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(Slate)   Amidst all the random speculation and armchair "experts" on the Interwebs, Slate's John Swansburg hits the proper note, asking the right questions about what happened and who was ultimately responsible for the tragic death of Kevin Ward Jr   (slate.com) divider line 374
    More: Followup, Ward Jr., auto racing, Jay Busbee, go-karts, incredible talent, Kasey Kahne, caution flags, NASCAR champion  
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6602 clicks; posted to Sports » on 10 Aug 2014 at 5:09 PM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-10 04:52:35 PM  
I blame the thug culture these guys came from.  Wait, this was motorsports?  Tragic accident.  Isolated incident.
 
2014-08-10 04:59:09 PM  
The kid was almost run over by the car right in front of Stewart's.  Running onto the track like a maniac- don't be surprised at the outcome.  It's tragic, but tragedy for stupid choices happens daily.
 
2014-08-10 05:04:03 PM  

doyner: I blame the thug culture these guys came from.  Wait, this was motorsports?  Tragic accident.  Isolated incident.


Didn't SnuffCAR NASCAR originate from moonshine smuggling ? Their thug culture is at least historically accurate.
 
2014-08-10 05:13:39 PM  
"I truly don't understand how in the world it happened and exactly what went on there," Kahne told ESPN's Marty Smith. "There's only a few people who would. There's no media person that can and there's no fan that can. There's too much you can't see."

A person runs into traffic, gets hit.  How hard is that to understand?  Driver sees person in traffic, doesn't steer around the person, hits the person.  Again, what is there to not understand?

One driver was 20.  How do you get to that age, spending a lot of time around cars as he obviously did, and not have some idea of what a few thousand pounds of petroleum-powered metal can do to a meatbag whose only protection is a helmet?
 
2014-08-10 05:14:25 PM  
He'll probably be sued civilly because when someone dies money always fixes it and makes it better.
 
2014-08-10 05:15:40 PM  
A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.
 
2014-08-10 05:21:06 PM  
cdn.niketalk.com
 
2014-08-10 05:23:11 PM  

LarryDan43: A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.


Why do people keep writing this?
 
2014-08-10 05:23:43 PM  
 Did Stewart actually race today, as he was scheduled?

 If so, then man, that guy really has no sense.
 
2014-08-10 05:23:52 PM  

BafflerMeal: LarryDan43: A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.

Why do people keep writing this?


^^ This.
 
2014-08-10 05:24:00 PM  
Asking the right questions? That read like a love letter to Stewart from a dude with a man crush.
 
2014-08-10 05:25:03 PM  

mcmnky: One driver was 20.



www.royhart.org

20 year olds do impulsive, stupid shiat

 
2014-08-10 05:26:16 PM  

doczoidberg: Did Stewart actually race today, as he was scheduled?

 If so, then man, that guy really has no sense.


no. Not clear who made the decision, but no.
 
2014-08-10 05:26:26 PM  

doczoidberg: Did Stewart actually race today, as he was scheduled?


No.
 
2014-08-10 05:27:05 PM  

mcmnky: "I truly don't understand how in the world it happened and exactly what went on there," Kahne told ESPN's Marty Smith. "There's only a few people who would. There's no media person that can and there's no fan that can. There's too much you can't see."

A person runs into traffic, gets hit.  How hard is that to understand?  Driver sees person in traffic, doesn't steer around the person, hits the person.  Again, what is there to not understand?

One driver was 20.  How do you get to that age, spending a lot of time around cars as he obviously did, and not have some idea of what a few thousand pounds of petroleum-powered metal can do to a meatbag whose only protection is a helmet?


Maybe he didn't expect Stewart to gun his accelerator, resulting in a drift that caught the driver? If Stewart had simple kept going without accelerating, he wouldn't have caught Ward with his rear end and run him over.

I'm sure Stewart didn't intentionally try to hit him, but hitting the accelerator under a caution is the wrong thing to do. Ward gets a share of the blame, but Stewart gets a bigger portion. Just because Ward did something wrong, doesn't mean Stewart is absolved of guilt in this.
 
2014-08-10 05:27:52 PM  
ITT: random speculation and armchair "experts"
 
2014-08-10 05:27:54 PM  

BafflerMeal: LarryDan43: A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.

Why do people keep writing this?


Because a lot of people think Tony gassed it and put it sideways on purpose and this is the most benign reason they can come up with.
 
2014-08-10 05:29:07 PM  

cretinbob: doczoidberg: Did Stewart actually race today, as he was scheduled?

 If so, then man, that guy really has no sense.

no. Not clear who made the decision, but no.


I'll go out on a limb and say it wasn't him. Probably someone had to say "Dude, we get you like being known as an asshole but driving the day after your car killed someone is not the kind of asshole attention you want"
 
2014-08-10 05:29:17 PM  

LarryDan43: A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.


I think Stewart was just trying to zip by him to avoid a confrontation (like being on the receiving end of a thrown helmet), but accelerating in a Sprint Car, with different sized rear tires is going to drift - and accelerating under a caution is entirely the wrong thing to do, in any event.
 
2014-08-10 05:31:17 PM  

LesserEvil: I'm sure Stewart didn't intentionally try to hit him,


I am not so sure of that. I think he wanted to give him a love tap and got a touch more of him than intended. Either way he needs to be charged and serve some time as well as get banned from racing
 
2014-08-10 05:31:44 PM  

styckx: cretinbob: doczoidberg: Did Stewart actually race today, as he was scheduled?

 If so, then man, that guy really has no sense.

no. Not clear who made the decision, but no.

I'll go out on a limb and say it wasn't him. Probably someone had to say "Dude, we get you like being known as an asshole but driving the day after your car killed someone is not the kind of asshole attention you want"


Probably wasn't NASCAR either, because Lil' Brian most likely had cartoony dollar signs in his eyes while thinking of the ratings he would get today that would help "grow the sport".
 
2014-08-10 05:35:06 PM  

MAJ Ethanolic: The kid was almost run over by the car right in front of Stewart's


That car probably helped to obscure Ward from Tonys view if that area is the exit of the corner.
 
2014-08-10 05:39:18 PM  
Having seen the video, I can't think of a stupider set of actions than what Ward did. He'll, he was actually moving toward the oncoming Stewart after almost getting hit by the previous car.  Stewart may have some culpability bit it can't be more than 15%.
 
2014-08-10 05:45:14 PM  

LesserEvil: I'm sure Stewart didn't intentionally try to hit him, but hitting the accelerator under a caution is the wrong thing to do. Ward gets a share of the blame, but Stewart gets a bigger portion. Just because Ward did something wrong, doesn't mean Stewart is absolved of guilt in this.


Very true.  That said, Stewart is going to be charged with something, most likely manslaughter as he ran over the kid.  And be sued into oblivion as well.
 
2014-08-10 05:46:15 PM  

LesserEvil: LarryDan43: A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.

I think Stewart was just trying to zip by him to avoid a confrontation (like being on the receiving end of a thrown helmet), but accelerating in a Sprint Car, with different sized rear tires is going to drift - and accelerating under a caution is entirely the wrong thing to do, in any event.


I read the article and it mentions that steering those cars is as much about punching the accelerator at the right time as it is turning the wheel.  It's entirely possible that Stewart knew it wouldn't be able to miss him by simply turning so he tried to maneuver the only other way he could.

And the point still remains that if the hot-head had not jumped out of his car and intentionally walked into the path of a vehicle on a track on which the premise is the inability to stop or turn on a dime, he would still be alive.
 
2014-08-10 05:51:51 PM  
Not much of a NASCAR/racing fan, but I can't gleam anything from the video clip there as far as intent goes. The only real suspicious thing I'm hanging on Stewart is simply going from the chronology of reports, he did have every intention of racing today before either he himself had a change of heart or someone convinced him otherwise.

I can't really think of a scenario where even a completely unavoidable accident has me in effect kill someone, and I just shrug it off and go to work the next day.

/maybe it also took several hours for Stewart and his camp to receive official word he in fact died. I dunno.
 
2014-08-10 05:53:58 PM  
I remember having to go up to Canandaigua as a kid for a wedding...5 hours in a car to see someone actually named Jethro officiate a wedding while wearing rainbow suspenders.  That sucked.
 
2014-08-10 05:54:57 PM  
The only three things anybody knows for sure is that  1. Ward did a very dangerous thing.   2. Ward was hit by Stewart's car.  3. Ward is dead.  Beyond those three things is speculation not yet supported by fact.

Perhaps another video will turn up--I'd bet on it.  Unless that happens, we will continue to know only three things.  Why the rush to make definitive statements about an unclear situation?

On the judgmental side, let me ask some questions.  WTF was wrong with Ward?  Was he suicidal or just plain stupid?  Did he try to run in front of Stewart's car?  What was he trying to do?  See how close he could get or was he trying to stop Stewart?

I don't try to cross the Interstate Highway on foot.  I damn sure don't run around on some race track during a race--I don't care what color of flag is getting waved around.  This appears to be a direct challenge to Darwin and the guy lost big time.
 
2014-08-10 05:55:58 PM  
When Stewart did a similar move of walking down the track after a wreck, was there any punishment?  (I don't follow racing.  I know that was a different series, don't know if it's a different government organization.)

My thought is, all actions have risk.  If you let your kids ride bikes, there are risks.  Kid gets hit by a meteorite while riding, that's unexpected.  Kid falls off the bike and skins a knee, you had to know that was a possibility.

So if racing wants to play up the personalities, and have good guys and bad guys, and confrontations on the track, then this is just the sort of risk they signed up for.  If they haven't punished guys in the past for walking onto the track during a race, then this is just what should have been expected.
 
2014-08-10 05:59:20 PM  

pissnmoan: The only three things anybody knows for sure is that  1. Ward did a very dangerous thing.   2. Ward was hit by Stewart's car.  3. Ward is dead.  Beyond those three things is speculation not yet supported by fact.

Perhaps another video will turn up--I'd bet on it.  Unless that happens, we will continue to know only three things.  Why the rush to make definitive statements about an unclear situation?

On the judgmental side, let me ask some questions.  WTF was wrong with Ward?  Was he suicidal or just plain stupid?  Did he try to run in front of Stewart's car?  What was he trying to do?  See how close he could get or was he trying to stop Stewart?

I don't try to cross the Interstate Highway on foot.  I damn sure don't run around on some race track during a race--I don't care what color of flag is getting waved around.  This appears to be a direct challenge to Darwin and the guy lost big time.


The type of person who does stpid crap like that is....Tony Stewart..just 2 years ago

img.fark.net

 
2014-08-10 05:59:48 PM  
Slate is pretty much the gold standard for NASCAR commentary.
 
2014-08-10 06:03:53 PM  

mcmnky: When Stewart did a similar move of walking down the track after a wreck, was there any punishment?  (I don't follow racing.  I know that was a different series, don't know if it's a different government organization.)

My thought is, all actions have risk.  If you let your kids ride bikes, there are risks.  Kid gets hit by a meteorite while riding, that's unexpected.  Kid falls off the bike and skins a knee, you had to know that was a possibility.

So if racing wants to play up the personalities, and have good guys and bad guys, and confrontations on the track, then this is just the sort of risk they signed up for.  If they haven't punished guys in the past for walking onto the track during a race, then this is just what should have been expected.


I don't think there needs to be any official punishment.
It seems to work itself out.
 
2014-08-10 06:05:06 PM  

BafflerMeal: LarryDan43: A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.

Why do people keep writing this?


Because it's the most logical and reasonable explanation for what happened.
 
2014-08-10 06:05:13 PM  
I watched the video several times and not only did the kid (now dead) remove himself from the relative safety of a vehicle, he then 1) walked headlong into traffic, 2) made a pointing gesture,  then 3) moved laterally to his right to align himself with Stewart's oncoming car.  The first two are just stupid, but the third move is suicidal and makes the kid culpable. Only one person compelled him to get out of the car in a rage.  He had a choice and chose incorrectly.
 
2014-08-10 06:05:22 PM  
Kevin Ward 100%

It seems Tony Stewart did his best to avoid Ward from the footage.

Sprint cars race on dirt tracks with little traction. The entire process of turning involves hitting the accelerator to drift the back to push the correct course through the car's center around the track. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you brake, there is substantial skidding that happens which throws the car towards the outside of the turn.

Also note that Kevin Ward likely chose a path approaching, and around the 45 car that likely caused Ward to only become visible to Stewart at the very last second when the 45 car passed. In fact, the time between Ward being to the side of the 45 car and potentially in Stewart's field of view and the time that Stewart hits is less than 2 seconds.

Also, if you notice from the video, Stewart's car is in a slightly wider path around the turn and is in an out-to-in wobble  before striking Ward.

What it looks like happened to me is Stewart saw Ward around the 45 car with almost no room, freaked out, slammed the brake, realized he was going to skid towards the outside where Ward was standing & cranked the wheel which gave the sprint car the out-to-in skid. Then the tire striking Ward caused the car to skid in-to-out which caused the rest of the wobble. With just a couple frames of Stewart's car in the video before the accident, I'd hardly call this definitive, but the movement of the car right before the hit suggests he was trying to avoid Ward.

Oh, and for the people saying "you can hear Stewart gun it!" on the video. I'd like to point out that this accident occurred across the track from where the video was taken. What you are hearing is sprint cars pass on the near side. It's almost impossible to hear engine noise from the far side of the track.

Kevin Ward should never have run out on an active track... it doesn't matter if a caution is out. Driving footage from more angles should be looked at to make sure Tony Stewart had no intent, but knowing how racecar drivers are, I don't think they'd ever want to risk a dent to their machine under any circumstance.

I sincerely doubt that Tony Stewart had ill intent.
 
2014-08-10 06:08:25 PM  
Meh, stupid to go all around, but mostly, don't get out of your car and walk into traffic on a race track.
 
2014-08-10 06:08:28 PM  

the biggest redneck here: BafflerMeal: LarryDan43: A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.

Why do people keep writing this?

Because it's the most logical and reasonable explanation for what happened.


Other than, of course, the kid got out of the car and deliberately and foolishly stepped into oncoming traffic.
 
2014-08-10 06:13:13 PM  

edge.ilpvideo.com

Bad idea to conrfront a man in a race car after you wreck...

 
2014-08-10 06:14:41 PM  
I know fark'all about racing, but in anything like this, arguing over motives at this point, and from our view, is useless.

We have no access to the guy in the middle of it, and no access to anybody around him, the police, racetrack officials, and so on.

All we have is a video to figure out the details of what happened, and possibly how, but not why.
 
2014-08-10 06:15:34 PM  

the biggest redneck here: BafflerMeal: LarryDan43: A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.

Why do people keep writing this?

Because it's the most logical and reasonable explanation for what happened.


Hunh.  I watched it and saw the car moving in a straight line for the whole second or so it was on camera before the kid went into the tire.  Then the right rear tire lost traction and left rear tire turned the car right due to the power difference.  As soon as the victim was no longer interacting with the car, the right rear tire equilibrated the traction between the tire and car straightened out.

But sure, I guess imagining that the guy with a bad reputation was doing something else that was not in the video, and we have no evidence of, and is impossible to prove is the most reasonable explanation.
 
2014-08-10 06:15:42 PM  

dy.snimg.com

In the good old days, they would wait until both of them were out of the car.

 
2014-08-10 06:18:08 PM  
NASCAR celebrates thugs and assholes. There's a reason why the most violent, stupid, dangerous people in America -- southern racists  -- love NASCAR so much. It's because the violence and stupidity of the racing mirrors the violence and stupidity that is the backbone of southern racist culture.
 
2014-08-10 06:18:14 PM  

styckx: I'll go out on a limb and say it wasn't him. Probably someone had to say "Dude, we get you like being known as an asshole but driving the day after your car killed someone is not the kind of asshole attention you want"


I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he also wasn't the original person to tell the press he'd still be racing after last night.  I'd hope that whatever level of douchebag Stewart may be, he's inconsolable right now for whatever his role was in the death of a young racer.
 
2014-08-10 06:18:53 PM  

tribwpmt.files.wordpress.com

Hey look its Tony Stewart again

 
2014-08-10 06:20:11 PM  

the biggest redneck here: BafflerMeal: LarryDan43: A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.

Why do people keep writing this?

Because it's the most logical and reasonable explanation for what happened.


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-08-10 06:21:06 PM  

Apples01: Oh, and for the people saying "you can hear Stewart gun it!" on the video. I'd like to point out that this accident occurred across the track from where the video was taken. What you are hearing is sprint cars pass on the near side. It's almost impossible to hear engine noise from the far side of the track.


Lots of idiots are coming out of the woodwork, all over the internet to claim that Stewart accelerated or that he did it on purpose. 

The only video we've seen so far was taken from the grandstands, from the other side of the track. Not only is the video shiatty, but as you pointed out, there is no way the audio on the tape comes from across the track when other cars are passing right in front of the guy with the video camera.

Piizzadude: LesserEvil: I'm sure Stewart didn't intentionally try to hit him,

I am not so sure of that. I think he wanted to give him a love tap and got a touch more of him than intended. Either way he needs to be charged and serve some time as well as get banned from racing


There is absolutely NO WAY Stewart intended to hit the kid. I also think it's a pretty farking bold statement to make when all we really have are a few accounts and a shiatty video.
 
2014-08-10 06:21:17 PM  
I remember a lot more incidents of drivers attacking moving cars, or trying to punch through the netting in the windows on the NASCAR cars.  But my GIS fu isn't that good I guess.
 
2014-08-10 06:21:18 PM  
StrangeQ:   It's entirely possible that Stewart knew it wouldn't be able to miss him by simply turning so he tried to maneuver the only other way he could.

I keep reading this here.  Do these vehicles not have BRAKES?  As an armchair driver, I have to think his best course of action given the situation he was hitting his brakes.
 
2014-08-10 06:21:42 PM  

The Larch: NASCAR celebrates thugs and assholes. There's a reason why the most violent, stupid, dangerous people in America -- southern racists  -- love NASCAR so much. It's because the violence and stupidity of the racing mirrors the violence and stupidity that is the backbone of southern racist culture.


Careful; They will rise again.
 
2014-08-10 06:22:45 PM  

rkiller1: the biggest redneck here: BafflerMeal: LarryDan43: A 20 year old dumb ass got out of his car and 43 year old millionaire who should have known better, tried to throw some mud at the young hot head and failed.

Why do people keep writing this?

Because it's the most logical and reasonable explanation for what happened.

Other than, of course, the kid got out of the car and deliberately and foolishly stepped into oncoming traffic.


QFT
 
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