Can The Media Get it Right? Stewart/Ward Was an ACCIDENT!

Posted on: August 15, 2014 by: leftturns190



The main reason I’ve been gone a couple days is that I had more than I could handle of the IGNORANT few out there who are trashing Tony. Ignorance might be too nice of a term for some of them. With some it appears calling Tony a murderer, or a hot head who cares nothing for the lives of others, gives them some kind of sick enjoyment. Those who fall into that category are truly pathetic.

Ignorance seems to be limited to a VERY small minority amongst fans. Most fans I associate with are not even Tony fans and a LARGE amount even dislike him – but they all know enough about racing, and have enough common sense to know he didn’t purposefully try to harm Ward.

I wish the same was true with the media. There are at least 75% of the media – at least the media I follow – who love to keep the fiction going that Tony might’ve purposely or negligently killed a guy. About 95% of the media are too ignorant of the sport to report what REALLY happened, or are just enjoying the hits their web sites and Twitter accounts are getting while they feed the trolls.

“We can do the Innuendo
We can dance and sing
When it’s said and done
We haven’t told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King
Give us dirty laundry”

I often sing lyrics to that song while watching the news, and have done so all my children’s lives… and before they were born. I usually get strange looks in response. But this incident demonstrates the truth told in that song as much as any other. It’s all innuendo and crap is king!

“She can tell you ’bout the plane crash
With a gleam in her eye
It’s interesting when people die”

Tony did NOTHING wrong! NOT A THING! He did NOT kick his tire to the right, only the blind would think so after watching the video. Initial reports quoted someone from the track saying that’s what happened and the media’s been repeating it ever since!

If you look at the video and understand how even a normal car would work on a slippery, banked track, let alone a Sprint car which is controlled in large part with the throttle, you’d know that Tony did everything to avoid Ward. If he would’ve gassed the motor, as some claimed, the Sprint car would’ve kicked its back end to the right. Tony’s car clearly slid to the left… so he had to have been off the gas at the point you can see Ward hanging from his car. If Tony gassed it, he kicked the back to the left when he did. Someone with more experience with those cars could explain that possibility better than I can, but we can all see that in the video, the back end swings away from Ward, not towards him.

It’s hard to say when Tony saw Ward, but to me it looked like he reacted soon after Ward came into view from the behind the #45 car. Ward would’ve been RIGHT in front of Tony at the time. It looked to me like Tony tried to avoid hitting him, and since he was up higher on the banking and going a little faster than the #45 car was, he HAD to turn the steering wheel tot he right or his back end for SURE would’ve hit Ward. That does NOT mean Tony was steering the car towards Ward. The idea is to get the car under control – in and instant – and get past Ward. It also looked to me like once Tony had the front of his car past War, he tried to maneuver the car so the back end would swing left and away from Ward and turned more to the right to accomplish that.

It is also possible that he didn’t see Ward at all until Ward was on his car and Tony didn’t do anything but try to get stopped as quickly and safely as possible. People need to remember the limited visibility in those cars. The track was dimly lit. Even looking straight ahead visibility isn’t all that great, and too the right it is extremely limited by the wing.

It’s also important to note that Tony didn’t even know there was a caution till he came around the track and saw the car. His view was blocked by the #45 car ahead of him, and even the #45 driver had to avoid hitting Ward. Tony was up a lane and had even less time to react.

Whether it was his intention to get the back end to swing left or not, it did. Tony made the right moves from what I could see. He appeared to clear Ward with the front of his car, the only danger left was the back. Generally you can not kick a Sprint car left because they’re set up to kick right on the gas. However, when slowing down from a slower speed, GRAVITY alone on a slippery banked track could’ve made it possible.

Either way, he had to thread the needle. I saw NOTHING that indicated Tony did ANYTHING other than try to avoid Ward.

Another issue is that if you look at the video at slow motion speed, it appears that Ward is hanging on the wing. Did he grab it trying to damage it to get back at Tony? I don’t know; I’m making a logical observation based on the video. Ward was obviously angry and I’ve heard no one say they thought he was doing anything but going at Tony. He had his helmet on, so he wasn’t planning on hitting him with that. I also doubt that he just wanted to give Tony “the bird”. It is logical to think that there was a real good possibility that Ward planned on grabbing and damaging Tony’s wing. That might be why the video appears to show him hanging from the wing, or it’s just as possible that he was hanging on after being hit and trying not to get run over.

No one knows what Ward was thinking at the time, but that’s the only logical reason I can come up with as to why he put himself into danger like that. I’m not implying he was stupid. I know that men, especially at that age, often put danger aside when the testosterone is flowing. I know I have done things much more dangerous and WAY more unwise than that in the heat of an excited moment. I wasn’t an idiot; I wasn’t trying kill myself; I just threw caution aside because I thought I could do it without getting hurt. When you’re young and athletic you feel like you can get away with doing dangerous things. I lucked out several times and only had to suffer bruises and broken bones as consequences. Sometimes I came away with nary a scratch! In this incident, Ward sadly wasn’t as lucky. No one thinks Ward was trying to get himself killed, and I’d hope no one thinks Tony was trying to kill him. Again, it was an accident.

So with all the evidence in the video, there’s not one thing in it where one can fairly put blame on Tony. The video indicates that Tony was trying to avoid hitting Ward. If it was indeed War’s intention to grab the wing, there probably wasn’t ANY maneuver Tony could’ve made to avoid him.

The whole incident is just a sad accident. It is very sad Ward’s life was cut short; it’s a very sad loss to Ward’s family and friends and very sad for Tony and the entire racing community. Prayers to all involved. I hope sanity returns in the media and they stop feeding the fires of ignorance.



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