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The reality of racing

This is how I want to see Tony Stewart
Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images

This is not a piece that I want to write. It does not really fit into my topic of Young NASCAR Stars unless we look at the “what might have been” scenarios. I didn’t want to say anything more about the subject since way too much has been said already. The only reason that I am adding my two cents worth is to express my disappointment with some of the others who are paid to express their opinions (even when it is apparent that they have no idea what they are talking about).

This past weekend was a terrible reminder of how dangerous the sport that I love can be. The tragedy that took place during the short-track dirt race in NY on Saturday night was the first headline that I saw when I went online on Sunday morning as I was checking the running order for the Sprint Cup race.

On this particular Sunday morning, once I had read the news about Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward, Jr., I was hardly able to consider the rest of they day. Being a lifelong race fan, I know that anything that impacts one of our drivers, especially one of our stars will tear the heart out of everyone of us while also bringing us together to support those who are suffering.

I would not have written this piece had it not been for an interview that I listened to earlier today. The interview was with a person who was referred to as a sportscaster for a major network. I am not sure why but his having these credentials made me expect that this person would have at least pretended to know what he was talking about.

It has been very upsetting to hear how the media has tried to demonize Tony Stewart. I have to imagine that other than Kevin Ward, Jr’s family, no one is hurting more than Tony. This particular “sportscaster” decided to take every little thing from Tony’s past (most from distant past) and present it as evidence that Tony should be charged, prosecuted and hanged for his part in the tragic accident. The fact that he kept referring to Kevin Ward as Kevin Wall told me everything that I needed to know. (I don’t want to identify this person but I hope this is a big clue).

We all have our ideas and opinions when things happen and in today’s world, things are always happening. I see terrible things happen every day, most often to really decent people. I could never assume that I know what someone else is thinking or feeling. I have a hard time just keeping my own thoughts straight. To have someone who is paid to report truth, yet they choose to make up their own version of the truth is just wrong.

I am so sad for Kevin Ward Jr. We will never know if this young man would have become a NASCAR star someday. I pray for his family and I hope that they know that this was just a terrible accident, nothing more or less than that. If you spend time at the race track, you are sure to witness tragedy at some point. I feel like I want to hug Tony Stewart and tell him that most of us understand and we want him to heal and return to the sport that he is so passionate about.

Tony has done so much for short-track dirt racing. He has given so many young drivers a stage to develop their skills. He has spent his own money and time to help the drivers who just want to race. I hope that he can know that there are millions of us who are praying for his healing and for the healing of Kevin Ward, Jr’s family, friends and fans. It may be hard to know how to move on from this but we are all here and we will help in whatever way we can.