Pic Courtesy Katherine Tyler
warning: graphic footage
Courtesy of YouTube)
The collision was as common as any in racing. Kevin Ward Jr.'s car spun twice like a top, wheels hugging the wall, before it plopped backward on the dimly lit dirt track.
In a sport steeped with bravado, what happened next was another familiar, but treacherous, move: Wearing a black firesuit and black helmet, the 20-year-old Ward unbuckled himself, climbed out of the winged car into the night and defiantly walked onto the track at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
He gestured, making his disgust evident with the driver who triggered the wreck with a bump: three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.
Curt Calvin from the Indy Star: Tony Stewart accident proves on-track confrontations too dangerous for racing Ward, a relative unknown compared to NASCAR's noted swashbuckler, was nearly hit by another passing car as he pointed with his right arm in Stewart's direction. As he confronted Stewart in his passing car, disaster struck.
Ward was standing to the right of Stewart's familiar No. 14 car, which seemed to fishtail from the rear and hit him. According to video and witness accounts, Ward's body was sucked underneath the car and hurtled through the air before landing on his back as fans looked on in horror.
Ward was killed. Stewart, considered one of the most proficient drivers in racing, dropped out of Sunday's NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, hours after Saturday's crash. And the sport was left reeling from a tragedy that could have ripple effects from the biggest stock car series down to weeknight dirt track racing.
"There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.," Stewart said in a statement.
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Hometowns: Rives Junction/Springport, MI
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Something You Might Not Know About Me: I've been married to my wife Susan for over 24 years. She is a now runs her own business writing grants for non-profits in Michigan. My youngest son, Ben (19), had major brain surgery for seizures in Aug '05. He is completely recovered and is a sophmore at GVSU! My other son, Harry, is 21 wants to be a Naturalist/Vet goes to MCC.
My big life changing experience was a motorcycle accident during the Roofsit in Sept '06. It was humbling to have so many listeners praying for me during my 6 operations. I was off the air for 6 weeks and in a wheelchair for about 5-6 months. Since then I have experienced complete kidney failure and have been on dialysis for 2 years. Spring of 2010 I organized TEAM CONRAD for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. Our 1st Kidney Walks did over 100K-- WOW! I was blessed in Jan 2011 with a kidney transplant from listener/donor Kristin O'Leary from Grandville. I have so much to be thankful for... but especially for your thoughts & prayers. Please lookup my TEAM CONRAD group page on Facebook.