Kevin Ward Jr. was under influence of marijuana when Tony Stewart hit and killed him

Kevin Ward Jr driver

A grand jury ruled on Wednesday that Tony Stewart will not be charged in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. One of the reasons Stewart will not face charges could be that Ward was reportedly under the influence of marijuana the night Stewart hit and killed him.

According to The Associated Press, District Attorney Michael Tantillo said Ward was under the influence of marijuana “enough to impair judgment.”

[Related: Kevin Ward's friend doesn't think Tony Stewart hit Ward intentionally]

After looking at video from the incident and several photos from spectators, authorities determined that the front of Stewart’s car cleared Ward and that it was the rear tire that struck him. While Ward’s father implied last month that he believes Stewart intentionally hit his son, investigators apparently disagreed.

The revelation that Ward was under the influence of marijuana is a bizarre twist in a tragic story. While we have no way of knowing if drug use played a role in Ward’s decision to exit his vehicle and charge toward Stewart, the thought of someone smoking weed before driving a car at those speeds is pretty alarming.

Will Power had to see doctor after getting showered in cream puffs


Indy car driver Will Power (awesome name, right?) won the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 on Sunday and was treated to quite the celebration. Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Kanaan, who finished second and third in the race, showered Power in so much stuff that he actually needed to seek medical attention when he left victory lane.

As USA Today sports noted, Power had to visit the track medical staff to get the cream puff filling cleaned out from his ears.

“Poof! It went in,” Power joked. “Cream puff, all that stuff coming out. That’s good. My ears are clean and dry now. That lady was there for a while like squirting, squirting, squirting, doctor is looking in my ear. Yeah, it’s clean.“

Cream puffs are a specialty every year at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, so Montoya and Kanaan figured they would use them like milk is used at the Indy 500. Winning can hurt sometimes, too.

Photo: Instagram/Indy Car

NASCAR passes rule requiring drivers to stay in car

Kevin-Ward-JrNASCAR announced a new rule on Friday in an attempt to prevent future accidents like the one we saw last week resulting in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. The rule requires drivers who have been involved in an accident to remain in their vehicle when it is safe to do so.

According to USA Today Sports, drivers who are unable to make forward progress after being involved in an incident are required to shut the engine off and lower their window net if uninjured. At that point, the driver must wait for instructions from safety personnel or NASCAR officials before loosening safety equipment. Finally, when directed, the driver must walk directly toward an ambulance or other safety vehicle without approaching the racing surface or another driver’s car.

NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said many versions of these rules are already in place but have now been formalized. Drivers have always been told to remain in their vehicles after a crash when it is safe to do so.

[Graphic VideoKevin Ward Jr. hit and killed by Tony Stewart]

While no specific punishment has been outlined for drivers who violate the rules, Pemberton said each case will be handled individually and penalties could be assessed.

Of course, if a driver really wanted to exit the vehicle he or she could always claim to have smelled gas and felt unsafe. But you’d like to think more drivers would be inclined to remain in their vehicles after seeing what happened to Ward.

It’s a shame it takes such a tragedy to reinforce rules and guidelines that should really be common sense.

ESPN screws up big time with Kevin Ward Jr. funeral tweet

ESPN sent an extremely unfortunate tweet from their NASCAR account on Thursday afternoon. Funeral services for the late Kevin Ward Jr. were held on Thursday in upstate New York, where more than 700 mourners flooded South Lewis Senior High School to pay their respects. Here is the tweet NASCAR on ESPN sent and quickly deleted, courtesy of Deadspin:


We’re all human and we all make mistakes, but that is a pretty drastic one. A typo with the name would be bad enough given the sensitive nature of the subject, but the photo of Stewart made it really brutal. Realizing that plenty of people had seen the tweet, ESPN later issued an apology:

Again, everyone makes mistakes. Some are just more cringe-worthy than others.

Kevin Ward Jr’s dad: Apparently Tony Stewart was the only one who didn’t see my son

Kevin-Ward-JrKevin Ward Sr. spoke publicly on Tuesday for the first time since his son Kevin Ward Jr.’s death last weekend. While Ward Sr. made it clear that he is angry over his son being hit and killed by Tony Stewart, he was sure to point out that he wants Ward Jr. to be remembered in a positive light.

“He was just a very God-gifted kid,” Ward told Charley Hannagan of the Syracuse Post-Standard. “I think he slept with a smile on his face.”

He didn’t leave it at that. Ward did not seem convinced that Stewart did everything he could to avoid hitting his son. He noted that all of the drivers moved to the bottom of the track when the caution flag came out, except for one.

[Graphic Video: Kevin Ward Jr. hit and killed by Tony Stewart]

“Apparently, Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn’t see him,” Ward said.

All the footage we have seen is inconclusive. Ward Jr. definitely walked toward the bottom of the track to make a gesture toward Stewart, and it’s hard to tell how much of an effort Stewart made to turn his car out of the way. Regardless of that, Ward Sr. felt his son had every right to be angry.

“I think the reason he probably got out of that car is who put him into the wall,” he said. “He was definitely put into the wall. Tony Stewart was the best damn driver by far on the track that night. Why he had to go up as high as he did and hog my son, there’s no reason for it.

“The one person that knows what happened that night is possibly facing 10 years in prison. Is he going to say what he done?”

No charges are currently pending against Stewart, but that does not mean he is out of the woods.

Also see: Kevin Ward Jr.’s aunt calls Tony Stewart a ‘dick’

Kevin Ward’s aunt calls Tony Stewart a ‘dick’

Kevin Ward Jr driver

Tony Stewart has long been known for his temper. That does not mean he intentionally hit and killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. on Saturday night, but it does mean there were already a lot of people who don’t like Stewart. Not surprisingly, Ward’s aunt seems like one of them.

Wendi Ward wrote a heartfelt message on Facebook over the weekend in which she had some not-so-nice things to say about Stewart.


A few hours before Stewart decided to withdraw from Watkins Glen, the three-time Sprint Cup champion’s team said Sunday’s race would be “business as usual.” That really rubbed people the wrong way and came off as extremely insensitive toward Ward’s family and friends.

The situation is a tragedy no matter how you look at it. There are currently no charges pending against Stewart, but that could change after a more thorough investigation.

H/T With Leather

Kevin Ward’s friend Tyler Graves does not think Tony Stewart did it intentionally

Kevin Ward Jr award

Tyler Graves, a friend of Kevin Ward Jr. (pictured) who witnessed Saturday’s fatal incident, says he does not think Tony Stewart hit Ward intentionally, though he believes Stewart should be put in jail forever.

Graves spoke with Sporting News racing reporter Bob Pockrass and described what he saw at the Empire Super Sprints race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

“Tony pinched him into the frontstretch wall, a racing thing,” Graves told 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. 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.”

Ward was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Though police are investigating the incident, they have not charged Stewart with a crime.

Graves, who is also a race-car driver, told Pockrass he did not think Stewart did it intentionally.

Graves said it appeared to him that Stewart swerved before gunning the engine but he did not believe it was intentional.

“You never mean to do something like that,” Graves said. “Kevin was pissed and he let Tony know. And Tony was trying to give the message back that he wasn’t happy either. He went over the line with it.”

Graves did tell Pockrass he does not think Stewart should be racing and that Stewart should be “put in prison for life.”

Stewart is scheduled to start 13th in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen.