I don’t care who you are, a death in racing is still a tragedy. This comes in the recent news of Tony Stewart cleared of manslaughter charges in the death of Kevin Ward Jr.
I understand, racing is racing. There will be retaliation, spin outs and what not. Tony in his earlier career was not afraid to jump out of his crashed car and throw his helmet at you if you were the cause of such an incident. Many drivers followed suit and more and more on track confrontations were seen throughout motorsports.
Jumping out of your car on track during a race is, well, you know, I don't think I need to say it.
I have grown up with racing, and am quite familiar with it. My background in motorsports starts with my father. He was a tech inspector at Indy from 1960 to 1964. It was that fateful day in 1964 when Eddie Sachs, whom was an acquaintance of dad’s and Dave McDonald both perished on the second lap. That’s when he decided to leave USAC. My dad taught me a lot about race cars, and I would read all that I could get my hands on about the men and their machines.
When I had heard of the accident, I was shocked! Tony Stewart is an aggressive driver, I'll give you that, but I really don't think that he would intentionally try to kill anyone. In this video posted on YouTube by USA Today, Tony talks about the incident: Tony Breaks his silence
Hearing all that’s been presented so far, I think the underlying theme here, ultimately, is responsibility.
Common sense dictates that if you are responsible enough to drive at high rates of speeds on the track, you should be responsible enough for your life off of the track. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t drinking and driving one of the biggest no-no’s?
If you get stoned before a race, you could potentially kill someone else, be it another driver, track worker or even a spectator. If you drive too aggressivley sober, you could also do the same. Maybe, Mr. Ward being under the influence of marijuana had something to do with the initial accident in the first place? One can only speculate. There are alot of vaiables in racing, and the chance of someone dying is always there, sober or not.
This tragedy has had an impact on the rules in NASCAR as well. Now, drivers must stay inside their vehicles until a safety worker tells them it is ok for them to exit the vehicle. This rule, in my honest opinion, should have been implemented long before something like this had to happen.
To the professional race car drivers who may happen to read this, from a longtime fan, please, please, think about what you do and how it affects those who surround you. This is your passion, don't let anger, hatred for another be the catalyst for another tragedy and media frenzy like this one has become. We all love rivalries, let's keep them going safely!
So, as we mourn the loss of a young man, because of a bad decision he had made, let’s keep in mind that we are all responsible for our own actions. How we live day to day, makes us who we are.
Until next time,
This is my opinion only and does not reflect the views or opinions of anyone associated with this blog or discussed in this blog. I welcome all comments that are constructive to an open discussion. I will not answer any derogatory comments, emails or any other means of communications meant to belittle or otherwise do harm to any parties discussed in this post or myself. I thank everyone for reading!
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