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Tony Stewart makes first public comment on race tragedy

Aug 10, 2014, 1:54 PM EDT

(AP Photo/Derik Hamilton) AP

Shortly after the start of Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International, Tony Stewart broke his silence and made his first public comment about Saturday’s tragic accident that claimed the life of young racer Kevin Ward Jr. at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Speedway.

Stewart’s brief comments came via a statement released by his team, Stewart-Haas Racing:

“There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.

“It’s a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I’ve decided not to participate in today’s race at Watkins Glen.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Although unlikely at this point, if Stewart releases any subsequent comments, we’ll bring them to you here at MotorSportsTalk.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

  1. bubba703 - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    small correction. this was not a NASCAR event. It was an Empire Super Sprints Series event. I’m not sure they’re affiliated with NASCAR. It’s possible NASCAR has rules concerning driver exiting on live tracks, but ESS evidently does not. Hopefully all sanctioning racing entities will enact a “Ward” rule so this kind of tragedy doesn’t ever happen again.

    • tmarlin1221 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Instead tell these slobs to race with their legs to make it a real sport. Better yet, don’t use drivers and just race with remote, since it will save lives. Not like the driver does anything anyways.

      • bobbyg1944 - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        When you resort to name calling you only show you know very little about this sport

      • brettbaer24 - Aug 24, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        Your a idiot if you think this is not a sport. Look a just one thing, the hands of a driver after a road course race. the racing is so hard on the hands your skin is falling off. That’s just one thing, dumb a$$. Get a brain. You probably voted for the other idiot running this country.

  2. tmarlin1221 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    This is what happens when a bunch of dimwits that drive around in circles and use a car for something it wasn’t made to do. Any fat tub of lard can do what they do, and it’s not a sport.

    • bobbyg1944 - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      When you resort to name calling you only show you know very little about this sport

  3. g80girl - Aug 11, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Amazing how u can watch an interview from Tony about this and he showed no remorse n had to try to squeeze out the tears give me a break honestly he is not man enough to admit he made a mistake…. If u watch the clip he could have moved down on the track but did he get in line no he didn’t he wanted to kick up dirt to make a point and he could have slowed down but instead hit the accelerator n went faster n u can see where he clipped Ward with the front of his car n dragged him with the back of it…. Granted Ward had no business being on the track but 2 wrongs don’t make a right Tony could have been the bigger man in the situation but chose not too now he is guilty no matter which way u look at it, when this gets figured out Tony will need to learn to be the bigger man because the long arm of the law is not done with him yet… N I know all the Stewart fans are going to support him n that’s fine I get it but seriously MAN UP…. Tony needs to hang it up for good before they hang it up for him behind bars

    • bobbyg1944 - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      You were obviously in the car with Tony so for that reason your comments are right on. Oh and if you were not in the car shut up until you know the facts, all the facts.

    • coppervaporlase - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      Obvioulsy, Most of you CLOWNS on here spewing your vile crap couldn’t analyze a Dick & Jane Preschool book. The video shows without a doubt that Ward ADVANCED DOWN the track towards Tony’d car in a violent rage and attempted to TOUCH Tony in any shape or form he could muster. UNfortunately, the wing on the car spins him clockwise to the track surface beneath the right rear wheel to be wadded up under the car and drub Appx 60 ft.

  4. bobbyg1944 - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Tony Stewart and the very tragic incident last Saturday evening in Canandaigua N.Y.

    First let me say, this tragic incident will undeniably lead to embellished charges against any racecar driver that wrecks another out of a race. It could lead to a law suit by the victim(s) because they were not able to finish the race and possible winning that race or even other races if he were injured enough to be sidelined for a while. We all have seen authorities intervening in other contact sport altercations where serious injuries and or deaths have occurred over many decades like hockey, football, baseball, and recently soccer so now why not auto racing.

    There are altercations from a variety of drivers where a they will get out of their wrecked racecar and onto the track and make a variety of jesters to another driver, including Tony Stewart, but what I have witnessed is they are in a much more pristine environment and the action by the aggressor is not happening in the path of the racecar. But that never will stop the court of public opinion, especially when a particular driver is not liked by a portion of the race fans and the public that does not faithfully follow auto racing.

    I am not for any type of legal action in contact sports as it leads to cry-babies and no one wants that in professional sports. I am definitely not saying investigations should not be forthcoming when there is serious injury or death but there was, in this case, a stupid action by Kevin Ward Jr. by getting out of his race car and walking out onto the darkened track (wearing a black fire suit) to confront Tony. If Kevin had not dashed onto the track in front of Tony he most definitely would not have put himself in jeopardy like he did.

    I do not know all the details and no one does, except God and Tony, but for the most part Tony Stewart has been tried and convicted of intentionally killing another driver by all that do not like him as a competitive driver and team owner in NASCAR.

    Speaking from my point of view, I don’t like many drivers myself and they are always the villain in my eyes when there is a crash on the track, just like all of you reading this piece. But that doesn’t make, in this case, Tony Stewart a murderer as some of the post comments have stated. Everyone should hold their accusations until all of the investigation has been completed. Until then we all need to pray for comfort for the family and friends of ALL involved and that the truth from all witnesses is not spun in favor of conviction.

    Cooler heads prevail

    Bobby G, Kingman AZ
    August 11, 2014 at 8:26am

  5. ducati007 - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Yup, cooler heads should prevail, Unfortunately cooler heads prevailing is in the same game as “monday morning quarterbacking” A day late and a dollar short.

  6. donall108 - Aug 28, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Trying to make an argument with people with narrow minds is a total waste of time! I would just like to say,in life,champions show why they are champions,haters show why everyone laughs at their ignorance!

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