Who is Tony Stewart?
Tony Stewart was a professional race car driver for NASCAR. He is also a NASCAR team owner of Stewart-Hass Racing. Stewart had became the first owner-driver since Alan Kulwicki to win the Cup Series championship. He is a very decorated driver with championship wins in Indy, midget, sprint, and USAC Silver Crown cars.
He last competed full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, driving the No. 14 Chevrolet SS for his own team, Stewart-Haas Racing. He has also had many "Firsts" in the world of NASCAR racing some being,
The only driver to win the Cup Series championship under the old points system and the chase playoff format
The only driver to win the title under three different sponsorships.
Tony got his start at a young age and was a successful racer throughout his childhood eventually winning a World Karting Association Championship when he was just a sophomore in high school. He quickly became a hot commodity in big time racing.
Who was Kevin Ward Jr.?
Kevin also got his start very young. As early as the age of 4 when he hopped be hind the wheel of a go kart. In his first race ever, he took 2nd. And in the next 8 years to follow he became a winning machine collecting winnings from 250 events and 6 championships.
Friends and family said that he was a hardworking, fun, loving kid who had a passion for racing and was really good at it. He didn't have the best attendance in school but Kevin was a master mechanic all before he graduated high school. He often would skip class to go down to the garage to fix and tune his race cars.
Kevin's mother, Pamela, would constantly be covering for him by writing him notes to take in to give to his teachers. Sprint Car racing became something more then just a past time for Kevin, it became his life.
What happened that electric August night?
From the video we see that Kevin Ward Jr. and Tony Stewart, the 14 car, are gunnin' hard around the track. Side by Side, Tony forces Kevin to hug the wall. Eventually leading Ward to wreck his car.
Ward Jr. exits his car for some unknown reason. We could imagine that he was angry at Stewart for putting him in the barriers.
Immediately after Ward exits his sprint car he is struck by the #14 car, Tony Stewart. You can see in the video that help arrives rather quickly. They rush Ward to Thompson Health (hospital) and 45 minutes after arriving they pronounce Kevin dead.
Within hours of the accident press conferences were held by the local Sheriffs Department stating that they will launch an investigation but criminal charges would not be placed on Tony.
NASCAR and Tony also release a statement explaining how deeply sorry they were and that they would be there for any need of the family.
Days after the accident the sheriffs department releases another statement stating that they are still in the process of investigations and "It would inappropriate to discuss the details or findings at this time with the media."
Meetings with all parties took place. Trying to determine what had happened and if its something that needs to be taken to court.
Canandaigua Motorsports Park would also announce just 3 days after the incident that they would resume racing schedule following the next Saturday.
Tony has become a household name and an accident of this caliber has never happened to him. After stating that he (Tony) would not be racing the next day he informed everyone he would be taking it week by week.
As weeks went on the media started to take its toll on Stewart. With lots of support he makes it through. Stewarts Tactic of lying low for weeks seem to pan out. He eventually emerges and reports that he would be back to race and that "This has been one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with.."
Although this was a tough crisis to manage, WE believe that the time and effort of what happened to create this outcome was done well.