Plymouth Speedway dirt track in Indiana was expected to have around 2,500 people show up this Saturday, but due to a fatal on-track crash there’s no telling how many people will show up.
On Saturday August 10, three-time Nascar champ Tony Stewart was involved in yet another horrific accident on the track at Canandaigua Motosports Park in upstate New York. Stewart’s car struck Kevin Ward Jr’s at high speed, causing Ward’s car to crippled under the high impact, resulting in Ward’s death.
Stewart made the executive decision to pull out of the race event in Indiana after the accident which has rocked the racing world. This was the second consecutive race Steward has withdrawn from after already deciding not to compete in a Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in New York.
Some concerns have been raised as to what Stewart’s future will look like, who started his career on dirt tracks before becoming a Nascar sensation. Many believe he may have to cut down on his extracurricular racing in the wake of this fatal accident.
However, this future decision all boils down to the verdict of the investigation into Saturday’s crash. Currently, investigators were interviewing witnesses and dirt-track racing experts. The Ontario County Sheriff’s department has been working hard with racing experts to try to reconstruct the crash to determine whether or not there was any intentional foul play involved.
What is specifically being determined is whether or not Stewart hit the throttle before the tail end of his car struck Ward.
“That’s the part of the whole desire to collect people with an expert knowledge of this type of racing to review and analyze the video,” said Sheriff Philip C. Povero, “and to review and see whether that did or did not occur.”
Either way, Stewart will most likely need to find himself an attorney, even though he has been fully cooperative in the investigation and no criminal charges have been filed.
Povero described Stewart as being very distraught after the accident and visibly concerned for Ward’s family. This was the third serious accident Stewart was involved in over the course of about a year. at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in July 2013 he took the blame for a massive 15 car pileup on the track. A few weeks after that accident, he suffered a broken leg in Oskaloosa, Iowa which caused him to withdraw from the Sprint Cup series.
His future driving career could also impact the Stewart-Haas Racing team who at the last minute replaced Stewart with Regan Smith for Sunday’s race. Many people claim that the three unrelated accidents occurred under different circumstances, it raises some concerns as to whether or not Stewart belongs in this racing series.
Others believe that the racing experience separating Stewart from the rest of the competitors could have fed the fire when it comes to the three accidents; inexperience creates additional danger for anyone racing on the track.
“They’re used to a little more talent than what we’ve got around here,” said Scott Caton, a race fan and bartender who works near to Canandaigua track.
The question remains whether or not Stewart will return to this type of track racing in the aftermath of the investigation.