Tony Stewart wreck a wake-up call to NASCAR


Brandon Baker, Sports Writer

Look both ways before crossing the street. As a child, you and I probably heard this over and over again. Rightfully so though, as the consequences are dangerous and sometimes fatal.

In NASCAR, aggression is really at the heart of the sport. You may remember the big wrecks and close finishes, but chances are the fights on pit lane really catch your attention. Many times, after a wreck, a driver will get out of the car and try to intimidate the driver who wrecked them. They usually look likes idiots playing real life frogger, these small men pointing at 1.5 ton sheet metal monsters going 200+ MPH, like they can do something.

That is why it was a borderline miracle that nothing like this had happened yet, Kevin Ward Jr. got out of his wrecked car onto the dimly lit backstretch, wearing his dark fire suit and dark helmet, and ran into the middle of the track, seeking vengeance on the driver that caused his crash. He probably did not think anything bad would happen, as it never has in the past. But something was different this time. And honestly, what did he think was going to happen?

You know how the rest goes. Ward got hit by the car, specifically the back right tire. He was sent flying up the track where he laid motionless. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to

Most people always want an answer in sports. A definite single reason. Sometimes you cannot find something like that. This case is one of those times. We know the definites; Ward should not have ran into the middle of the track, the backstretch should have been brighter and Tony Stewart should have been more careful. But there is no definite single reason that caused this tragedy. There was only small things that led up to a terrible death. That is what is making this all so hard to wrap our heads around.

Ward’s death will mark a change in the sport. Drivers will now think twice about running towards that car. Even if they still ignore the dangers and decide to sprint out on that track, NASCAR should have hefty fines and suspensions awaiting them. It is all for the better though, as the sport cannot afford another death like this.