For the second straight week, Tony Stewart is pulling out of a NASCAR race following the death of Kevin Ward Jr. a week ago, as the three-time Sprint Cup Champion ran into the driver of the sprint car. For all the parties concerned, it’s a good thing Stewart is staying away from the wheel for now.
Like it or not, Tony Stewart killed Kevin Ward Jr., even if it wasn’t his fault. He was still the one driving the car that struck another driver on a poorly lit dirt track, resulting in death. Some have been trying to use Stewart’s past and personality traits against him in this case, but from the facts we have, there wasn’t anything he or anyone else could have done in that situation, unless the police discover something else.
But that probably doesn’t make Stewart feel any easier about it. The cynics might say that Stewart is only withdrawing from races to avoid public backlash. The family of Ward, as you might expect, aren’t looking at this as merely an accident, an act of god or their own son’s mistake of walking out of his car, walking between cars speeding by him and aiming at Stewart for an incident that happened between them earlier in the day.
At the moment, there’s no investigation regarding criminal intent on Stewart’s part, and as far as we’ve been led to know so far, the Ontario country investigators don’t have any evidence leading up to that kind of conclusion. Stewart himself hasn’t let out any public statements since his short There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. following the announcement of Ward’s death.
As for his NASCAR season, while a car has to be at least registered into each race for its driver to be eligible to make it into the Chase, NASCAR does have the power to grant him some sort of pardon if he decides to come back racing. Stewart is only 21st at the moment and still hasn’t won a single race this season. He’ll have to win a race in the next four to give himself a chance of making the chase.