I woke up on Sunday morning and was flooded with the tragic news of what occurred the previous night, like most, I needed to see all the information, outrageous or not.
I needed to know and see what happened. Not for the gruesome aspect of it all, but because I've been a fan all kinds of racing my whole life and a fan of Tony Stewart since the start of his career and couldn't believe the news. I immediately wanted to chime in and come to the defense of my favorite driver since the things major media outlets were saying about him were completely blown out of proportion.
Accusations of his well known explosive temper overwhelming him and causing this tragic event, that Stewart "gunned the engine into a defenseless young driver" Every "news" guy coming forward with their uneducated commentary on the intentions of Stewart even though most had probably never even seen a sprint car or a dirt track or even watched a single car race in their life. Having grown up in a racing family my whole life, my grandfather was the starter at Seekonk speedway for most of my childhood, my uncle a IHRA Pro Mod driver, extended family owned stock cars, family vacations to Daytona every year from 4-15 years old, I was even selling racing programs at the local track when I was in the single digits, I'd like to think I know a few things about racing, but even with all that and the fact that this was my favorite driver involved in this tragic event, I still feel that even as a life long fan of the sport I have a hard time making sense of all this.
What makes my blood boil the most is "news" stations reporting on the whole subject. One of whom took an old post race interview with Smoke where he says "I'm going to run him over all year every chance I get" to use toward the public indictment. What happened to researching the topic on which you report? That is a racing term meaning stewart was going to do everything he could to spin, wreck and/or be an overall pain in the ass to that driver. We all remember the quote from the movie "Days of Thunder"; "Rubbin is racin". If Smoke had said he was going to rub him all year long would these ass clowns have thought he'd sexually harass him all season?
The mainstream media's need to sensationalize great tragedy has taken precedent over actually reporting the god dawn news. I've seen pit road scuffles, I've seen some great fights in the pits at local tracks. 10-15 people kicking the hell out of each other over an on track incident. If Stewart really wanted to do something to Kevin Ward Jr it would of all went down in the pits. Smoke has never been one to shy away from a scuffle which is one of the reasons I was drawn to become a fan of his, but no one and I mean no one knows truly what happened as far as intent on that track but Tony. If some intent is found during the ongoing investigation I'll be the first to eat my shoe in disappointment. Until then I will keep the Ward family in my thoughts and prayers for their incredible lose but I will also, now more than ever, #StandwithSmoke.
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