Races [17+2] that Bass Pro Shops is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2015:
Daytona, Budweiser Duel - 2/19
Daytona 500 - 2/22
Atlanta - 3/1
Phoenix - 3/15
Bristol - 4/19
Talladega - 5/3
Kansas - 5/9
Charlotte, All-Star - 5/16, Arctic Cat
Charlotte - 5/24
Michigan - 6/14
Daytona - 7/5, Ducks Unlimited
Bristol - 8/22
Darlington - 9/6
Richmond - 9/12
Charlotte - 10/10
Talladega - 10/25
Martinsville - 11/1
Texas - 11/8
Homestead - 11/22
Races [10+1] that Mobil 1 is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2015:
Daytona, Sprint Unlimited - 2/14
Las Vegas - 3/8
Richmond - 4/25
Pocono - 6/7
Sonoma - 6/28
New Hampshire - 7/19, patriotic
Indianapolis - 7/26
Michigan - 8/16
Chicago - 9/20
Dover - 10/4
Phoenix - 11/15
Races  that Rush Truck Centers is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2015:
Auto Club - 3/22
Texas - 4/11
Kentucky - 7/11
Kansas - 10/18
Races  that Code 3 Associates is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2015:
Martinsville - 3/29
Dover, 5/31 (added)
Watkins Glen - 8/9
New Hampshire - 9/28
There are TWO current race tracks the Cup Series runs on that Tony Stewart has not won at a Sprint Cup race:
Darlington 0 for 21 with a best finish of 3rd in 2009 & 2012
Kentucky 0 for 4 with a best finish of 11th in 2014
Stewart has won at 20 of 23 tracks he has raced on, didn't win at Rockingham which is no longer active for Cup racing.(11-16-2014)
#14 team was #70: when Tony Stewart became half owner of Haas CNC Racing, making it Stewart-Haas Racing, the team changed the #70 team to the #14 and the #66 to the #39, starting in 2009
Contract Status: Driver: is co-owner, retires after 2016?; Primary Sponsors: Mobil1 2015+; Bass Pro Shops 2015+; Rush Truck Centers 2015; Code 3 Assoc 2015+
Stewart moves wrongful death lawsuit to federal court: The wrongful death lawsuit filed against Tony Stewart by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. was assigned to U.S. District Judge David Hurd on Monday after the Sprint Cup driver asked Friday for the case to be adjudicated in federal court rather than New York state court. There was no immediate response from Ward's legal team on whether it will challenge the federal court's jurisdiction and request to have it moved back into state court. The Ward family seeks unspecified damages related to their son's suffering, death and their own loss of economic support and services from their son. Stewart is scheduled to file his response to the lawsuit by Friday and an initial scheduling conference is set for Oct. 8.(ESPN.com)(8-25-2015)
Stewart loans plane to Justin Wilson family UPDATE Sad News: Tony Stewart loaned his plane and pilots to Stefan Wilson, brother of injured IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson, so Wilson could get from Indianapolis to his brother's side at a Pennsylvania hospital Sunday night. Justin Wilson was hit in the helmet by the flying nosepiece of Sage Karam's car during the race Sunday at Pocono Raceway and was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, PA. Wilson suffered a severe head injury and is in a coma in critical condition, according to the IndyCar Series. It is not unusual for Stewart to lend his plane to people in the racing industry amid a health crisis. Most of those acts go unpublicized at Stewart's request. He did not publicize his loaning of the plane and pilots Sunday night, but several in the IndyCar community sent out tweets thanking him.(ESPN.com)(8-24-2015)
UPDATE Sad News - Justin Wilson: INDYCAR announced that driver Justin Wilson, who enjoyed success in multiple motorsports series during a two-decade professional career, died today from a head injury sustained in the Verizon IndyCar Series race Aug. 23 at Pocono Raceway. He was 37. Wilson was struck by debris from a single-car crash on Lap 180 of the 200-lap race on the 2.5-mile triangular oval. Wilson was attended to by the Holmatro Safety Team and airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pa. Wilson is survived by his wife, Julia, and two daughters. His younger brother Stefan is an accomplished race car driver who has competed in the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights. Funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up for Wilson children. Donations may be sent to: Wilson Children's Fund, c/o INDYCAR, 4551 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222.(INDYCAR)(8-24-2015
Bowyer to Stewart-Haas? in 2017? or to HScott Motorsports? the biggest question is Clint Bowyer, 36, who controls his future today as much as he did when he left Richard Childress Racing to join MWR. With no apparent openings at major teams for next season, Bowyer might need a placeholder ride for a year - much like Kasey Kahne when he drove for Red Bull Racing before joining Hendrick's four-car juggernaut. After that, Bowyer would have more options. The garage has been buzzing for a few months about the possibility of Bowyer joining Stewart-Haas Racing, but to replace who? Reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick is locked in. Danica Patrick just signed a multi-year contract extension. And co-owner Tony Stewart said Tuesday that Kurt Busch's extension will be done "soon." That could leave Stewart, who is struggling to be competitive and has his best years behind him at 44. Could Bowyer drive at SHR in 2017? SHR spokesman Mike Arning told USA TODAY Sports the team wasn't commenting "out of respect for the situation involving Michael Waltrip Racing and its personnel." In the meantime, it doesn't sound like hooking up with Ganassi for one year is an option for Bowyer if Kauffman buys into the team, as the owner stated he planned to. Kauffman said he and Bowyer "agreed we would go our separate ways at the end of the season and I wish him well in whatever direction he pursues."(USA Today)
AND Perhaps the dissolution of MWR was the ticket Bowyer needed to move on. Despite entering the first year of a three-year renewal to drive the No. 15 Toyota, a dissolution of MWR would certainly enable Bowyer to pursue others options. In fact, he and Kaufmann have already agreed to go separate ways. If the rumor mill is right, Bowyer is headed to HScott Motorsports. Richard Petty Motorsports made Bowyer an offer several years ago and is interested in him again. But this is why HMS makes sense: Despite Harry Scott Jr. playing coy at Watkins Glen, following a salmon fishing trip with Bowyer in British Columbia, multiple sources say HScott Motorports could offer Bowyer a ride until a premiere seat opens up. Bowyer has been mentioned as the heir apparent for the #14 Chevy once Tony Stewart retires.
Initially, the assumption was that Bowyer would join Kauffman in his move to Chip Ganassi Racing. However, the current plan for CGR in 2016 is to run just two teams. Bowyer's statement on Wednesday offered no indication of his future plans, other than it would not include Kauffman or MWR.(Motorsport)(8-20-2015)
Tony Stewart iffy about fifth surgery on right leg: A planned fifth operation on Tony Stewart's surgically repaired right leg may not happen after all. Stewart, who severely fractured his lower right leg in a sprint car accident in August 2013, has already had four surgeries, the most recent coming last December. A proposed fifth operation in the offseason would allow doctors to remove his stabilizing titanium rod hardware, but Stewart said he'll find out the status of the surgery in a couple of months. "We actually don't know yet. There's potential that we may not have to have the operation, after all," Stewart said Tuesday at the announcement of Danica Patrick's new contract and sponsorship deal at Stewart-Haas Racing. "The rod that's in there might stay in there, so at the end of October we're having a meeting with the doctor and we're going to make that decision. Either way, it's either one-and-done or we're done." Stewart broke both his tibia and fibula in a crash at Southern Iowa Speedway, forcing him to miss the final 15 races of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. He had three surgeries that year, followed by a fourth just ahead of 2014 Champion's Week, when his teammate Kevin Harvick was feted for his first Sprint Cup crown.(NASCAR.com)(8-19-2015)
Kevin Ward Jr's parents speak: The parents of Kevin Ward Jr. want Tony Stewart held accountable for their son's death, one that Stewart calls an accident but one that the Ward family said he could have prevented from happening. Kevin Ward Sr. and Pamela Ward spoke Friday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America" about the death of their 20-year-old son in a sprint car race Aug. 9, 2014, at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Ward got out of his car and approached on foot toward Stewart's car as he drove around under caution. Stewart's car struck Ward with the right rear wheel and Ward was pronounced dead 45 minutes later. "Tony races every weekend," Kevin Ward Sr. said. "Well I know my son will never get to race again. ... He took a very, very big part of my family's life." A grand jury cleared Stewart in September of any criminal wrongdoing, with the Ontario County district attorney saying the evidence showed no aberrational driving by Stewart and Ward had enough marijuana in his system to influence his actions. The parents filed a wrongful death suit Aug. 7 against Stewart seeking an unspecified amount of damages. "I do not believe my son was impaired," Pamela Ward said. Ward's father said "there's no doubt [Stewart] knew what he was doing" and that he revved the motor more than the others in the field as he went by their son. "We want justice for our son," Pamela Ward said. "That's what we want. ... I don't feel Tony meant to kill my son. But his actions killed my son. I think he lost his temper."(ESPN.com)(8-14-2015)
Stewart makes donation to Iowa family: A NASCAR superstar is helping out a grieving Iowa family after learning about a tragic accident that claimed the lives of three Iowa brothers last week. Jamie, Carson, and Christian Singletary were killed in an accident near New Sharon in Mahaska County last Thursday, when their vehicle collided with a truck. Several fundraising efforts have been set up to help the boys' family, like a GoFundMe page, a U.S. Bank account, and a community spaghetti supper. Now, they're also getting help from NASCAR legend Tony Stewart. Ralphi Munson's chance encounter with Stewart in the parking lot of the old Pamida in Knoxville Tuesday night led to a compassionate donation from the driver. Munson, a friend of the Singletary family, was planning to sell off four totes of racing memorabilia she has collected since 1982 and give the proceeds to the family. She says she was meeting a friend she plans to help during the Knoxville Nationals this week, showing some of the race programs in the totes and talking about what the money will be used for when Tony Stewart approached her and gave her $700 for the memorabilia. Munson says Stewart told her, "I overheard everything and I want to do this for the kids." Munson joked with him that the price didn't include the totes and she'd need those back. That's when Stewart called over to a friend and told him to bring more money. The total donation ended up being $1,400.(WHO-TV)(8-12-2015)
Stewart pleased, despite last place finish: #14-Tony Stewart's day ended earlier than he had wanted, but he had few complaints about his last-place finish in the Sprint Cup race Sunday at Watkins Glen. Stewart completed 56 laps in the race, which occurred on the one-year anniversary of the tragedy where Stewart accidentally struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. at a dirt track at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The accident took place on the eve of last year's race at The Glen. The crowd erupted in cheers for Stewart when he was introduced Sunday, and he was smiling and laughing as he met with fans prior to the event. He started third -- his best starting spot of the year -- and ran in or near the top 10 for much of the race before a likely broken seal let all the rear end grease out of an axle and ended his day. "[The crowd reception] was really good all the way around," said Stewart, who missed the 2013 race at Watkins Glen because of a broken leg suffered in a sprint-car accident and then the 2014 race because of the tragedy. "[The weekend] was as good as it could be. I'm happy to get to race here today. That is something I've been looking forward to and I'm happy about the couple of weeks we've got coming up." Stewart fell to 26th in the standings but it was the third consecutive week he has seen improved performance. "The way our season's been, we've picked up. ... I feel like we're starting to gain some momentum," he said. "It won't show it at the end of the day on the results, but I feel good about it."(ESPN.com)(8-10-2015)
Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Stewart: The family of Kevin Ward Jr. filed a wrongful death lawsuit Friday against NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart, nearly a year after Stewart's sprint car struck and killed the 20-year-old driver under caution during a race at an upstate New York dirt track. The Ward family filed the lawsuit in Lewis County (N.Y.) Supreme Court, which covers the Ward home in Port Leyden and is about 175 miles northeast of Watkins Glen International, where Stewart practiced Friday in preparation for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. Stewart was not criminally charged in the death of Ward, who had gotten out of his car and ran toward Stewart's car as he drove around under caution during the Empire Super Sprints race Aug. 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Ward was declared dead 45 minutes after being struck by Stewart's car with the cause of death listed as massive blunt force trauma. The lawsuit does not specify the amount of damages the family seeks in claims of wrongful death, reckless conduct, gross negligence and Ward's suffering between the time he was struck and his death. "Stewart could have easily acted reasonably and with prudence to avoid striking Ward, just as all other drivers had done as they passed Ward during the yellow caution flag," the lawsuit states. "Stewart acted with disregard for Ward's life and safety by driving his vehicle in a manner that would terrorize Ward and thereafter strike, severely injure and kill Ward." The case likely will hinge on whether the Ward family can prove that Stewart has some percentage of fault in Ward's death. If the case goes to a jury, a jury would have to decide whether Stewart had a duty to Ward to drive in a certain manner under caution and if he breached that duty. New York law does not allow the Ward family to collect damages for their own pain and suffering but does allow parents to recover loss of expected future support and care that their child could have provided.(ESPN.com)(8-7-2015)
Stewart talks about the last two years: In August 2013, Tony Stewart's right leg was nearly torn off after crashing in an Iowa sprint car race. While last August, once again racing the powerful open-wheel machines in upstate New York, he was involved in a tragic accident that cost the life of local driver Kevin Ward. Talking Wednesday to reporters in Texas, Stewart admitted those incidents, especially Ward's death, has changed his life forever. "I don't think I'll ever be the same from what happened the last two years. I don't know how you could be. I don't know how anybody ever could be exactly back to where they were. Not being back exactly the same I was doesn't mean that I haven't become better in some ways. I think there's always positives that come out of every scenario." Stewart also added, "I'm trying to not to think about it. Unfortunately, I have a feeling it's going to be brought up a lot this week, but it doesn't help you continue to move forward with it."(PRN's Garage Pass)(8-6-2015)
Kyle Bush talked to Stewart about injury: #18-Kyle Busch talked to the media Saturday morning at Indy, the transcript in part:
Q) What was your mindset after the accident and did you speak with Tony Stewart about his injury?
Busch: "Tony (Stewart) was actually the first one to the hospital -- as soon as the Daytona 500 was over he was there. He actually told everybody that was on his plane that they were going to wait. He was there for about four hours. We had a good talk, we had a good discussion about just what it was like and the process that he had to go through and how long it was probably going to be or what it was going to be. In all reality, our injuries were the same but entirely different. His was much more severe than mine. Just being able to talk with him, my mindset was okay. At first I was like, 'I'm never going to race again and I don't know what I'm going to do,' all those things go through your mind. You just continue to power through and listen to your doctors and those that are around you and of course my wife and the support system that I had. I wouldn't call it painless, there was certainly a lot of pain, but it went really, really well as far as you could say any injury healing goes. I was pretty pleased with everything."(Toyota Racing)(7-28-2015)
Stewart disappointed in season; not planning to retire: #14-Tony Stewart participated in a NASCAR teleconference on Tuesday and talked about a variety of issues:
Q. New Hampshire is coming up on the docket for you. Do you feel it's a race that could spark something for you?
STEWART: Honestly, we're just kind of trying to get our program back on track. I don't know that we've circled any track and said anything right now. It's been a disappointing year up to this point. It seems like no matter what the package is, we seem to fight the same balance.
Q. Tony, you told me to tell people to leave off of [crew chief] Chad Johnston. Are you still feeling like you're making progress? Can you also mention how, you said you were struggling with the new package, how you would like to see NASCAR move forward on some of this?
STEWART: I don't know that I'm really good at giving direction at what NASCAR needs to do right now when we can't get our balance a little better than where we're at. You know, I still really like working with Chad Johnston. I don't feel like he's what's holding us back. There's something about the way this package is that just doesn't suit my driving style. So, you know, I'm holding him and the team back versus vice versa. So it's just a matter of me trying to figure it out, figure out how to go forward and get our cars better.
Q. You're involved with three other teams there at Stewart-Haas Racing, in addition to your own. From an ownership standpoint, do you believe that NASCAR is headed in the right direction with these rules packages?
STEWART: Yeah, I mean, anything that's going to make the fans happier, you know, put better races on is in all of our best interests. The part that's hard for the teams is the process, you know, changing this, changing that. All that cost comes out of our pockets. It doesn't come out of NASCAR's pocket. NASCAR decides they want to change something, we're the ones that have to spend the money to do it. They don't spend a dime to do it. That's the part that's hard. I think all of the owners will do whatever's in the best interest of making it better. I just would like to see NASCAR share some of that expense versus saying, Hey, we got an idea, we want to try this, then the teams have to spend all the money to do it.
Q. Tony, I wonder where you feel like the sport has the most momentum right now, where it's making the greatest strides, and where you feel like it has to make the greatest strides?
STEWART: I guess if I had to look and say what I thought was the greatest thing, it's seeing NASCAR as a whole work with the teams and the drivers and be more accommodating as far as having the Drivers Council, the RTA, them working with NASCAR the way they are. I mean, that's something in the 17 years I've been in the Cup Series I've never seen. it was all right to walk in the trailer and give them an idea, and that's as far as it always went. Now you're actually having meetings, working hand-in-hand with NASCAR. I think that's something that I've never seen in this sport, which to me is really exciting as a driver and owner. I think it's great. so, you know, as far as the flipside of that, I really don't know what the answeris for that. But, I mean, I definitely think that seeing NASCAR's involvement on the more personal side, I'd love to see Brian France show up at some of these council meetings and stuff, but I'm sure he's busy.
Q. How much longer do you see yourself [racing]?
STEWART: Right now I'm just trying to figure out how to get my car working, to be honest with you.
Ducks Unlimited scheme for Stewart at Daytona: Tony Stewart returns to Daytona for his 34th Sprint Cup start at Daytona International Speedway with Ducks Unlimited on the quarterpanels of his signature #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing. As it has since 2013, Ducks Unlimited, the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats, will share the orange-and-black #14 Chevy with Bass Pro Shops during the Coke Zero 400. Since 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across North America. Winning at Daytona is a real feather in Stewart's cap. He is the only active Sprint Cup driver to win back-to-back Coke Zero 400 wins, and augmenting his four wins are seven top-threes, nine top-fives and 14 top-10s in 33 starts at Daytona.(SHR), see an image of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(7-1-2015)
Pit crew change on #14 team: Just a few weeks ago [Pit Talks] reported that the #14 crew was getting a new tire changer in the front. Tire Changer Bryan Jacobson was undergoing shoulder surgery and would be out for a while. Ex EGR changer Chris McMullen was taking over in the front. Well...that didn't last long. Last week the #14 crew sent McMullen to the back and moved Ryan Mulder to the front. Mulder was pitting on the rear of the #35 car at the beginning of the year. Last we heard, Jonathon Sherman would be changing on the rear of the #35 taking over Mulder's void.(Pit Talks)(6-5-2015)
Drivers met with NASCAR on Saturday UPDATE:In a first of its kind, NASCAR met with a group of Sprint Cup drivers for about two hours Saturday night, discussing safety, competition, attendance and more. #11-Denny Hamlin, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., and #4-Kevin Harvick confirmed they were among about eight drivers in the meeting, which was held in the Kent Room at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. It marked the first time that a council of drivers - selected by their peers - had met with NASCAR in such a formal setting. "The drivers got together and organized a vote and all the drivers voted for the guys they wanted on this council," Earnhardt said before Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway. "NASCAR asked us to do that so we could get together and just have a better ability to communicate. It's just a better way to have discussions." A source told NBC Sports that NASCAR was represented by Mike Helton, vice chairman, and Steve O'Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer, among others. "The drivers, we always talk amongst ourselves anyway, but having that open line of communication to NASCAR has never been this open before," Hamlin said before Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway. "You look around the room and you're like, 'Wow, this is a monumental time to where you've got the powers that be and some of the greatest drivers talking about how we can make this sport better." The meeting comes after a recent spat of complaints from drivers about the rules and racing. So what was discussed? "There was talk of competition," Earnhardt said. "What we think about the new package and the direction that they want to go and what we're doing with tires and testing." NASCAR recently came out with a rules update eliminating the 2016 tire testing at all Goodyear tire tests until October. Hamlin said safety was a big topic discussed. "We talked about a lot of safety issues we want to see changed at various racetracks," Hamlin said. "We went racetrack by racetrack, and I feel like we're going to make our sport better." NASCAR did not offer details of the meeting. Brett Jewkes, NASCAR senior vice president and chief communications officer, issued a statement: "NASCAR meets with drivers frequently on a wide range of topics. As part of our ongoing commitment to foster dialogue between all stakeholders, we've met formally with drivers on several occasions this season, including here at Dover. We'll meet with them again later in the season as normal course of business. The meetings have been productive and we find the dialogue very valuable." Hamlin said he's unsure how often the group will meet but expected it would be "at least a few times a year."(NBC Sports)(5-31-2015)
UPDATE: Three-time NASCAR champion #14-Tony Stewart confirmed he was among a group of drivers that met with NASCAR officials for about two hours Saturday evening at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino adjacent to Dover International Speedway. Stewart came away impressed by the intent and encouraged by the content of the discussions. He said it was the first time in his 17 years in NASCAR racing he can remember this kind of informal get-together session between the sanctioning body and a group of drivers that also included Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle among others. "They want to sit down, and they want to listen," Stewart told NASCAR.com on Sunday just prior to the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. I think it's just everyone staying on the same page which is good. It was a good thing, it was positive and makes me feel good about our sport that they want to keep everyone staying on the same page. I'd call it very, very positive."(NASCAR.com)(6-1-2015)
Stewart's Darlington throwback scheme unveiled: As part of the throwback program at Darlington Raceway on September 6, Tony Stewart will pilot a vintage-inspired, #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevy that recreates the brand's first fish-ready complete boat motor and trailer package - the Bass Tracker - which was introduced in the late 1970's. Featuring an old-school design and a 1970s-era logo on the hood.(SHR / Lionel Racing), see images of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(5-27-2015)
Arctic Cat Joins Bass Pro Shops and Stewart at All-Star Race: Arctic Cat, one of the most widely recognized and respected names in the snowmobile, ATV and Side-by-Side industry, joins Bass Pro Shops as the co-primary sponsor of Tony Stewart in the All-Star Race. The brand is featured predominantly on the quarterpanels of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Arctic Cat Chevrolet SS. "Whether it's on my property in Indiana or when I go on vacation and ride Side-by-Sides with my crew guys, Arctic Cat is always with me," said Stewart, whose most recent purchase was an Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000X Limited. "I give them a workout in all kinds of seasons and they never let me down. I get them straight off the floor at Bass Pro Shops, where Arctic Cat has a dedicated display in each store." Bass Pro Shops operates 92 retail stores across America and Canada that are visited by more than 120 million people each year. Stewart has been a brand ambassador for Bass Pro Shops since 2001, beginning with a personal services agreement that morphed into primary sponsorship of Stewart's iconic #14 Chevrolet.(SHR), see images of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(5-14-2015)
#14 Tire Changer to undergo shoulder surgery: This weekend and for the next few weeks in the future, the #14 SHR team of Tony Stewart will be without their front tire changer Bryan Jacobson. Jacobson is undergoing surgery this week to repair some shoulder issues. Taking his place will be long time CGR tire changer Chris McMullen. McMullen was just recently was on the rear of the #42 before being replaced earlier in the season. As far as time frame for Jacobson's recovery, it sounds like 4-5 months at best.(Pit Talks)(5-14-2015)
DiBenedetto, Stewart not happy with each other after practice UPDATE: Matt DiBenedetto was just looking for an opening on the track during practice - that's when he aroused the wrath of #14-Tony Stewart on Friday. On the track the three-time champion flipped off the rookie and yelled at him. Off the track when the driver of the #83 BK Racing Toyota tried to explain what happened, DiBenedetto's attempt was futile. "I went up to him to apologize and explain the situation to him," DiBenedetto told Motorsport.com. "I'm not an idiot. I wouldn't just pull in front of him. I told him the 19 pulled out in front of me on the racetrack. That checked up all of my momentum and by that time - things happen so fast around here - that when I got to Turn 3, he was getting a few car lengths of me so I just pulled over to let him go. He didn't understand. I tried to tell him what happened, but he just told me I just needed to get out of the way and whatever. He really just didn't know what to say. He's just an arrogant prick," DiBenedetto said. "He has anger issues and needs to focus on driving the race car other than dedicating the whole practice session to blocking somebody when it wasn't something I did intentionally. I don't care who he is, he's barking up the wrong tree."(Motorsport)(3-28-2015)
UPDATE: Sprint Cup Series rookie Matt DiBenedetto says all is fine now between he and three-time champion Tony Stewart, but that wasn't the case Friday after the two crossed paths on and off the racing surface at Martinsville Speedway. During Friday's lone NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, a relatively innocent-looking run-in between DiBenedetto and Stewart led to some harsh words and further explanation afterward. Explaining the situation to Stewart afterward, DiBenedetto said the veteran listened to him, and DiBenedetto believes Stewart now understands the situation better. "He didn't say a whole lot," DiBenedetto said. "I explained what happened and he didn't have much to say, since I explained the whole deal. It is what it is. It was kind of dumb, a little bit of an overreaction. It's all over with now. In reality it's such a small issue. I felt like it was something minor," said DiBenedetto, adding that he was more frustrated for his team than taking it personally. "If I was in his situation I would have kind of blown it off, especially since I made an effort to get out of his way. It is what it is. I guess it's understandable. We'll just move on."(FoxSports)(3-29-2015)
Stewart completes purchase for All Star Circuit of Champions: Tony Stewart is officially the new owner of the All Star Circuit of Champions. The agreement closed Thursday afternoon. In addition, veteran race official Don Grabey was hired as Series Director. "First off, I'm ecstatic that we got the paperwork signed and we own the All Star Circuit of Champions," Stewart said. "Further, I'm excited to have Don join the team. He is a great addition and will have the respect of the competitors and be an important piece of the long term success of the Series. I can't wait to get the points season started in two weeks." Grabey, 53, has worked with the World of Outlaws since 1997, first as a technical inspector and then as the competition director since 2007. The next All Star Series of Champions race will be March 28 at Atomic Speedway in Waverly, Ohio. This event will be the first points race of 2015. The complete schedule can be found at www.allstarsprint.com.(TrueSpeed Communications)(3-13-2015)
Tough Day for Stewart in 17th Daytona 500: #14-Tony Stewart was sidelined in the Daytona 500 with suspension problems due to multi-car accident on lap 41, ended up completing 72 laps, finishing 42nd. Some comments by Stewart:
Stewart: "As long as we were two wide, then when it got three wide that particular lap it got away from me, and I got out of the gas and couldn't even get the front end caught up when I got out of the gas. I'm not sure if Ryan (Blaney) wasn't there, I still was going to hit the fence."
GOOD EFFORT BY YOUR CREW TO REPLACE THE WHOLE FRONT END.
Stewart: "It was fast enough to stay with the pack there. I actually just stayed with MIke Wallace to help my buddy out there. We ran as many laps as we could that would get us....we couldn't run any more laps and gain anything. It's the biggest race of the year and the last thing you want to do is stay out there and have something else happen to get in the middle of something. Let's just let those guys have their day."
Stewart: "Well, it is just part of it. Yes, it's not what we had planned, but we stuck with the plan from the start of the race and that was to stay up front as much as we could. We knew the first two runs of the race we were probably going to have to adjust on the car; I just didn't make it far enough into the second run there to get a chance to adjust on it."(Team Chevy)(2-23-2015)
Stewart flagged for not weighing in: #14-Tony Stewart opened Speedweeks with a weighty -- and heated -- issue. Stewart was visibly upset Friday as he stormed through the garage after getting black flagged for failing to step on a scale before getting behind the wheel. Stewart was one of 25 drivers practicing for Saturday night's exhibition Sprint Unlimited, but one of just three who didn't weigh in before the session started. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-Kyle Busch also had to return to the scale after getting in their cars. Stewart didn't heed the initial call. NASCAR eventually flagged Stewart, ordering him back to the garage to get weighed. But he refused, and when he did finally park his car after his practice run ended, Stewart and crew chief Chad Johnston were called to the NASCAR hauler for what likely was a stern lecture about following the rules. They emerged 10 minutes later, and Stewart headed straight for the scale. Stewart refused to answer questions about what happened on the track and in the hauler, but was overheard telling teammate Kevin Harvick's crew that he was called in because he didn't weigh in and didn't heed the black flag. Each driver is required to step on the scale so the minimum car weights can be calculated. Heavier drivers, like Stewart, can have slightly lighter cars.(ESPN)(2-14-2015)
Stewart says leg injury no longer an issue: #14-Tony Stewart, met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, some questions were about his leg injury from a Sprint Car wreck in 2013:
Q). How did you feel at the end of last season?
TONY STEWART: I mean, not 100% leg-wise, but in the car I'm fine. I felt fine last year. Everybody wanted to blame it on the injury last year, and that didn't have anything to do with it when it came time to drive the car. We are in better shape than we were last year.
Q). A year ago you came here with all the questions about how you were going to be able to handle the car, especially handling a track like this. Physically speaking to you feel much better than you were a year ago?
TONY STEWART: Honestly I feel like we're wasting our time talking about how I feel because I didn't feel bad last year. I did outside the car, but inside the car I felt good all year. Physically driving the car it's not an issue at all. It's not 1/100th of a percent.
Q). But therapeutically was it something you needed to get back behind the wheel?
TONY STEWART: I think we talked about that last year. We're talking about 2015 now. You're talking about something that we talked about in 2014 that we already covered. I mean, it's not an issue. It's not something I'm thinking about. It's just kind of in the past. I'm ready to go.(Team Chevy)(2-13-2015)
Stewart-Haas has contingency plan for #41 team, Stewart and Busch comment: #14-Tony Stewart said the Stewart-Haas Racing team has a contingency plan ready if #41-Kurt Busch cannot drive in the Daytona 500. Busch is still waiting to hear whether he will face charges for an alleged Sept. 26 assault of his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll at Dover International Speedway. Stewart, met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, some comments:
Q). We ended last season with an investigation (#41-Kurt Busch domestic abuse) just starting to occur, and here we are starting a new season and it's still unresolved. I was just wondering as a team owner, do you have some contingency plan?
TONY STEWART: Yeah, we do, but we're kind of waiting to see. I'm very hopeful that we won't have to worry about it. I mean, I feel bad he's in that situation right now and that they're both in that situation. But we have to be smart and we have to have a plan in place if it doesn't work out for whatever reason.(Team Chevy)
AND #41-Kurt Busch, met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, some comments:
Q). Tony said earlier today that the organization had to make a contingency plan. They're hopeful they don't have to put anything into place. I guess the challenges or frustration that this has kind of gone as long as it has and having to deal with that, how does that impact you?
KURT BUSCH: I mean, the days in court and now that we're going close to day 100 as far as all the proceedings go, normal situations that happen around these types of situations take 30 minutes. So sometimes preferential treatment can go the wrong way.
Q). What do you mean by that?
KURT BUSCH: Normal situations like this take 30 minutes, so we're going close to day 100, so we all have to be patient. We all have to understand that there's a process that we have to respect, and the fact that no announcement has come out, each day that goes by continues to be good news, and with the team and their support, they've been fantastic, Gene Haas especially, it's amazing to have the comfort level that I have as well as to have told them the truth and understanding of everything. It's easy to be here and be pumped up about the season that's 10 days away.
Q). Do you feel at peace? Do you feel like you're going to be able to race and be okay?
KURT BUSCH: Yeah, I feel like it's full throttle, full steam ahead.
Q). Are you indicating she's getting preferential treatment; is that what you were saying?
KURT BUSCH: Normal situations like this I've been told take 30 minutes, so mine is four court days and 100 days of waiting.
Q). What's the waiting deadline for you? How do you deal with it?
KURT BUSCH: Well, it's a matter of just knowing that the truth has been told, and we'll see how things unfold. The process, we have to wait on what their decision is going to be.(Team Chevy)(2-12-2015)
Stewart still says no plans to run sprint cars in future: Nearly six months after his role in an accident that claimed the life of 20-year-old sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr., #14-Tony Stewart says he has no plans to drive a sprint car and may never get behind the wheel of a sprint car again. Appearing Tuesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "Tony Stewart Live," the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion spoke out on a host of timely topics with the official start of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season less than three weeks away. Making Stewart's admission of his plans not to go sprint car racing anytime soon was his recent purchase of the All-Star Circuit of Champions, a traveling sprint car series that is a staple of grassroots, open-wheel racing. "I'm not going to be in a sprint car for a while, if ever again," Stewart, who suffered a broken leg in a sprint car in August 2013, said on SiriusXM. "This is a way to give back to the sport. I'm passionate about it. I'm really excited."(FoxSports)(2-5-2015)
Stewart buys All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series: #14-Tony Stewart has agreed to terms with Guy Webb, owner of the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series, to become the sole owner of the original winged sprint car tour. The All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series is one of the oldest traveling sprint car organizations and is a staple of grassroots, open-wheel racing. The transaction between Webb and Stewart will proceed immediately.(Eldora Raceway)(1-28-2015)
Stewart-Haas Racing's #4-#14 pit crew swap is permanent: A 2014 late season pit crew swap between Stewart-Haas Racing teammates #14-Tony Stewart and #4-Kevin Harvick will be permanent, Stewart said Tuesday while making a USO visit with troops and military families at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. The Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner/driver and Harvick switched crews in September in time for the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup elimination playoff that culminated with Harvick hoisting his first trophy. Stewart, who did not qualify for last year's Chase, said Tuesday the teams will continue with the lineup as they left it last season. "The pit crew I had that pitted Kevin's car at the end of the year, we kept that switch permanent for this year," said Stewart.(NASCAR.com)(1-21-2015)
Tony Stewart tours MacDill AFB refueling operation: Every weekend during racing season, #14-Tony Stewart deals with the pressure of going around a track very fast. Stewart got a taste of a different degree of pressure Tuesday afternoon [Jan 20] at MacDill Air Force Base when he took a spin on a console that simulates the delicate operation of mid-air refueling. "You are trying to push a needle through a haystack and see how intense it is and the condition these guys have to go through," Stewart said, describing his turn at the BOWST simulator used to help train those who operate the boom on the KC-135 aerial refueling jet. "To think there is only a three-man crew and two of them are on the front of the plane, and one guy is laying on his stomach in the back of the plane, running the nozzle ... you can tell that takes a lot of precision to do that. We're not talking about scratching a body panel. You're talking about scratching a multi-million dollar airplane. So definitely that's a lot of pressure for the guy that runs the nozzle." Stewart, fellow driver Kyle Larson and Joie Chitwood III, Daytona International Speedway president, were at MacDill on Tuesday to kick off the annual USO tour of military bases. "This is something we wish we got to do more often," said Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. "Without these men and women we wouldn't get the chance to do what we do every weekend." Aside from the simulator, the NASCAR contingent witnessed a military dog exhibition and got to tour a KC-135 that rolled off the assembly line in 1962.(Tampa Tribune)(1-21-2015)
Stewart expects at least one more leg surgery: The long recovery process from a broken leg suffered in a dirt-track race in August 2013 continues for Tony Stewart. He had a fourth surgery last month, and a fifth - and, he hopes, final - operation is scheduled after the 2015 Sprint Cup season to remove the titanium rod that supports the right leg. "The leg isn't bad," he said. "I was out here (working at the track [at the Chili Bowl]) on it for 12 hours Monday and didn't have a problem. That's a long day for anybody on their feet. I'm in pain, but I'm walking back and forth, so it's not terrible. The last surgery wasn't that bad. I feel better at this time this year than at the same time last year. I'm much further along."(USA Today)(1-18-2015)
Stewart ok with Busch running the Double again: If Kurt Busch decides to do "The Double" again in 2015, he has the blessing of teammate and Stewart-Haas Racing team co-owner Tony Stewart. Busch, who became the first driver to attempt The Double in a decade this past May, is reportedly mulling over an encore performance for next Memorial Day weekend where he'd again race in the Indianapolis 500 in the early afternoon, hop a plane to Charlotte and then race in that evening's Coca-Cola 600 for an encore. If Busch wants to do it, he's got Stewart's vote. Of course, Stewart is a bit biased - he tried The Double twice in his career, the last time being in 2001, when he finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500 and third in the Coca-Cola 600 later that evening. "I'm 100 percent supportive if he wants to do that again," Stewart said.(NBC Sports)(12-15-2014)
Stewart to have fifth surgery on leg: #14-Tony Stewart walked into the Performance Racing Industry trade show Thursday at the Indiana Convention Center, which was a big deal given the physical stress his injured right leg has endured over the past 16 months. Stewart recently had the fourth of what will be five planned surgeries last week. "I don't look like I'm walking really good, but I was on crutches two days ago," he said. "It's nice to get off crutches again. I'm looking forward to the day my leg doesn't hurt anymore. I think that's coming sooner rather than later." Stewart said the final surgery will remove the rod in the leg he broke in August 2013 at a dirt track race in southeastern Iowa. He acknowledged that the injuries haven't healed as quickly as doctors wanted to see, which is why the current rod, along with a small ring to help blood flow, was inserted in a prior surgery. Last week's surgery, he said, was small by comparison, and a spokesman for his team described it as routine maintenance. Stewart hasn't driven a sprint car since running into and killing New York racer Kevin Ward Jr. in August, but he said he "thinks about it every day." He again plans to attend next month's Chili Bowl, a prestigious dirt-track midget race in Tulsa, Okla., to help the event promoter with track preparation. Stewart won the event in 2002 and '07.(Indianapolis Star)(12-12-2014)
Stewart has surgery on leg, heads to Vegas: #14-Tony Stewart has undergone a fourth surgery on the leg he broke last year during a sprint car race in Iowa. Stewart was released from the hospital on Wednesday. He was then headed to Las Vegas to celebrate Stewart-Haas Racing teammate #4-Kevin Harvick's championship. Stewart broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg during the Aug. 5, 2013, crash and underwent two surgeries immediately after the accident, including one to insert a metal rod inside the tibia. A third surgery last year was to close a wound on his shin. Stewart spokesman Mike Arning called Monday's surgery in Charlotte, NC, the equivalent of routine maintenance. Arning said Stewart will be on crutches in Las Vegas, where he will attend an industry-wide luncheon on Thursday and the season-ending awards ceremony that will fete Harvick. But because of the surgery, Stewart will defer team owner duties to co-owner Gene Haas. SHR will have Haas sit with Harvick at the head table and handle speaking duties, while Stewart planned to sit in the audience.(Associated Press)(12-3-2014)
Stump named technical director at Stewart Haas: Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, has hired Rex Stump as its technical director, effective immediately. Stump comes to Stewart-Haas Racing after an 18-year career at Hendrick Motorsports. There, he founded the organization's research and development program and has been instrumental in chassis design and technology. Stump graduated from Kettering University (formerly the General Motors Institute) in 1989 with bachelor's degrees in mechanical and automotive engineering. Upon graduation, Stump worked at General Motors and participated in the Sloan Fellowship program, pursuing a master's degree in structural analysis from Wayne State University in Detroit. While at General Motors, he began working with the Corvette team in developing the active-suspension of the C5, which was slated to debut in the early 1990s. When the active-suspension program was canceled and the C5 was delayed, Stump delved into motorsports, becoming a race engineer for Team Penske in 1991. Working with a group of engineers dedicated to improving the performance of the #2 team of driver Rusty Wallace, Stump helped advance Wallace from a two-win season in 1991 to a massive, 10-win season in 1993. By the end of 1993, Corvette had reactivated the C5. Stump returned to General Motors to assist with the project and stayed until the end of 1995, joining Hendrick Motorsports in 1996.(Stewart Haas Racing)(11-20-2014)
Borland to move over to Haas' F1 team UPDATE: One of Gene Haas' first hires for his Formula One, Matt Borland, was recruited from right next door, Stewart-Haas Racing. Although Borland, 43, has straddled his duties between SHR and Haas F1, the engineer turned crew chief and now vice president of competition on the NASCAR side will take of the role as vice president of special projects for the F1 team at seasons end. "Formula One is certainly a lot more technical and I think Borland is looking for the challenge," Haas told Motorsport.com. "He's been doing this a long time and even I have been doing NASCAR a long time and I look at Formula One, like next year we'll have a whole year to see how these cars are built. I've already had a couple of opportunities to see how the cars are built and they're just very fascinating. It's going to give us an opportunity to take some of our NASCAR crew people and say, 'hey, here's an opportunity to learn something new, can you apply that to Formula One and vice versa. The Formula One people from Ferrari are also interested in how we do things." Haas and Borland attended the F1 race at Circuit of the Americas last month. Haas also visited the Maranello-based Ferrari during the Italian Grand Prix. In Austin, Borland preferred to remain under the radar while on his fact-finding mission.(Motorsport)(11-13-2014)
UPDATE: Veteran motorsports engineer Matt Borland has been named vice president of technology for Haas F1 Team and Stewart-Haas Racing. In this role, Borland will serve as a liaison between the two organizations - Haas F1 Team in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Borland will oversee the transfer of Formula One technology to Stewart-Haas Racing while providing Haas F1 Team with deep engineering resources. Concurrently, the highly-respected Borland will serve as a gatekeeper, ensuring the privacy of proprietary information respective to each team. Borland joined Haas CNC Racing, the precursor to Stewart-Haas Racing, in May 2007. He has served in numerous capacities, including crew chief, competition director, technical director and, most recently, vice president of engineering, where he oversaw all of the team's technical initiatives and research and development projects. Borland came to Haas CNC Racing with significant NASCAR experience, first with Team Penske from the end of the 1999 season through 2006 and then with Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007. Prior to coming to NASCAR, Borland was the race engineer for driver Mark Blundell at PacWest Racing in Champ Car and before that, Borland was at Pi Research, a well-known engineering organization specializing in motorsports.(SHR)(11-18-2014)
Tony Stewart holds press conference at SHR: Three-time NASCAR Cup champion Tony Stewart doesn't see himself getting behind the wheel of a sprint car again but on Monday said he will continue his racing career. Stewart took questions from reporters [at Stewart Haas Racing on Monday Sept 29, 2014] for the first time in the seven weeks since the death of Kevin Ward Jr., who was struck by Stewart's sprint car as Ward walked on an upstate New York dirt track on Aug. 9 in an apparent attempt to confront the NASCAR star during a race.(ESPN)
See full transcript on the Full Tony Stewart News Conference Transcript from 9/29/2014 Press Conference page..
Listen an audio version of the the press conference / Q&A - click here.(9-29-2014)
Stewart unsure if he'll race sprint cars again: For #14-Tony Stewart, there was no greater joy than escaping his everyday life and climbing behind the wheel of a sprint car. He loves the feel, the way they drive, the purity he finds at all the tiny dirt tracks across the country. When he broke his leg racing his sprint car a year ago, an injury that sidelined him for six months, he was almost defiant in his desire to never give up his hobby. But after the death of Kevin Ward Jr., who was killed when Stewart's car struck him as Ward walked on an upstate New York dirt track on Aug. 9, Stewart may never get back in a sprint car. "I would say it's going to be a long time before you ever see me in a sprint car again, if ever. I don't have any desire at this moment to get back in a car," Stewart told The Associated Press in his first interview since a grand jury decided he would not be charged in Ward's death. "If I had the option to go right now to a race, I wouldn't. I don't even know when I'll go to a sprint car race again to watch. I can promise you it's going to be a long time before you ever see me back in one." Stewart is addicted to the simplicity of sprint car racing, to racing at venues across the country where the crowd is starving for gimmick-free racing. He didn't care that a field full of drivers of varying ages and talent were racing for purses that rarely reach $5,000. He made it his goal to give back to the sprint car community at every turn, especially after his accident. He improved the part that broke and caused his broken leg, and spent $110,000 on firesuits and helmets for nearly 50 drivers who needed updated safety equipment. Stewart even paid for the embroidery on the firesuits. His only request? That his Tony Stewart Racing logo be placed in a position that would not be noticed during interviews.(in part from the Associated Press)(9-27-2014)
Stewart says crash was '100%' accident: There were days when NASCAR star Tony Stewart couldn't get out of bed. It was a chore to take a shower, to leave his room. The television was on, he would stare at it, and have no idea what he was watching. He didn't care about motor racing. He didn't want to talk to anyone, let alone face his family, friends or other drivers. Stewart's grief over the death of Kevin Ward Jr. was overwhelming, and he couldn't find his way out of the fog. Stewart spent three weeks in seclusion at his Indiana home after the car he was driving struck and killed Ward at a dirt track in upstate New York on Aug. 9. He describes those weeks as the darkest of his life. "I know 100 percent in my heart and in my mind that I did not do anything wrong. This was 100 percent an accident," Stewart told The Associated Press on Thursday in his first interview since a grand jury decided he would not be charged in Ward's death. On the advice of legal counsel, Stewart would not describe what he remembers about the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Sitting on the couch of his North Carolina home, a sprint car race in Arkansas on mute on the television, Stewart said not being able to talk about what happened is extending his anguish. "It keeps me from moving forward. It just stays there, hanging over my head," Stewart said. Ward and Stewart didn't know each other, and Stewart doesn't recall them ever talking. He laments that in the scrutiny that followed - some questioned if Stewart had tried to intimidate Ward for stepping on the track - that the loss of the 20-year-old driver and his promising career fell to the background. He said he can't imagine how the Ward family is feeling. "I guess the end result is I don't blame them for anything they say," he said. He said he needed professional help to cope with the situation, and asking for assistance wasn't easy. Stewart, 43, isn't married, has no children, and keeps a tight inner circle. He's a solitary figure of sorts, someone who broods and stews alone, and opening himself up for self-examination was a monumental task. "There hasn't been a day that's gone by that I haven't thought about it. And it will be like that all your life," he said. "You are never going to forget about it. You are never going to not see it happen all over again. It's going to be a part of me forever."(see the full article at the Associated Press)(9-26-2014)
Grand jury hearing testimony in Tony Stewart case UPDATES: Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo has convened a grand jury to determine whether charges should be brought against NASCAR driver Tony Stewart for his role in an on-track incident that caused the death of driver Kevin Ward Jr. Grand jury testimony began Tuesday in the case. Tantillo said on Sept. 16 that he would present evidence from the police investigation to a grand jury. Chuck Hebing, who was driving in the Aug. 9 race when Ward was killed at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, confirmed that he was called to testify about the accident but declined to discuss the matter further.
Ward, 20, died after he was struck by the car of Tony Stewart during a Sprint car race. The incident took place moments after Stewart, a three-time NASCAR season-series champion, bumped Ward's car and forced it to crash into the corner wall on Turn 2. It is not known how long it will take for the evidence to be presented to the grand jury, or for witnesses to provide testimony.(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)
UPDATE: Tony Stewart grand jury decision will supposedly be announced today (Sept 24) at 3:00pm/et.(Jayski Twitter)
UPDATE2: Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo will hold a press conference at 3:00pm/et today to reveal the findings of a grand jury investigation into whether charges should be brought against NASCAR driver Tony Stewart for his role in the on-track death of driver Kevin Ward Jr. In a press release, Tantillo said the grand jury's determination would be made public this afternoon.(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)
The press conference will be aired lived at whec.com and also on ESPN and FoxSports1 live at 3:00pm/et.
UPDATE3: Tony Stewart will NOT face criminal charges in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. ... who was struck and killed by Stewart during a race last month ... TMZ Sports has learned. TMZ learned ... that a grand jury just decided not to charge Stewart.(TMZ)
UPDATE4: A grand jury has decided Tony Stewart will not face charges for his role in the on-track death of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. Prosecutors in upstate New York made the announcement Wednesday, just hours after the grand jury finished hearing testimony in the case. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo also said Ward was under the influence of marijuana at the time of his death, according to toxicology reports. Tantillo looked at the evidence and could have brought charges or dropped the case himself, but said last week that the matter would be decided by the grand jury. Stewart could have been charged with second-degree manslaughter under New York law, experts said, if prosecutors believed he "recklessly caused the death of another person." Negligent homicide also was another possibility.(ESPN)
AND "This week an Ontario County grand jury has been meeting to hear testimony and review evidence gathered in the Tony Stewart matter, relating to the death of Kevin Ward at the Canandaigua Motor Speedway on August 9, 2014. The grand jury has completed its investigation. During the course of the grand jury presentation, approximately two dozen witnesses testified. These included a number of race car drivers, racetrack employees and volunteers, two accident reconstruction experts, medical personnel, and a number of police officers. In addition, the grand jury reviewed a number of photographs and video recordings, as well as other documentary evidence. After listening to and questioning all of the witnesses, and reviewing all of the evidence, the grand jury has determined that there is no basis to charge Tony Stewart with any crimes; his case was "No-Billed" by the grand jury." Michael Tantillo, Ontario County District Attorney (Ontario County website)
Stewart Statement: Following a thorough investigation and presentation of all the relevant evidence and witnesses to an Ontario County (N.Y.) grand jury, the grand jury has determined there is no basis for the filing of any criminal charges involving the tragic accident of Kevin Ward Jr. on Aug. 9 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park. The following is a statement from Tony Stewart regarding the grand jury's decision.
"This has been the toughest and most emotional experience of my life, and it will stay with me forever. I'm very grateful for all the support I've received and continue to receive. I respect everything the District Attorney and Sheriff's Office did to thoroughly investigate this tragic accident. While the process was long and emotionally difficult, it allowed for all the facts of the accident to be identified and known. While much of the attention has been on me, it's important to remember a young man lost his life. Kevin Ward Jr.'s family and friends will always be in my thoughts and prayers."(SHR Facebook)
NASCAR Statement from Brett Jewkes, NASCAR Chief Communications Officer, Regarding Ontario (N.Y.) County District Attorney Announcement: "There are no winners in tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Kevin Ward Jr. family and Tony Stewart as they all cope with this tragic incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. This has been a difficult time for everyone involved and we have respected the local authorities responsible for reviewing this case."(NASCAR)(9-24-2014)
Stewart, Ward investigation complete; UPDATE Grand Jury: Statement from Ontario Co. Sheriff's Office. Investigation complete:
"The Ontario County Office of Sheriff has completed its investigation into the death of Kevin A. Ward, Jr., which occurred August 9, 2014, at the Canandaigua, New York, Motorsports Park. The entire thorough investigation, including a forensic video enhancement recently received from the New York State Police Laboratory in Albany, has been submitted to the Office of the Ontario County District for review. The District Attorney's Office, which has been meeting throughout the investigative process with members of the Sheriff's Office, will make a statement late next week advising what action will be taken regarding the investigation.
Philip C. Povero, Sheriff ,Ontario County, New York(9-11-2014)
UPDATE: Official Statement from Ontario Co. NY District Attorney, "Over the past several weeks I have reviewed with members of the Ontario County Sheriff's Department their investigation, as it progressed, in the Tony Stewart matter. Recently that office concluded its work and forwarded the complete case file to me. Upon my review of all of the information contained in the entire investigation, I have made the determination that it would be appropriate to submit the evidence to a grand jury, for their determination as to what action should be taken in this matter. Accordingly, the evidence developed in the investigation will be presented to an Ontario County grand jury in the near future. As grand jury proceedings in New York State are strictly confidential by law, I am unable to state when the matter will be scheduled, other than to state that I intend to present the matter in the near future. Similarly, because of the confidential nature of these proceedings, I cannot state who will be called as witnesses, or what any witness's expected testimony will be. When the presentation has been completed and a determination has been made, I will advise the public and the media at that time of the results. Michael Tantillo, Ontario County District Attorney
Tony Stewart Statement: "I respect the time and effort spent by both the Ontario County District Attorney and the Sheriff's Office in investigating this tragic accident. I look forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full cooperation."
NASCAR Statement "We are aware of the completed investigation and the announced next steps. First, our thoughts continue to be with all who have been impacted by this tragedy. We will monitor this process and stay in close contact with Stewart-Haas Racing. It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment on this case so we will continue to respect the process and authorities involved."
Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed that Tony Stewart will race this weekend at New Hampshire.(9-16-2014)
Stewart, Harvick swap pit crews UPDATE: Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, has swapped the pit crews of it #4 and #14 teams, effective immediately. Beginning with Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, the #14 team's tire changers, tire carriers and jackmen will switch to the #4 team, and vice versa. "We made this change in the best interests of the entire organization," said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, Stewart-Haas Racing. "Our primary goal is to win races and championships, and this pit crew swap provides championship experience to the #4 team and continued race-winning experience to the #14 team." (Stewart-Haas Racing(9-9-2014)
UPDATE: Kevin Harvick says the members of his pit crew that were switched to finish out the season with teammate and Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart will get better with time. But with NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup beginning this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, time wasn't on Harvick's, or the team's side. "They do perform well," Harvick said of his now former crew Thursday during media day in downtown Chicago. "They just have to work on the consistency, and a lot of that consistency will come with time. The 14 group has been fortunate to be together for a long time and have been through the championship stuff. My guys are going to do great, they just need time to go through all the situations that all these pit crews that have been together for a long time have seen ... pit hoses getting stepped on and tires get hung and lug nuts fall off. I think everybody talked about it and felt like this was the right thing to do for now with the opportunity that we have," Harvick said. "Give those guys a little time to hopefully get Tony to Victory Lane and be competitive, (still) be in the same environment and do all the same things."(NASCAR.com)(9-12-2014)
Tony Stewart expresses sorrow TRANSCRIPT: #14-Tony Stewart says the death of Kevin Ward Jr. will "affect my life forever" as he returned to the track for the first time since his car struck and killed the fellow driver during a sprint-car race in New York. "This is been one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with, both professionally and personally. This is something that will definitely affect my life forever," said Stewart, who has missed the past three Sprint Cup races after Ward's death on Aug. 9. "This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one has to experience in their life. That being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward's family and friends are experiencing is something that I can't possibly imagine." Stewart read his prepared statement at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he will get back behind the wheel in NASCAR's highest series Sunday for the first time since Ward's death. Stewart, who didn't take any questions, has missed the past three Sprint Cup races and has been in seclusion since the incident. He says he took time out of respect for Ward's family -- and so he could cope with the tragedy. He said "being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time." Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Brett Frood said it was "100 percent" Stewart's decision to race. "For Tony, it's all about the healing process, and that's why he's in the car," Frood said. Stewart named each member of Ward's family and said that "everyday I'm thinking about them." Frood said Stewart sent the family flowers and a card for the funeral, but has respected the family's privacy and time to grieve.
"He's very emotional. It's been a difficult two weeks," Frood said. "But Tony is ready to be in the race car. He wouldn't be here if he wasn't. It will be important for Tony to spend time with the (Ward) family, and I believe that will happen at an appropriate time."(see full article at ESPN.com)(8-29-2014)
TRANSCRIPT: #14-Tony Stewart and Brett Frood, Executive Vice President of Stewart-Haas Racing, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, August 29, 2014. The Full Transcript:
THE MODERATOR: Good morning. I'm director of communication for Stewart-Haas Racing. Up here is Tony Stewart, driver/owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, and Brett Frood, executive vice president of Stewart-Haas Racing. Tony has prepared some remarks. We'll let him read those.
TONY STEWART: "Thanks. This has been one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with both professionally and personally. This is something that will definitely affect my life forever. This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one ever has to experience in their life. With that being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward's family and friends are experiencing is something that I can't possibly imagine. I want Kevin's father, Kevin Sr., and his mother Pam, and his sisters Christi, Kayla, Katelyn, to know that every day I'm thinking about them and praying for them. The racing community is a large family, as you guys know. Everyone's saddened with this tragedy. I want to thank all my friends and family for their support through this tough emotional time, and the support from the NASCAR community, my partners, all of our employees, it's been overwhelming. I've taken the last couple weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family, and also to cope with the accident in my own way. It's given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted. I miss my team, my teammates. I miss being back in the racecar. I think being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time. I also understand that all of you have many questions and want a lot of answers, however I need to respect the ongoing investigation process and cannot answer and address the questions at this time. Emotionally I'm not sure if I could answer them anyway. We're here to race this weekend, and I appreciate your respect. There will be a day when I can sit here and answer the questions. Thank you." THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Tony. Again, Brett Frood, executive vice president of Stewart-Haas Racing, will be available to take a handful of questions.
Q. Brett, NASCAR issued a statement yesterday that Tony had received all necessary clearances to race. What was the process of going through clearances? What approvals did he need?
BRETT FROOD: Well, as you all know, when a driver's out of the car, there is that process. I'm not going to get into the medical side of it, but I will say we've been in close contact with them throughout the process, have gotten from them what he needed to get back in the car right now.
Q. The investigation as we understand is still open. Was there any thought to not having Tony race until it was closed? Why now?
BRETT FROOD: Well, I think for Tony, it's all about this healing process. That's part of why he's in the car. Besides his mom, his dad, his sister, his niece and nephew, his family is here, it's at this racetrack. It's part of the healing process of being with his family that he's been with since 1999, knowing that these people are going to help him get through this. I think that's one side of it. The other side of it is he's a racer. We have 270 employees. I think him putting a helmet on will help him cope with this situation.
Q. Brett, respecting the process, the investigation, knowing there's things you can't comment on, are you able to say whether you know whether Tony has a clear picture in his own mind of what happened that second or two that night?
BRETT FROOD: I am not going to comment on the incident itself. It was a tragic accident. Right now the focus is to be on Tony and the car this weekend and how he's going to get through this.
Q. The fact that Tony is racing this weekend, should we read anything into that about what you know about the investigation and where it's at in the process?
BRETT FROOD: No. I mean, we've really been respecting the process, as Tony said, and the investigation. Him being in the racecar right now is about him getting through what has been a very emotional two weeks, what his next step is in coping with this. There's been a great deal of empathy and sympathy for that family and what they're going through. For Tony, it's just been extremely emotional. This is what is going to help him.
Q. Can you talk about where Tony is at emotionally right now to step into the car? Was it 100% his choice not to race the last couple of weeks, without the involvement of the sanctioning body that we will hear from next?
BRETT FROOD: I'll address the latter first. Yes, the decision to be in the car is 100% Tony's.
Q. Please define his emotional stage at this point. A very fragile Tony Stewart at this point.
BRETT FROOD: You just saw Tony. It's been a difficult two weeks. But Tony is ready to be in the racecar. He wouldn't be here if he wasn't.
Q. Brett, you've worked for Tony for a long time. You've seen him in ways we have not. How would you characterize his preparation for this and what you think he'll experience as he gets back in the car?
BRETT FROOD: I think it's going to be very overwhelming being in that garage today. He's going to feel an awful lot of support. As I just mentioned, this is his family. It's the crew members, it's the officials, it's the drivers. It's his family that he's been with since 1999. This is going to be part of that process for him. I believe it's going to be an overwhelming process, this weekend. That being said, Tony Stewart is a racecar driver. He's been a racecar driver for the past 35 years. When he puts that helmet on in practice, I'm quite convinced he'll be ready to race the car, he'll be able to separate the two.
Q. Brett, this obviously is a tremendous tragedy. Obviously in the sport of racing, these guys learn to deal with that part of the sport. Why do you think this has hit Tony so hard?
BRETT FROOD: Because he was involved in an accident and a young man died. I can't imagine what he's going through. I can't imagine what the kid's parents are going through. It's something, as Tony said, that he hopes no one in this room or certainly anywhere will ever have to go through. He was involved in a tragic accident.
Q. I noticed Tony mentioned Kevin Ward's family members by name. Has he reached out to them personally at all?
BRETT FROOD: Tony has sent the family flowers and a card around the services. Besides that he's been very respectful of them and their time to grieve. I do know that it will be very important, it's important for Tony, to spend time with the family. I do believe that will happen in the appropriate time.
Q. Obviously it's an emotional time. Internally how do you deal with it as an organization, the prep work? Let's face it, it's not an ordinary weekend that all of you are dealing with.
BRETT FROOD: We've got 270 employees back in Kannapolis working hard. Tony has three other team members. These are folks that are at Stewart-Haas because they believe in the leadership, they believe in the ownership, believe in the folks that we have surrounding them, and we believe in them. So for them, I think their focus has been undeterred over the last several weeks. They're obviously really excited to have Tony back in the car, that leader, the guy they believe in. So I think the focus will be there this weekend from those guys. We should be good.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for your time. We certainly appreciate it.(Team Chevy / FastScripts by ASAP Sports)(8-29-2014)
Latest Statement from Ontario, NY Sheriff Phillip Povero: The investigation into the death of Kevin A. Ward Jr., which occurred August 9, 2014, at the Canandaigua, New York Motorsports Park will continue for at least another two weeks. The Ontario County Office of Sheriff has reviewed this investigation, as it has been developed to date, with members of the District Attorney's Office. The Office of Sheriff will continue to apprise the District Attorney of information as it is developed. When the investigation is completed, the news media will be advised as to what action will be taken. The Ontario County Office of Sheriff thanks all media outlets for their patience and understanding as we continue to thoroughly investigate this tragic crash.
Philip C. Povero, Sheriff, Ontario County, New York.(ESPN's Marty Smith Facebook)(8-29-2014)
Tony Stewart to return at Atlanta: #14-Tony Stewart has decided to return to racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. The Aug. 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.54-mile oval will mark Stewart's first start since Aug. 3 at Pocono. Stewart sat out the past three races at Watkins Glen, Michigan and Bristol following the tragic accident on Aug. 9 involving Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car feature at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park. At 1:00pm/et on Friday (August 29th) in the infield media center at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Stewart will be available to the press, where he will be joined by Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Brett Frood.(SHR)
NASCAR Statement: Statement from Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President And Chief Racing Development Officer: "Tony Stewart has received all necessary clearances required to return to all racing activities, and therefore is eligible to compete this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR has remained in constant contact with his race team, and we will stay very close to this situation as Stewart returns to competition." NASCAR President Mike Helton will participate in a media availability in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center on Friday at 2:00pm/et. NASCAR will have no further comment until that time.(NASCAR)
AND Stewart, who is winless and 26th in the Cup standings, would need a waiver from NASCAR to be eligible to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup with a win in one of the final two regular-season events. NASCAR, which requires a driver to qualify or compete in each race, has said it would not make a decision on a waiver until Stewart decides if he was coming back during the regular season.(Sporting News)(8-28-2014)
TV SportsCenter will air Tony Stewart news conference at 1:00pm/et today on ESPN2.
FOX Sports 1 is interrupting regularly scheduled programming to bring viewers live coverage of the Tony Stewart and NASCAR President Mike Helton press conferences from Atlanta Motor Speedway today at 1:00pm/et and 2:00pm/et, respectively. A special edition of NASCAR LIVE! has John Roberts and Matt Clark in the Charlotte studio, with Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds, Mike Joy and Bob Dillner live from Atlanta Motor Speedway. Coverage of the press conferences is also available through FOX Sports GO, the app that delivers streaming video of FOX Sports content.(FOX)
AND both interviews will also be streamed live on NASCAR.com.(8-29-2014)
Stewart-Ward investigation 'finishing up' but UPDATE: The Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Department is in the final stages of its investigation into the death of Kevin Ward Jr., but there is no timetable yet for its completion, a department spokesperson told FOXSports.com Monday morning. Officer Nathaniel Ross, the OCPD's Senior Communications Officer, said Monday morning that the police are "finishing up" the Ward investigation. Asked if there was a timetable for when it would be completed and when the findings would be made public, Ross said, "Not that I'm aware of." The investigation will determine whether or not Stewart will face any criminal charges. Regardless of the outcome of the police findings, Stewart potentially could face civil liability.(FoxSports), see all the past news about the accident and Stewart on the #14 Team News and Links page.(8-25-2014)
UPDATE: As of 9:00am/et Thursday [August 28] morning, the Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Department does not plan to release any new information Thursday on its investigation into the death of Kevin Ward Jr., a department representative told FOXSports.com. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Stewart-Haas Racing said if there is an update Thursday on who will drive the #14 SHR Chevy at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, that announcement would come late this afternoon. Tony Stewart has missed the last three races following an accident that claimed Ward's life in a sprint car race in northern New York.(FoxSports)(8-24-2014)
Stewart to skip Bristol: Tony Stewart has decided not to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Veteran driver Jeff Burton, a winner of 21 Sprint Cup races, will pilot the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in place of Stewart for the second straight week. Burton subbed for Stewart last weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Burton has 40 Sprint Cup starts at Bristol, which includes a victory in the 2008 Food City 500. This driver change pertains only to Bristol. Stewart's plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined.(SHR)(8-20-2014)
Stewart To Sit Out Michigan; Jeff Burton To Serve as Interim Driver for #14 Team UPDATE: Tony Stewart has decided not to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Veteran driver Jeff Burton, a winner of 21 Sprint Cup races, will pilot the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in place of Stewart. This driver change pertains only to Michigan. Stewart's plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined. At 10:00am/et on Friday in the deadline room of the infield media center at Michigan, Burton will be part of a press briefing featuring SHR executive vice president Brett Frood and SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli.(True Speed Communication/Stewart-Haas Racing)
AND By skipping an entire weekend, he would need NASCAR to waive the requirement that a driver must qualify or race every weekend to be eligible for the Chase. NASCAR officials would not speculate Thursday whether they would grant a waiver if one is requested(Sporting News)(8-14-2014)
UPDATE: Greg Zipadelli, VP of competition, Stewart Haas Racing, Brett Frood executive vice president of Stewart Haas Racing, and Jeff Burton held a press conference Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway. The transcript of the conference is posted on the Stewart Haas Racing Press Conference Transcript Page.(8-15-2014)
Latest on Tony Stewart:
Accident investigation expected to take at least 2 more weeks: The Ontario County Sheriff issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
"The investigation into the death of Kevin Ward, Jr., of Lewis County, N.Y., is ongoing and is expected to continue for at least another two weeks or more. Investigators continue to seek witnesses, gather evidence, and develop the racetrack crash reconstruction. However, it would be inappropriate to discuss details or findings of the investigation with the media at this time. I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation as the Ontario County Office of Sheriff continues this investigation and for having patience as we conduct a thorough review of all of the relevant facts involving this tragic accident. When the investigation is completed, we will meet with members of the Ontario County District Attorney's Office and discuss with them all aspects of the investigation into the crash that occurred on August 9, 2014 at the Canandaigua Speedway. At that time, more information relating to any determinations that have been made may be released. In closing, on behalf of the Ontario County Office of Sheriff, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of Kevin Ward, Jr."
AND Stewart could still face legal consequences: [Stewart] could be charged with second-degree manslaughter under New York law if prosecutors believe he "recklessly caused the death of another person," with negligent homicide another possibility, according to criminal law professor Corey Rayburn Yung of the Kansas University School of Law. Athletes in competition often do things that would get the average person arrested - think two boxers in the ring, or a baserunner sliding into second with his spikes high. But sometimes an act is so far outside the bounds of accepted sporting behavior that it becomes a crime, as former major leaguer Jose Offerman learned when he was charged with felony assault for rushing the mound - swinging a bat - after he was hit by a pitch in a minor league game. So Stewart would not expect to be charged for the car-on-car bump that sent Ward spinning into the wall. But if, for example, he were to tell police that he saw Ward on the track and tried to shower him with dirt or otherwise send him a message, a first-degree manslaughter charge could be a possibility, Yung said. Even if he is cleared by prosecutors, though, Stewart could face a civil suit. Although the standard of proof is lower than in a criminal case, the civil court would also consider Ward's state of mind at the time of the accident and whether he was also negligent in venturing into racing traffic on a dark track in a dark suit. But Stewart would also have to weigh the damage to his image and career - with his own team, tracks and millions in endorsements - making a quick settlement likely.(Associated Press)
AND Other driver says Stewart could not avoid Ward: "From what I saw, Tony did everything in his power to turn down away from Kevin to avoid him," said sprint car driver Cory Sparks. Sparks was just a few cars behind Stewart during Saturday's race. He said videos that have been posted online do not give an accurate picture of what happened. "People say that they heard the engine rev up and he gassed it. In a sprint car, the only way to steer is you steer with the rear wheels as much as you do the steering wheel. In my opinion, what he did was he gassed it to turn down away from him," said Sparks.(Time Warner News)
AND Ward's father speaks: Kevin Ward Sr. spoke ... on Monday. "A situation happened and everybody has their own opinions," Ward Sr. said. "Some are way off, some without a clue and some are very hurtful. A 20-year-old talented driver was killed and that's what we need to focus on ... We've had a lot of messages sent. We are so thankful. If everybody could just pray for us, we'll get through it."(Syracuse.com)
AND Stewart still entered in Michigan race: As of Tuesday evening, MIS had not heard from Stewart-Haas Racing or NASCAR in regards to Stewart's status this weekend, only that he is inked in to race on the NASCAR entry list for Michigan.(Detroit Free Press)
AND Canandaigua Motorsports Park will resume racing Saturday: Statement from Jeremie Corcoran, Owner/Promoter of Canandaigua Motorsports Park concerning this Saturday August 16th racing: "Up until today I could not even think about another show at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. I spoke to Kevin Ward Sr this morning and he encouraged me to "get back to racing at CMP, Kevin would want you to". I consulted with all my staff also today as well as my family. Everyone has said that we need to begin to heal and that means we need to come together this Saturday night and put on a show in memory of Kevin Jr and support this great sport that we all love. We need to show our support of everyone that was involved and has been affected. "We will be racing this Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park to show the world how strong we are as a racing family! How we can grieve together and come together. I ask that everyone wear something Orange to display our unity! We will be doing something special at the track on Saturday night. "I want to thank everyone for the integrity you have shown in your comments on our Facebook page and for the support you have given my family, all my staff, every racer, and all the fans that have been deeply affected. I am forever grateful"(Canandaigua Motorsports Park Facebook page.(8-13-2014)
Stewart will not face charges in accident UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart will not face criminal charges right now after a Saturday night incident in which Stewart's car struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. In a press conference shortly after Sunday, Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Phillip C. Povero said, "At this moment there are no facts or evidence that would support a criminal charge or criminal intent." The sheriff's office is examining videos from fans who were in attendance and also is awaiting formal autopsy results.(Fox Sports)(8-10-2014)
UPDATE: Kevin Ward Jr. died of blunt force trauma when he was hit by a car driven by NASCAR star Tony Stewart. Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero says the autopsy was completed Monday. Authorities questioned Stewart on Saturday night and went to Watkins Glen to talk to him again Sunday. Povero said Monday there were no plans "at this time" to talk to him again. There is no timetable to complete the investigation. Povero says there is nothing in the inquiry that supports criminal conduct or probable cause.(Associated Press)(8-11-2014)
Stewart pulls out of planned dirt race UPDATE: Tony Stewart, who didn't compete in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race after he struck and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a race the night before, also pulled out of an upcoming dirt track race in Plymouth, Indiana. Plymouth Speedway announced the news that Stewart would not race Saturday in a statement released Monday. "We at Plymouth Speedway extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of Kevin Ward Jr. and thoughts and prayers to Tony Stewart and his family. Tony Stewart will not be racing at Plymouth Speedway this Saturday. More information on the weekend's racing will be announced this week," the track said in the statement. Canandaigua Motorsports Park, about 30 miles southeast of Rochester, canceled the remainder of Saturday's race within five minutes and later posted a message on its Facebook page encouraging fans to "pray for the entire racing community of fans, drivers, and families." The track also canceled Wednesday's race. Track promoter Jeremie Corcoran said he was "devastated" by the incident in a statement released Monday. "I have made the decision to cancel our upcoming 'Whacko Wednesday' event on Wednesday August 13th at Canandaigua Motorsports Park to give my family, staff, fans, and racing teams time to grieve and process all that has occurred," Corcoran continued in the statement. "I will let everyone know about next weekend as soon as I can."(ESPN)(8-11-2014)UPDATE: As Tony Stewart weighs whether to return to the track in the Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing said there is no timetable on a decision. "The decision to compete in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan will be Tony's, and he will have as much time as he needs to make that decision," SHR director of communications Mike Arning said in an email to USA TODAY Sports. "It is still an emotional time for all involved, Tony included. He is grieving, and grief doesn't have a timetable." Arning confirmed Stewart had canceled a planned sprint car event for Saturday in Indiana, and any racing beyond NASCAR "won't resume until further notice." Arming said Stewart and SHR personnel wouldn't be commenting further Monday "because there is an ongoing investigation into the accident that claimed the life of Kevin Ward Jr."(USA Today)(8-11-2014)
Stewart issues statement: "There aren't words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. It's a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I've decided not to participate in today's race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy."(Stewart-Haas Racing)(8-10-2014)
Stewart will NOT race at Watkins Glen UPDATES: According to ESPN's Marty Smith, "Stewart-Haas Racing VP of Competition Greg Zipadelli confirms for me that Tony Stewart will race the #14 today at Watkins Glen."(8-10-2014)
AND: According to media at the track, NASCAR says they are gathering facts on Stewart's situation, but have not learned anything that would prevent him from being able to race today.
UPDATE: Greg Zipadelli announced that Tony Stewart will not race in the Cheez-It 255 at Watkins Glen Sunday. Regan Smith will drive the #14 Chevy.
UPDATE 2: Statement from NASCAR: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and fellow competitors of Kevin Ward Jr. We support Tony Stewart's decision to miss today's race and we will continue to respect the process and timeline of the local authorities and will continue to monitor this situation moving forward."(NASCAR)(8-10-2014)
Tony Stewart hits walking driver with sprint car; authorities investigating, driver dies UPDATES: #14-Tony Stewart hit driver Kevin Ward Jr., who walked toward Stewart's car after the two had an altercation at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park, according to spectators at the race. Stewart was racing a sprint car in the Empire Super Sprints series at the half-mile dirt track in upstate New York, about an hour from Watkins Glen International, site of this weekend's Cup race. He is scheduled to start 13th. The Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Office confirmed there had been an accident and its investigators are at the scene. There was no immediate announcement on Ward's condition. Racing was canceled for the rest of the night after the accident.(more at the Sporting News)
MORE FOX Sports 1 spoke with the head nursing supervisor at Thompson Health in Canandaigua, who could not confirm the identity, but did confirm that they have someone at the hospital who was said to be a racecar driver with injuries sustained at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The supervising nurse, Barbara Manning, confirmed that the individual sustained serious injuries and that the condition was not determined at this time. Also, out of respect for the family, she could not confirm that it was Ward.(FoxSports)
AND from Canandaigua Motorspots Park Facebook: Canandaigua Motorsports Park will not have an official statement on the accident that happened in the ESS race until tomorrow. Please pray for the entire racing community of fans, drivers, and families.
UPDATE: Prescott Rossi, Sports Anchor/Reporter for WROC-TV (CBS) in Rochester, NY reported on his twitter (@PrescottRossi): Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero held a press conference at Ontario County Sheriff's Office around 3:00am/et some of the tweets:
Povero identifies Tony Stewart as hitting driver on the track. Driver was transported by ambulance. Driver was dead on arrival.
Povero not releasing name of the driver as they try to notify other family members.
Tony Stewart has been cooperative. Believed to be back at Watkins Glen according to Sheriff Povero.
District attorney's office has been notified. "This is an ongoing investigation of an on-track crash." No charges pending at this time.
Sheriff Povero: "Mr. Stewart has been fully cooperative... He is very upset and confirmed his continuing cooperation."
Povero: "People that witnessed it were horrified. They were extremely shocked.. The people at Canandaigua Motorsports have cooperated fully."
Povero adds that the driver was pronounced dead at 11:15. There will be an autopsy and the investigation continues.
Also see article at WROC-TV's website.(8-10-2014)
UPDATE 2: A spokesman for Tony Stewart calls the death of a fellow driver he struck and killed at an upstate New York dirt track a "tragic accident." In a statement released Sunday morning, a representative for Stewart says, "our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends." The statement says Stewart's team is still trying to sort through the details of the accident.(Associated Press)(8-10-2014)
Stewart presented with lifetime membership to Code 3 Associates: Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #14-Tony Stewart was presented with lifetime membership to Code 3 Associates by president Eric Bagdikian and executive assistant Jane Giese on Friday, March 28 prior to Sprint Cup practice at Martinsville Speedway. Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas and is a partner of Stewart-Haas Racing, the Sprint Cup team Stewart co-owns with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. The continued operation of Code 3 Associates relies totally on the generosity of donors and bravery of its responders. Membership educates the populace on pet preparedness during disasters, lends a larger voice to animal-related legislation and policy, and supports first-responder and officer training across the United States. Code 3 Associates is featured on Stewart's #14 Chevy SS this weekend at Martinsville.(Stewart Haas / TrueSpeed Communications)(3-29-2014)
Mobil 1 renews with Stewart-Haas UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart says ExxonMobil has renewed its multiyear sponsorship of both the three-time NASCAR champion and Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart made the announcement that Mobil 1 will continue its relationship with him and his team while hosting the year-end edition of "Tony Stewart Live" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Mobil 1 will be the primary sponsor on Stewart's Chevrolet for 11 races.(Associated Press/ESPN)(12-4-2013)
UPDATE: ExxonMobil has strengthened its ongoing commitment to NASCAR by renewing its multi-year sponsorship with three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing. Mobil 1 will adorn the hood of Stewart's #14 Chevy for 11 races in 2014, while taking a high-profile associate role in the remaining races. Additional details of the Mobil 1 and Stewart-Haas Racing deal:
" Mobil 1 will serve as the co-primary sponsor of the #14 Chevrolet SS with Bass Pro Shops.
" Mobil 1 will also be an associate sponsor of Kurt Busch's #41 Haas Automation Chevy and Kevin Harvick's #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevy.
" ExxonMobil will provide Mobil 1 lubricant technology and engineering support to Stewart-Haas Racing, including the #10 GoDaddy Chevy.
Mobil 1 has been the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR since 2003 and is used by more than 50 percent of the teams in NASCAR's top-three series.(ExxonMobil)(12-4-2013)
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