Should Kevin Ward have walked down into traffic initially and then even closer still as the 14 Car came around?

    Of course the other cars didn’t hit Kevin Ward – he let them pass and moved even closer to Stewart as his car approached – But I guess that is Tony’s fault too?

    You bring up Tony’s “antics” on the track. What specifically has he done during a race, out on the track while still behind the wheel of his still-moving car? You can point at throwing a helmet, punching a photographer, comments to media, and on and on. But that is all AFTER he was out of a race and out of his race car NOT during an active race. Yet what your and your side can’t seem to get your head’s around is that Kevin Ward, Jr. made some VERY BAD CHOICES that day for whatever reason. Choices that had a direct impact on his death. You cannot blame Tony for Ward getting out of his car, you cannot blame Tony for Ward coming down the track or for coming down even further as the 14 Car approached.

    Lastly, if this weren’t Tony Stewart, as I said initially, and just Billy Bob who works M-F at the local Pep Boys would you still be blaming Billy Bob? No, you would use the exact same arguments that we are 1) He got out of the car – YOU NEVER GET OUT OF THE CAR! 2) He walked onto the track toward traffic – YOU NEVER WALK INTO TRAFFIC. It was night time for Godsakes!! If I’m flying down I-81 at 10 pm at night and all of a sudden a person walks into traffic stoned, are you going to get convicted of manslaughter? I doubt it! Wake up and take your rose colored glasses off and realize that Kevin Ward Jr directly contributed to his own death.

  313. ”If Kevin Ward had stayed in his car as per track rules would he still be alive today?”

    Kevin Ward wouldn’t have gotten out of his car if Stewart hadn’t raced dirty and put him in the wall. Stewart initiated this whole thing, he is the one who purposely put Ward in harm’s way…Also driver’s are told before a race not to gas the car duriing a caution, Stewart broke that rule and killed a man…

    ”Should Kevin Ward have used an illegal substance within hours of driving a 700 HP sprint car? ”

    No of course not, should Stewart have gassed and fishtailed his car up the track into Kevin Ward with his wheels turned right in a counter steer all the way through the kill while the race was under caution? Which is worse?

    ”Should Kevin Ward have walked down into traffic initially and then even closer still as the 14 Car came around?”

    No of course not, but it’s part of the nature/culture of the sport, many including Stewart have done it before him, but this is the first time that the driver, to my knowledge, gassed and fishtailed his car into said on-foot driver and killed him. Pedestrians will always have the right of way, in any situation where a pedestrian is on the roadway or track, if he decides to get in the way other drivers will instinctively either avoid when possible and when not possible brake to limit the damage. Whay didn’t Stewart do either of those? And just how much closer did Ward get once the 45 car went by? If you Watch the video once the 45 car went by Ward is out of screen and when the camera pans back you can only see him for a split second. And at the last second Ward pushed himself up with his right leg back up the track and managed to avoid the front right tirebut was clipped by the right rear tire, why is that? Because Stewart fishtailed his car up into him that’s why.

    You blame everything on Ward yet choose to not see or acknowledge that Stewart gassed and fishtailed his car up the track into Kevin Ward. No matter how much you deny it he used his car to intimidate Kevin Ward and it backfired on him. That is ultimately what killed Kevin Ward, did Ward contribute to his death to some degree? Yes, but that’s like saying a woman was raped because she was out in a club at night and was dressed sexy…And you can’t blame Ward for gassing and fishtailing Stewarts car, he wasn’t at the Wheel of the 14 car Stewart was…

    You speak of the lighting at the track, have you been to the Canandaigua track? Have you any knowledge of how many lights there are at the track and how well lit it actually is compared to the video? Have you any knowledge of the safety features at the Canadaigua track and what happens when a yellow caution flag comes out? When a yellow comes out at this track, first of all all the cars slow to caution speed, Stewart caused the wreck and had a full lap to be aware of what was going on, also when a yellow comes out there are several flashing yellow caution lights around the Canandaigua track, beginning from the start/finish line there is a yellow flashing light on the fence at the end of the front stretch before turn 1 , another one between turn 1 and 2, another one in turn 3 and annother one on the fence at the beginning of the front stretch…So Stewart the so called Professional didn’t see any of these? Here is a video of the Canandaigua track so you can see just how well lit it is and see the safety features and what happens when a yellow flag comes out.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmfZVxkOlP4 Yellow flag at 3:08

    And proof Stewart fishtailed the car into Kevin Ward BEFORE he hit him which contradicts the official statement by the D.A…..

    Watch this video repeatedly from 6:10 to 6:15, you will see as soon as Stewarts car comes into frame he is already fishtailing up the track into Kevin Ward with his wheels turned right in a counter steer BEFORE , DURING , and AFTER the kill…

    Here is another video showing the fishtail…

    Got anymore excuses for Stewart?

  314. Do you really think that Kevin Ward is the first person to ever feel wronged on a race track? There are track rules for a reason, safety rules for a reason and this case highlights every single reason why these rules were established. If you think Ward is the first person to be nudged into a wall then maybe you need to go to a few more races.

    It might surprise you but I have been to the track in Canandaigua, as well as Fulton, Brewerton and even the supermodified track in Oswego. Stewart said he knew the caution was out, what he said was that he didn’t see Ward until the last second. There was no expectation on the part of Stewart to see someone, as he came into Turn 1, walking down the track coming after him. Why? Because you are NOT supposed to be out on a hot track, yellow flag or no yellow flag.

    The official report stated that the revving engine wasn’t Stewart’s and that there was no change in Stewart’s path so you have no argument. You want to see what you want to see because you want to see the mighty fall. You hate Tony for his success, the money he has earned and for the fame he has. Again, if it had been Billy Bob from the local Peep Boys would you want to see him dragged through the mud and into a civil suit. Face it, if this weren’t TS, there would be no story, not even in the local Rochester or Syracuse news.

    Rick, you really need to work on your argument skills.

  315. I found it amazing that everyone belonging to the Ward Cult wants to forget that Kevin Jr’s choices started the whole chain of events.

    Kevin was the one that CHOSE to smoke and impair his judgment. Kevin was the one that CHOSE to race while impaired. Kevin was the one that CHOSE to get out of his car and act like an idiot. No one made those decisions for him. If Kevin had NOT smoked, if Kevin had NOT raced while stoned, if Kevin had NOT gotten out of his car, he may still be alive today.

    The victim is Tony Stewart–not Kevin Ward Jr.

    How many times did that kid race while stoned or intoxicated? It has been proven that he was an underage drinker (condoned by his parents, I might add) AND that he was drinking on race weekends. What makes anyone think that he wasn’t capable of smoking as well, and that his parents allowed it?

    How many other races did he place drivers, pit crew and spectators in danger because of his stupid choices with substances? Has anyone looked back to see if he may have been high or drunk during any previous races? How many other victims of Kevin are out there?

  316. If the Ward family doesn’t agree with the toxicology reports, then why haven’t they gone after the forensics experts and authorities? They could have done that long before now–including gotten their own toxicology report at the time of the accident.

    No parent wants to admit their own failures or the failures of their children, but they need to man up and accept their responsibilities. Vengeance isn’t pretty. They are punishing themselves, the rest of their family, Kevin’s son, the racing community that stood beside them, and a lot of innocent people. What pity or compassion I had for them is quickly being eaten alive by their hateful and slanderous actions.

    For God’s sakes, someone please get them some grief counseling!!

  317. These are some great points! I particularly like the pic of him passed out on a gift table at a wedding where he was one of the groomsmen – in 2011 when he was only 17 or 18. Clearly drinking was condoned privately as well as publicly.

  318. GTRICK64: Please note: Stewart Friesen is married to Jessica Zemken. Yes, the same Jessica that dated Tony. Considering that several reliable sources state that Tony found Jessica cheating on him with Stewart, and goodness only knows what happened then, do you actually think that Friesen is a good person to ask or discuss anything having to do with Tony Stewart?

  319. Wow, so much denial it’s appaling. I’m showing you the change of path, i’m showing you he fishtailed his car up the track into Kevin Ward and yet you are still in denial? The video doesn’t lie no matter how much you will deny or choose not to see what is right in front of your eyes…If it had been Billy Bob as you say at the wheel of the 14 car you can be sure Billy Bob would be in jail and never behind the wheel of any race car ever again and justice would be served for Ward and his family…

  320. “I found it amazing that everyone belonging to the Ward Cult wants to forget that Kevin Jr’s choices started the whole chain of events”

    No Tony Stewart started this whole chain of events by racing dirty and purposely putting Ward in the wall. This was a Sprint Car race not Demolition Derby….

  321. Ward is passed out drunk in that picture? What proof do you have that he is drunk exactly? The comment from a family member that came with the picture says “It’s been a long day huh Kevin”, the comment has nothing to do with him drinking, just that it had been a long wedding day and he is tired….

  322. …even with the pot and the guy getting out of the car?? You refuse to see Ward’s role in any of this – his actions were like a domino effect on all of this. Experts who know a hell of a lot more than you and I and have video equipment much better than anything any amateur would have have shown that there was nothing to see. Tony’s car slides, as dirt cars do, and I am sure the weight of Ward on the wing had nothing to do with it, right? Because Tony, who gives so much, does so much quietly for others, has his own foundation, etc. would purposefully go after some 20 year old kid who was just like he was in his younger years. Ok, Rich!

  323. And Kevin Ward, Jr is the first driver in motor sports to ever be put into the wall … and just so you know, there are some who believe that Tony never even touched Ward’s car – he just ran out of room along the wall. So you have two hills to climb here, Rich.

  324. I’m sorry, you are clearly delusional – look at the other pictures. Others made reference to to it and there are multiple pictures of him drinking at the track – clearly his parents allowed this. You have no leg to stand on here.

  325. “GTRICK64: Please note: Stewart Friesen is married to Jessica Zemken. Yes, the same Jessica that dated Tony. Considering that several reliable sources state that Tony found Jessica cheating on him with Stewart, and goodness only knows what happened then, do you actually think that Friesen is a good person to ask or discuss anything having to do with Tony Stewart?”

    No Friesen isn’t the one to discuss what happened, but Jessica Zemken is, Friesen wasn’t there, Jessica was and she was just a few car lengths behind and she saw and witnessed Stewart gas the car…Just because one dated the other or cheated on the other doesn’t make what she saw and witnessed invalid now does it? lol

    Again complete denial even with eye-witness statements…….

  326. Are you claiming that Ward grabbed the wing? Seriously? Have you watched the video? HE NEVER GRABBED THE WING!!!

    Watch this video for the proof he did not grab the wing…
    And you dare call me delusional?

  327. If you think that Wards past will come into play in the civil suit you can be sure Stewarts will also….Stewart has always been a hot-head on and off the track, has purposely caused wrecks and has even threatened to run people over….

  328. Are you serious? You truly are in denial. In these very videos you can see the proof that he DID NOT grab the wing and i pointed it out in the video in my previous comment above…Watch this video and look and listen closely…I am showing you the proof Kevin Ward did not grab the wing there is no denying it…

  329. A racer who has raced Kevin Jr and has raced at Canandaiga wrote this. Quite frankly, if I were going to trust anyone, it would be someone like him. He knew the drivers, he knows the track, and he knows the cars.

    http://web.a-znet.com/~dave1w/ward.htm

    “There was sound of an engine rev but It would be impossible to tell who hit the throttle from the singular mono sound on the video. Tony’s right front nearly hit Kevin so if he HAD gotten on the throttle,the rear of the car would have stepped out to the right and the right front would not have been as close to Kevin. The front tires would also have been turned to the left to help kick the rear out or turned to the right to maintain a straight line of travel or pivoted if the rear stepped out without turning the steering wheel. In the video, none of that happened. The front wheels are straight and so is the path of the car.”

    Oh, and just to be clear–Jessica is no more trustworthy than that guy she married. How do you think most girlfriends speak of their exes–especially when they were caught screwing around with someone else? Your point is invalid.

  330. +SPARKY`S MOM…..My dear, you`re going to have to do better than giving me these articles written by clearly biased individuals who are only mentioning the same lies and excuses yourself and all the other Stewart fanatics are coming up with to convince yourselves that Stewart isn`t guilty of taking this young man`s life…And Quite frankly it`s disgusting human behaviour….You should all be ashamed of yourselves…Watch these videos and open your eyes….It blows all your lies and axcuses for Stewart out of the water…

    Do not reply until you have watched all three videos….They self explanatory…If you cannot acknowledge what is said in these videos you are delusional…

  331. Let’s just throw this out there. I watched the first video and this guy is YOU! So, you are using your own video as a corroborative source? An independent source? Please, know that I am a better researcher/investigator than that. And guess who developed the second video? YOU! And let’s have readers guess who developed the third one too. Interestingly enough, all in the past few days. Might I remind you that professional video experts with equipment much better than yours and dare I say more experience than you, have determined otherwise. This was nothing more than an act of desperation.

  332. Again gtrick, I ask….what is your connection to the Ward family? The passion and drive you are exhibiting in your attempt to prove Kevin Ward’s innocence must come from a personal connection. Perhaps you have disclosed that connection in an earlier post, but given the enormously large number I have not been able to read each one.

  333. I have watched those homemade videos. I have also watched the actual videos made by two separate teams of experts. I have also seen the video that everyone in the general public has seen. Quite frankly, I see the same thing in all of them–because they are the same footage.

    I see a spoiled kid that made the decision to smoke weed get in a racecar and place every single person on that track in danger. I see a kid, that because of his inexperience, wasn’t able to make a pass, get pissed off and storm out of his vehicle against racing rules. (I’m assuming because he was also going to be embarrassed after bragging about how he was going to beat a “champ” on the track in the pits before the race.) I see a kid that purposely walked into the path of oncoming vehicles, step back up the track from the car in front of Tony to avoid it. I see a kid who walked right back down to Tony’s car, grab the wing and fall under the spinning wheels. (Several witnesses say Kevin slid in the dirt.)

    Forensics say the revving motor came from a car closer to the camera taking the video. This was proven by the other video presented to the grand jury which the public does not have access to because of the graphic nature. The fishtail of Tony’s car, was from Kevin being dragged around by the wheel.

    There is no intent of malice or “teaching a lesson” by Tony Stewart anywhere. If he wanted to scare someone, he would have succeeded without hurting anyone. Tony had no reason to be angry as some claim. Kevin Ward Jr was angry. There is no denying it.

    You obviously did not read the articles I posted for you. If you had, you would see would a futile attempt you are making at bringing anyone else into your cult of reasoning. The Ward family lost a child. They are grieving, but it does NOT give them a free pass to slander an innocent man. It does NOT give them a free pass to skirt their own responsibilities as parents or to allow their son’s memory to be smirched with this debacle.

    You should be ashamed and embarrassed to even support their vengeful stupidity. Maybe you should go to counseling with them because obviously you have no rational thought process ether.

  334. It doesn’t matter WHO made the videos, what’s important is what is said in the videos, i made these videos to expose all the blatant lies and excuses the Stewart Fanatics are throwing out there on line to take the blame away from Stewart. I am only pointing out real facts that can be seen in the videos and exposes all the made up lies and excuses, i’m not making anything up, it is all factual and can be easily seen in the video…If you want to believe what a crooked D.A and an abberational investigation says that is your choice, i choose to believe what can see with my very own eyes, the video doesn’t lie.

    I have absolutely no connection to Ward or Stewart, just over a year ago when i first saw the video, it was clear to me and should have been clear to any rational, un-biased person that Stewart is ultimately responsible for taking Ward’s life. What followed made me lose faith in humanity, the lies, the made up stories and misconceptions, the denial by Stewart supporters is unbelievable. The supposed ”official” story from the D.A does not reflect what actually happened, you just have to watch the video i made about it to see the lies that do not match with the video…It’s a complete white-wash, worse case of victim shaming i have seen in a long time. The only reason Stewart wasn’t criminally charged is because of the support Stewart has gotten from his supporters that just don’t care about Ward.

    In any case my videos are self-explnatory and expose the most important lies and blow them out of the water…You can’t deny what i am saying, i am not making anything up, i am clearly pointing out the true facts….The D.A lied about the case, Stewart DID hit the gas and fishtail his car UP the track into Kevin Ward. Ward did NOT grab the wing…etc etc etc….

  335. I do not need commentary from anyone! I am not blind. I do not need lenses to see for myself. Obviously, I do not see what you do, and I am never going to agree to it. I know in my heart, based on what my eyes have seen that I am right. The evidence that I have seen, corroborates my feelings on the subject. End of story.

    If the Ward family believed that Tantillo or any of the authorities involved in the case were crooked, or they botched their jobs, then they should have gone after them at the time of the investigation. This family is not destitute. They could have afforded an investigator, a coroner, and attorneys at the time of the accident. The only reason they are bringing this up now is because they are trying to do everything they can to take out their vengeance on an innocent man. You, on the other hand, have either been drinking the koolaid that the Wards are producing or are a conspiracy theorist that is trying to find something in nothing. Regardless, your claims run parallel to the Wards and without proof, are invalid as far as I’m concerned.

    How dare you claim that no one cares about a kid dying? If anything, Tony’s fans have been more compassionate than the Ward supporters. They reached across the divide in the beginning, and continue to do so to share prayers and thoughts for Kevin Jr. This has been heartbreaking for everyone watching. You are a fool if you think the family are the only ones that grieved. The whole racing community grieved for Kevin Jr. Tony has grieved for Kevin Jr. The problem is, the Wards have proven that they are out for vengeance and care nothing for the racing community that embraced them or anybody else but themselves–not even their son. They care nothing for the fact that they are dragging their son’s name and their family name through the mud by continuing this farce. All compassion I had for them, is gone, and many, many others feel that way as well because of their spite against Tony, and their inability to accept responsibility for the failures of their son and themselves. I am not a Tony fanatic. I am a race fan, and what they are doing hurts the sport and its people.

    Like I said before. Tony Stewart is the victim in this case. If anyone is being shamed it is him, and has been for over a year. Your outrage is misplaced.

  336. Tony Stewart the victim? Kevin Ward is the one six feet under, and Stewart is the one who put him there….Funny how you see everything Ward did but choose not to see that Stewart gassed and fishtailed his car up the track into Kevin Ward with his wheels turned right in a counter-steer all the way through the kill. Funny how you still see Ward grabbing the wing when in my video above I show you the proof he did not. Again, you only see what you want to see or what others have told you to see to convince yourself that Stewart did nothing wrong. The video doesn’t lie, but yourself and all the Stewart fanatics and the D.A and sheriff and the reconstructionist team that Stewart hired might I add are all liars. You are just like all the other delusional people in denial who care more for their beloved Tony Stewart than the person he maliciously ran over and killed…

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