Tony Stewart Runs Over and Kills Opposing Driver (Graphic Video)
Although Tony Stewart won championships at the highest levels of American motorsports, the upside to being an uber rich racecar driver is that you have the money to do whatever racing you want, whenever you feel like it. Stewart spent his early years in the world of open wheel racing so whenever “Smoke” gets a chance to race a sprint car (not to be confused with NASCAR’s Sprint Cup), he does so. Last night brought about one of those times where Stewart could compete in a sprint car dirt track race, as Stewart took his car to Canandaigua Motorsports Park to race with the local boys.
I suspect that Tony Stewart now wishes that he would have rested up for today’s NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, as he didn’t win the race – but he did kill a 20 year old race in an event that Stewart has been involved in more than once in his career.
The Crash That Eventually Took Kevin Ward’s Life
During the 14th lap of the race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, Stewart was racing with the #13 car driven by 20 year old Kevin Ward. As the two cars moved from turn 1 to turn 2, Stewart was in the inside of Ward and to prevent the 13 car from getting around him as they came out of the turn, Tony let his car drift up the track. When his right rear tire hit Ward’s left front tire, it kicked the front of Ward’s car into the outside wall.
Ward’s car hit the wall, spun, and hit the wall again while Stewart raced off and the rest of the field passed the crash site. The caution flag came out and the field slowed as Ward climbed from his wrecked car. Then, in doing something that he had likely seen Tony Stewart do more than once in his NASCAR career, Ward walked down across the track to point the finger of blame at the NASCAR champion as Stewart drove by under caution. The video at the end of this piece shows Tony Stewart walking towards Matt Kenseth’s Ford Fusion a few years ago, almost walking into the path of Kenseth’s car to throw his helmet at the Ford.
It was during that finger pointing session that Tony Stewart’s right rear tire hit Kevin Ward – throwing him across the track and killing him. The video below shows the incident that took Ward’s life but I will warn you, it is a bit graphic. There are two videos – once which only shows Ward being hit by the car and another, longer piece that shows the racing leading up to the incident. *Note: Many YouTube pages which have posted this video have since removed the video - undoubtedly due to Stewart's lawyers working hard to get the damning evidence off of the internet so if the links below do not work, know that we will continue to change the video links so that you can see the incident for yourself.
Did Tony Stewart Gun It?
On first thought, you have to think that Kevin Ward brought this all upon himself by walking across the track and that Tony Stewart wasn’t to blame for anything more than the minor crashing leading up to the incident. However, if you watch the video and carefully listen to the sounds of the car’s engine, you can distinctly hear an engine rev as Stewart’s car fishtails. It sure sounds as though Stewart gunned the engine and kicked the back end out towards Kevin Ward as he went by. Unfortunately, that little bit of fishtailing was enough to catch Ward’s legs and run him over, before tossing him across the track.
As soon as the safety crew gets to Kevin Ward, you can tell that something is very wrong. In all of my years of racing and watching racing, I cannot ever think of a time where I saw a safety crew member frantically pull off his or her helmet and call for help.
In watching this video over and over, I cannot help but think that Tony Stewart’s action of revving the engine and making the car fishtail killed Kevin Ward. Not only does Stewart gun the engine as he passes Ward, but look at Stewart’s location on the track relative to the other cars going by. There is quite a bit of room lower on the track, and that is where the other cars are passing the crash site. Stewart, on the other hand, was much higher up on the track than anyone else.
I do not believe that Tony Stewart meant to hit, hurt or kill Kevin Ward, but it is hard to question that aspect that he drove by much closer and he certainly appears to have gunned the engine as he went past the young driver. The gunning of the engine is debatable, but why is Tony so much closer to Ward’s crashed car than everyone else? It sure looks to me like Tony was being a hotshot and meant to give the kid a scare when he went by…but it didn’t work out so well for anyone.
As I mentioned above, Tony Stewart has done something similar to what Kevin Ward did in a NASCAR race a few years back. After tangling with Matt Kenseth, Stewart walked across pit lane as Kenseth’s car sped past. Stewart had his helmet in hand and took a step towards Kenseth’s car before throwing his helmet. In the video below, you can see how close Stewart stepped to Kenseth’s car – especially from the in-car view. Fortunately for Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth didn’t kick the back end out as he passed.
Update: Ive added a second video showing Tony Stewart climbing out of his car and going after the driver who spun him out. In this clip, Stewart went so far as to reach through the passenger's side window of the #28 car driven by Kenny Irwin, attempting to hit him before Irwin sped away.
Stewart Won’t Race Today, and Shouldn’t Ever Again
Although early reports this morning suggested that Tony Stewart would race in today’s NASCAR race at Watkin’s Glen, it has been announced that he will not compete today. If NASCAR has any decency, they will penalize Stewart and, if common sense reigns, he should be banned from the sport which makes him millions – but that was likely little more than weekend entertainment for Kevin Ward.
While I don’t believe that Tony Stewart meant to kill 20 year old Kevin Ward, there is no doubt in my mind that he meant to kick the back end of the car out a bit as he went by. Scare the kid real good…it would be funny when talking to his wealthy NASCAR buddies about how he revved at the kid and kicked up some dirt as he went by. This certainly isnt the first time that Stewart has done something dangerous on the track and his antics in NASCAR have forced many fans who tune in to watching racing to go elsewhere for their motorsports entertainment Stewart is part of the group who has turned NASCAR into a on track version of the World Wrestling Federation and, sadly, his antics have finally taken a life. For that, Tony Stewart should be banned from motorsports for life.
He should be forced to go live in his multimillion dollar mansion and drive his fleet of high priced road cars while Kevin Ward’s family works to put their lives back together. I don’t expect that criminal charges will be brought against Stewart, but for his carelessness on the track that has essentially escalated to manslaughter, he should be prohibited from participating in any sort of racing ever again.