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Racer Kevin Ward Jr.'s Friend Gives Eyewitness Account of Tony Stewart Accident

Racer Kevin Ward Jr.'s Friend Gives Eyewitness Account of Tony Stewart Accident

An eyewitness account from the scene of the accident involving sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. and veteran NASCAR racer Tony Stewart has emerged.

It appears that Tony hit Kevin‘s car and caused it to swerve out of control. The young racer got out of his car and reportedly was yelling at Tony‘s car as it made its next lap around the track. That is when Tony ran his car into Kevin, who was standing on the side of the track.

Tony pinched him into the front stretch wall, a racing thing,” Tyler Graves, a friend of Kevin‘s and fellow sprint car racer told The Sporting News. “The right rear tire went down, he spun on the exit of (Turn) 2. They threw the caution and everything was toned down. Kevin got out of his car. … He was throwing his arms up all over the place at Tony for most of the corner.”

“I know Tony could see him. I know how you can see out of these cars,” he added. “When Tony got close to him, he hit the throttle. When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways. It set sideways, the right rear tire hit Kevin, Kevin was sucked underneath and was stuck under it for a second or two and then it threw him about 50 yards.”

We’ll continue updating more with this developing story as the details emerge.

UPDATE: It has been confirmed that Kevin tragically died in the crash

Just Jared on Facebook
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Photos: Facebook
Posted to: Kevin Ward Jr, Tony Stewart

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  • 88 fan

    What was he doing out of his car walking down the track trying to confront
    Stewart during a race?

  • Warren Duke

    This is a sad situation. Tony Stewart obviously did not intend to hit Kevin Ward. But you have to say to yourself. What kind of an idiot gets out of their car in the middle of a race just because your car got bumped into the wall? What kind of immature kid does that? Stupid is as Stupid does

  • Driver8

    “50 yards”?

    Uh, no. Not under any laws of physics. Praying for the young man.

  • fairdeal

    He sped up? …sad, but looks like murder. Time to ban race cars.

  • DodgerDoggy
  • Fumanshoo

    @88 fan: The same thing Tony Stewart has done to other drivers. Folks seem to forget about “Smoke” running out on the track to confront other drivers WHILE cars are still on the track.

  • Rick

    So very sad.
    On dirt, we know cars slide easily, and in a corner, it’s gonna drift a little. Why the hell did he come down on Tony. Yes . In the heat of the moment…but you really have to weigh your options…
    I cannot see Tony intending that, no way…
    Footage, all of it must be reviewed.

    God help Kevin, hope he’s going to be ok…

  • judith

    Stupid IS AS STUPID DOES
    Are you for real he got out of the car because it was disabled he was on the side of the track when this happened mr stewart saw him gunned his engine and hit thi kid that sir shows intent if he didnt mean to hit him he would have gone around him not aimed straight for him

  • Big diesel

    I have zero sympathy for a dipshit that leaves his car in the middle of an ongoing race. Instead of running out pointing and yelling he should have sat his ass down and cooled off. Tiny Stewart has way too much to lose to do something as stupid as hitting someone intentionally. Use your heads folks rather than getting caught up in a witchunt

  • matt

    Kevin is dead… Pronounced earlier this morning…

  • bob

    yeah cause Nascar drivers never get out of their cars and approach the oncoming field…this so unheard of..obviously you guys aren’t golfers

  • Mike

    It’s typical to walk onto track, even for Stewart. Not smart, but its part of racing culture. If was a yellow flag too, there was no position in contest for Stewart, he could and should have driven by slowly, given the kid the bird as is typical, and drove on. Any racer whose been on dirt knows what happens in RW when you hit the throttle suddenly. That throttle application during a yellow flag is really really suspect. If he meant to throw the tail out with that throttle jump, it becomes a homicide.

  • Ryan

    It wasn’t murder by any means. For those who say it was intentional need to look back at the video clips and watch it. This was just a freak accident and sadly if you don’t stop and think about it, this could happen. Yes people get out or their cars to confront other drivers and show their displeasure but it’s a risk doing so. That being said what Stewart did was not intentional by any means. In my opinion he seemed to have tried to avoid him. The car got sideways and struck Ward Jr. Honestly if they tell you to stay in your cars till crewmen get to you, you should do so before getting near a moving car. There are so many ways this could have been handled differently but sadly Ward Jr let his temper take over and decided to walk near Stewarts car. My prayers go out to the Ward family losing a child isn’t way and this is gonna be a rough time for both them and Tony Stewart.

  • John

    @judith: he was in the middle of the track not the side I’m not saying his fault at all but he was not on the side of the track

  • Piteus

    These drivers are so skilled and the caution flag was out. Stewart swerved to make a point … it wasn’t murder, but it can easily be viewed as manslaughter.

  • jeffpap

    Yellow flag means slow down and avoid crashed cars and debris. He had to have been looking for things in the area of the car including a driver. The video shows he swerved toward the other driver and ran him over. Throw the book at this thug! This is intentional and murder. Throw him in the slammer! Let’s punish a criminal.

  • jeffpap

    @jeffpap:
    One driver getting out of his car doesn’t give another driver a free pass to kill him.

  • trae

    Bunch of lies. Walking towards middle of track is best stated as such. Not standing at side of track. Lies and bs maybe if we all lie to each other things will get better. The Obama plan. Try the truth like maybe always you stupid racist dumbass thieves.

  • jason

    Good Job Tony, You killed the kid, he don;t give a chit, he gonna go race again tomorrow..

  • Diedre

    While I’m sorry that this young man lost his life and for the grief his loved ones must be feeling, it was an incredibly unwise thing for him to get out of his car on the racetrack in the middle of a race.

  • Dr 0000

    I’m sure Stewart has telemetry on his car, so we need not argue about what exactly he was doing with his feet while this tragedy happened. Either way, thoughts and prayers to Kevin’s family and friends.

  • GJMATL

    @judith: ack he would still be alive.

    Are you kidding? On the SIDE of the track!??? If he had truly kept his ass on the SIDE of the track he’d still be alive today. Ward stalked and charged MOVING race cars! Darwin award winner

  • Jennifer Sigler

    It was completely unintentional. No driver would ever purposely try and hit someone. Immature people shouldn’t be drivers. I get getting into the heat of the moment, we’ve all been there, but we continued to walk down the track. Yes, other drivers avoided it, but he kept walking down the line as tony was approaching. It was a dimly lit track and Kevin was wearing all black, so anyone that brings up NASCAR drivers getting out of their car at a race has clearly never been to a race. They are completely lit even during the night races. Watch the video his wheels are turned away from Kevin. This is an absolute tragedy, but could be been avoided if an immature 20 hadn’t stepped foot out of his car. I feel sorry for Kevin’s family, but I feel worse for tony. Tony may be a “loose cannon”, but that’s only because he has so much passion for the sport and remember most NASCAR drivers that try to approach someone during a race NEVER run into the middle of the field. They approach them from the outside of the track. Experienced drivers are smarter than that.

  • Jennifer Sigler

    @jeffpap: clearly you have no knowledge of racing. Look at the video again and see his wheels are turned away from Kevin. The kid never should’ve been in the middle of the track, caution or not it was a dimly lit track and kevin was wearing all black.

  • common sense

    Come on…..Tony has confronted cars on a track going faster you morons. …..he knows that hitting the gas would have fish tailed and thrown on Kevin.
    Tony made it to the top as a bad boy bully and unfortunately the finger points to him as another bully situation just went horribly wrong……if he can sleep at night and live with himself after this incident he is truly a horrible person.

  • common sense

    Typo…..Tony would have known hitting the gas would have caused a fishtail and thrown mud on Kevin. That is Tony’s style….

  • Who wants to know

    Read the story again to hear from an eye witness. It was no accident. He hit the throttle intentionally causing a death.
    STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM!

  • Carrow

    The eyewitness makes it sound like Tony fishtailed and hit him on purpose? I just read that he hit another kid just last year and caused a significant injury?

  • Rev

    @fairdeal: no, just keep them it off the hands of white trash morons. You know, like with guns.

  • milke

    @common sense: watch the video,stewart only hits throttle at last second when saw ward coming at him and he kicdked the car out the opposite direction to avoid the hot head his car never fish tailed vtowards ward

  • Fast Eddy

    @fairdeal: Ban race cars? No, but it is time to ban Tony Steward (voted the Most Obnoxious NASCAR driver years ago). I knew what he was when he started racing, but he’s making money for NASCAR, and they need to get their act together, regardless of the fact that they had nothing to do with the dirt race. He IS their Sprint Cup driver, afterall. This is no accident, because Tony KNEW what the possibilties were when he hit that throttle. A rookie knows that. But what is a life to Tony?

  • graham6732

    Tony is a very skilled driver and he was driving under caution. I clearly heard him hitting the throttle before the kid was struck. Hitting the throttle causes the rear end to kick out, and that’s what caused him to hit the person. I did not see any significant evasive movement to avoid hitting him, like the driver in the blue/white car did while the kid was on the track. I simply don’t believe that Tony Stewart didn’t see him.

    I’m sure he didn’t intend to actually hit him, and definitely didn’t intend to kill him. This is, IMO, two people in the heat of the moment who made horrendously bad decisions. It looks, for all intents and purposes, like a game of chicken that went horribly wrong.

    It’s up to other people to decide if there’s criminal negligence involved, but I do think there needs to be a proper criminal investigation.

    This is coming from a person who actually likes Tony Stewart. No matter what happens after last night, his reputation is going to take a possibly unrecoverable hit.

  • racedracer

    @Driver8:

    I agree. Maybe they meant 50 feet which would be a much closer estimate.

  • http://aol tlc5300

    Murder, plain and simple. Stewart thought “F” this guy and boom, he killed him. Is Stewart sorry now? Oh hell ya. But that’s too bad. Should Kevin have stayed in his car, of course. Did he add to his demise, yes. Still the facts remain., every other car got out of the way, yet Stewart swerved into him. Murder! I hope Stewart likes his new prison name…Nancy!

  • bo

    Going up in upstate new york . We would call these flannel shirt wearing sleeves tucked up showing white long underwear rednecks no class losers. He wanted to get on sports center. Guess what kevin. Your on it.

  • Selena

    @tlc5300:

    Yep. The blue car swerved, why didn’t Tony?

  • a broken-hearted Smoke fan

    @Jennifer Sigler: if you “know” racing as you claim,(his wheels turned the opposite way), his car will do exactly what it clearly shows it did on the video. This move will push his car directly into the driver that was obviously unhappy with that EXACT move the lap before. The consequences, equal and opposite reaction, Tony’s right rear tire hitting Kevin’s front left tire which stuck him into the wall. The drivers do not stay with the Sprint cars as they are highly flammable. The vehicles are nowhere near as “safe” as the NASCAR big $$ vehicles. Mr Stewart IMHO should and will be charged with vehicular homicide. We are not talking about a rookie driver who says oops i didn’t realize the car would go in that direction. Tony is a confident, arrogant, self-serving driver with no regard for anyone but his own goals which describes any talented driver. His intent was to scare this arrogant kid who dared to confront the Great Smoke. PS Tony has his own dirt track and knows these vehicles like you know your shoes. My deepest codolences to the Kevin Ward family, friends and fans RIP. Shame on you Tony Stewart do the right thing and admit your wrong actions before you tear apart the racing families.

  • Selena

    Let this be a lesson to everyone….it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt or killed. Tony’s career????? Tony needs F. Lee Bailey to keep him out of jail. NO jury can watch that video and say he made a mistake and accidently hit that kid. The blue car swerved. Tony didn’t.

  • John

    @Ryan:

    How do you explain the throttle blip then????????????

    I’m sure Tony didn’t mean to hit him. Obviously he didn’t but that doesn’t mean he didn’t try to spray dirt at him or scare him, which in my opinion he did. Kevin wasn’t moving any closer to his car right before the hit which means Tony could have avoided it.. In my opinion Tony probably knew Kevin was going to confront him 100 yards away and probably could see him. Just because he didn’t intend to do it doesn’t mean that Tony shouldn’t be held accountable. If I run a red light and try to avoid a car but accidentally T bone it and the person dies I’d probably be in jail for a very long time or at least I’d have a 50/50 shot at going depending on how the jury saw it. I’m not saying this is the case and what is true but have you ever heard of involuntary manslaughter???

  • Shinn

    @Warren Duke:

    Drivers get out of they’re car from time to time and this incident was during a caution, as to where the cars are not suppose to go very fast at all…..Tony has a history of being a hot head and in my opinion,, has had more than enough time to swerve to avoid hitting him…He didn’t do that!
    Tony’s crew chief said it’s business as usual….When did ‘murder’ become business as usual!

  • Nick

    “When you hit a throttle on a sprint car, the car sets sideways.”

    Well, I know why this idiot was in the stands and not on the track last night. He has no idea how these cars operate. Let me help you here, Tyler. When you hit the throttle on a sprint car, they go straight unless you turn the wheel. If you hammer the throttle to the floor, they’ll kick a little bit after throwing dirt all over the stadium, but that isn’t what Tony did. I know this is how they act because I have actually raced these and don’t just claim it on the internet to try an vilify someone that accidentally ran over my jackass friend.

    Maybe Tyler should step back and realize Kevin is an idiot hothead that should never have gotten out of the car and this entire incident is his fault.

  • Shinn

    @Selena:

    You’re exactly right!!! He has ample time to avoid hitting this young race car driver….Tony is a veteran of the sport and should know how to maneuver around a situation! Driver’s get out of their cars from time to time and it doesn’t mean that the poor kid or any driver should be murdered for doing so!

  • Selena

    @Shinn:

    Yes. I would LOVE to know if the cars had cameras in them. Maybe get a different perspective.

  • Shinn

    @Selena:

    That would be interesting, but all in all, Tony had plenty of time to swerve and it’s not like the guy jumped in front of Tonys’ car, he was standing to the side!
    If I were this young guy parent, I would pursue a charge against Tony, for the mere fact that this was during a caution and he had plenty of time to stop/avoid the driver!
    It will be interesting to see what happens in the future regarding all of this!

  • Selena

    @Shinn:

    I would too. Nascar needs to set an example and ban Tony from racing ever again.

  • janb

    @judith:

    He wasn’t on the side of the track he clearly was moving to the middle of the track. Also the driver did NOT speed up at all. There’s no intent to be seen in this situation just a person, in the heat of the moment, got very reckless by walking on the track during a race and he got hit.

  • a broken-hearted Smoke fan

    @Nick: as a dirt track, sprint car “driver” how does one respond during a yellow flag condition when one has “accidently” bumped a fellow racer into the catch fence on the previous lap? knowing that we have no clutch or battery in our vehicle therefore we can’t stop our vehicle to have a stimulating discussion that other “idiot hothead” driver? knowing he might be wishing to show his universal gesture of disapproval? IMHO one would stay down on the inside cushion instead of the outer cushion. Perhaps you could enlighten we “who are so ignorant” of the sport you know so well. PS do you stay strapped in your alcohol burning, disabled, damaged, rollcage with four wheels, vehicle after impact with the catch fence? you may want to “watch the videos” with “fellow stadium stand” idiots to get some life saving tips even Rich Vogler succombed to his fatal mistakes on the track.

  • andy leery

    @Mike… you got it. A careful review of the video clip shows Stewart most likely hit the throttle which in turn kicks the back end out….. Condolences to the Ward family

  • andy leery

    @Piteus:

    he hit the throttle… back end kicks out

  • me

    Accelerating is not the only thing thay will cause a car’s rear end to come around. No way this was intentional. Watch the video, then imagine you’re driving that car with dust on your visor and sweat in your eyes and another car right on front of you. That car swerved at the last second, leaving Tony with very little time to swerve. He cuts the wheel hard the backend comes around and that was that. Ward would have never thought it was safe to race without a helmet, seat belt or roll cage, yet he walked onto the track during a night race. A stupid decision made in the heat of the moment on his part.

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