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#21 ashburyjohn

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:54 AM

How can you drive next to dozens of cars at 200 mph, but not miss a pedestrian? I think he was trying to get close to him, and got too close.

Lacking any information other than brief news snippets, my working guess is that Ward intended to impede Stewart by walking onto the track and thus cost Stewart some time in the race, in retaliation for Ward's car hitting the wall after some contact with Stewart's.And that Stewart did not give in, expecting Ward to dive out of the way in time.In essence a game of chicken except one guy didn't have a car, and the guy without a car came out second best.

 

I would look at criminal charges, as the officials are currently doing.It may turn out to be too hard to bring it to trial and prove anything.Had Ward survived I'd look at criminal charges against him too, just as you'd throw the book at all participants in testosterone-laced motorized mayhem anywhere.But this wasn't an "accident", it was more similar to "road rage" where no one intended a bad outcome but both put themselves in position for it to happen.Not being pre-meditated, it would be "second-degree" this or "third-degree" that, I expect.

Why worry about tomorrow when today is so far off.


#22 biggentleben

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:03 AM

A lot of sprint drivers locally and nationally have talked about the last-second rev that is apparent on the video and said that is what you'd do to turn the car because of the way sprint cars are designed, to make a quick left turn, you hit the gas fast, which veers the car left based on the slanted design of the car.

 

Dirt track racing has some very interesting background, but I know around here, there isn't hesitation to throw criminal charges on someone.  A guy was 20 mph over posted pit speed because he was pissed that he weighed too heavy and was disqualified for a win because of it.  Police present in the pits issued a speeding citation and a wreckless driving citation.  The local race promoter will suspend you for the season if you get out of your car for confrontational purposes.  Just a little bit of discipline cleans up the racing a ton, but I have seen some very good points made that there's no way Stewart could have done anything to avoid him.  Doubtful on criminal charges, but the civil case could be very interesting.

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#23 Mike Sixel

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:04 AM

I agree with that conclusion, given the limited data we have. As a bicyclist, it scares me, as this kind of stuff happens all the time to bikers. I don't get why people do stuff like this, people die from this kind of stupidity. They die. And yet, people keep doing it.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#24 ashburyjohn

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:07 AM

Lacking any information other than brief news snippets, my working guess is that Ward intended to impede Stewart by walking onto the track and thus cost Stewart some time in the race

Well, posting on a subject induced me to research it a little more, instead of the other way around. :)I see now that there was a yellow-flag status, which probably eliminates any motive to cost Stewart something.Ward just wanted a confrontation, it seems.Which doesn't change very much the rest of the conclusions I stated.

Why worry about tomorrow when today is so far off.


#25 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 03:14 AM

How can you drive next to dozens of cars at 200 mph, but not miss a pedestrian? I think he was trying to get close to him, and got too close.

 

I'm not a racing fan, but my fiance grew up in a racing family, and I've learned a thing or two. People have already pointed out that it was a dirt track, and it's hard enough to steer a car on dirt, but it's also important to note that he was driving a sprint car; sprint cars have a huge freaking wing on the top that make it very difficult to see to the right of the car, especially following closely behind another driver.

 

If you watch the video, you can see Stewart is tailing the car in front of him who swerves at the last second to avoid the Ward who is WALKING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRACK (against the rules, for obvious reasons), Stewart, who was behind the guy who swerved, would have had even less time to see and avoid Ward.

 

Even if Stweart pushed Ward's car into the wall on a previous lap, as many speculate he did, that's not something you take care of on the track. i don't know a whole heck of a lot about racing, but even I know that's something you take care of in the pitt.

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#26 DaveW

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:35 AM

As someone who grew up going to the dirt track races every other week or so (I don't make it as often these days, maybe once or twice a year) I absolutely believe Tony Stewart did nothing wrong, the kid almost got hit by two other cars prior and right before he was hit he ran down even further into Tony's path, it even looks like he was trying to "slap" the car with his hand.  Anyone who has watched sprints know that they don't exactly handle like a dream, I think Tony saw him at the last second, swerved to the left to avoid hitting him head on and then unfortunately clipped him with the back side tire. 

 

Also, the sequence of events were about 15- 20 seconds total, he likely had no idea the kid was on the track and likely had no idea the kid was mad at him (I dont even think they made contact prior as the kid ran out of room and hit the wall)

 

The problem I have been seeing is a lot of people who A. Don't follow racing B. Don't follow dirt track racing trying to say Stewart was trying to scare him/do it on purpose.

 

The whole thing is a tragedy, but the kid never should have been walking on a hot track like that, especially in the middle and in fact was putting the other drivers at risk. If the other driver wasn't named Tony Stewart does the kid even get out of his car to make a fuss? I doubt it, I think it was a 20 year old trying to make a name for him self and it unfortunately got him killed.

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#27 DaveW

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:39 AM

A lot of sprint drivers locally and nationally have talked about the last-second rev that is apparent on the video and said that is what you'd do to turn the car because of the way sprint cars are designed, to make a quick left turn, you hit the gas fast, which veers the car left based on the slanted design of the car.

 

Dirt track racing has some very interesting background, but I know around here, there isn't hesitation to throw criminal charges on someone.  A guy was 20 mph over posted pit speed because he was pissed that he weighed too heavy and was disqualified for a win because of it.  Police present in the pits issued a speeding citation and a wreckless driving citation.  The local race promoter will suspend you for the season if you get out of your car for confrontational purposes.  Just a little bit of discipline cleans up the racing a ton, but I have seen some very good points made that there's no way Stewart could have done anything to avoid him.  Doubtful on criminal charges, but the civil case could be very interesting.

I don't see how there would even be a legit civil case, all signs point to Stewart trying to avoid him, they have his go pro camera and two other angles and yet they say there is zero criminality suspected. I hate to say it, but at 20 years old the guy was an adult, he made a very very bad/stupid/rash decision and paid the price for it in freak and brutal accident. Stewart shouldn't be punished at all, I imagine the fact he accidentally took another human life is more punishment then he would ever deserve.

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#28 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:19 AM

Ya, 'cause Stewart has never been on a track, throwing his helmet at another car........The guy that died was stupid for being on the track. Very stupid. But we are all guessing at what happened in Stewart's car.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#29 biggentleben

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:28 AM

I don't see how there would even be a legit civil case, all signs point to Stewart trying to avoid him, they have his go pro camera and two other angles and yet they say there is zero criminality suspected. I hate to say it, but at 20 years old the guy was an adult, he made a very very bad/stupid/rash decision and paid the price for it in freak and brutal accident. Stewart shouldn't be punished at all, I imagine the fact he accidentally took another human life is more punishment then he would ever deserve.

 

By interesting, I mean it will be interesting if he takes the PR hit of going to trial with the guy's family to prove his side (a la Jesse Ventura), or if he chooses to settle out of court just to get it out of the media and spotlight, not that there would be much, if any, merit to such a case.

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#30 biggentleben

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:31 AM

Ya, 'cause Stewart has never been on a track, throwing his helmet at another car........The guy that died was stupid for being on the track. Very stupid. But we are all guessing at what happened in Stewart's car.

 

The logistics and physics of a sprint car are quite easy to figure. That makes the argument pretty easy.  Don't even need to know Tony's mind set to know whether or not he could have avoided the accident based on the physics and conditions the car was in.

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#31 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:53 AM

I read plenty of people on both sides of that physics argument, so I'm not sure I understand how it is easy.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#32 biggentleben

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:07 AM

I read plenty of people on both sides of that physics argument, so I'm not sure I understand how it is easy.

 

I haven't read anyone who understands the way sprint cars are built and run that have been on both sides of the argument.  I've heard a lot of "you don't accelerate to turn" and "pumping the brakes" arguments from uneducated people on the physics of how Stewart could have avoided the incident.

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#33 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:29 AM

Fair enough, I have no idea which of the authors I'm reading know what about racing.

 

As an outsider, it seems hard to understand how an expert driver could not miss someone, if he was doing everything he could to miss him. That said, the guy did not make it easy on anyone to miss him.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?