Last one of @wsalisbury3 #karting #p2rbuf #letsrace
Late 80s dirt modified being used as in a novice sportsman class at Ransomville #cars #racing #dirt #modified #vintage (at Ransomville Speedway)
Corvette and OAK Racing in final turn of Watkins Glen. #cars #racing #corvette #LMP2 #wgi #endurance #sports
ESPN 30 For 30 on Tim Richmond - amazing piece.
Too Close: Tragedy in Canandaigua NY
The death of Kevin Ward Jr. has devastated the auto racing community of New York. Due to Tony Stewart’s involvement, our open nerve will be continually prodded by the national media until the investigation has concluded. For race fans this is a wound that may never fully heal, while the national news cycle will eventually move on. Drivers take the risk of accident and bodily injury every time they get into a race car. But that’s not what this was. This was an avoidable albeit freak accident that ended the life of a young man. Yahoo Sports’ Jay Busbee has stood out from most of the national media coverage with a spotlight on Kevin Ward Jr. the sprint car driver and not Kevin Ward Jr. the victim of Tony Stewart (link at the bottom).
“They called the race because someone has been seriously injured,” read a coworker staring at his phone in disbelief as we closed up our go-kart track for the night. I made him read it again and call his girlfriend whom sent the text. I am worried. I handle social media responsibilities for one of the 360 sprint car race teams that was competing in the race. I had been keeping up with hot laps, heats, and the A-Main line up via text and Twitter. We were fast, there was a big crowd, and we were starting alongside Smoke himself. Now that excitement had turned to fear. “She said a guy crashed, got out and tried to fight someone, and got hit.” This is bad. I’ve been to hundreds of races and I’ve never seen a race called due to an injury. I called my driver, coworker, and most importantly my friend and he answered on the third ring although it felt like a thousand. He told me what happened, who was involved, and said “It’s chaos here”.
I haven’t had a favorite driver since I was a boy and picked out Richard Petty because my favorite color was blue. Tony Stewart however is the closest I have these days. While I am a fan of all forms of auto racing, short track dirt racing is what I grew up on. I love how Tony Stewart has represented dirt racing on the national level with his “NASCAR is my paycheck to go dirt racing” attitude, the safety initiatives he spearheaded, and his track Eldora Speedway. He a racer’s racer. Fast, aggressive, and a champion. Unfortunately that same temperament has resulted in acts physical aggression. A simple YouTube search will yield multiple examples of Tony Stewart’s post-crash finger-pointing, finger-giving, helmet-throwing outbursts. He’s done this at every level of racing including the nation’s most watched. Stewart has glamorized being a hot-headed driver. This is not to say that other drivers don’t do it but Stewart is the face of it. The tragic irony of this is too apparent to ignore.
There are only four possibilities but only two should be considered. These represent the furthest reaches in the spectrum of possibility that we are dealing with in this situation and are obviously the least likely. 1. Tony Stewart had his eyes closed while driving when he hit Kevin Ward Jr. 2. Tony Stewart intentionally tried to hit Kevin Ward Jr. The truth falls somewhere in between these two radical possibilities. These are ridiculous statements but it helps to establish the furthest reaches of reality when looking for the truth.
3. Tony Stewart’s vision was obscured (wing, dust,darkness, black suit) and he hit the throttle to keep heat in the tires at precisely the moment he passed by Kevin Ward Jr. 4. Tony Stewart saw Kevin Ward Jr. coming towards the car, finger pointing at him, and he gave it some throttle to put a scare into him. It’s the type of thing a grizzled veteran might do to a young punk kid to show him who’s boss. A “young punk kid” who was probably a lot like a young Tony Stewart, who was taught some lessons by grizzled vets on the USAC circuit. No matter what, Tony Stewart will live with his part in this tragedy for the rest of his life and the Ward family must mourn and ultimately celebrate the life of a young racer.
If you are a driver, please stay in your car until safety workers or officials get there. We all look up to you for your bravery and skill but only while you are inside of the car.