NASCAR: Stewart’s Response To Lawsuit Proves One Thing


Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday NASCAR driver Tony Stewart filed his response to the wrongful death lawsuit that was levied against him by the Ward family. Last summer Kevin Ward Jr. was killed in an on-track accident after he was struck by a Sprint Car that was being driven by Stewart. The incident occurred when Ward Jr. left his car to approach Stewart’s car on the track.

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Following the incident Stewart was cleared of any legal liability but earlier in August the Ward family filed the civil suit claiming that there was negligence. On Friday Stewart and his legal team officially responded to the lawsuit by filing their response to the case. Below is an excerpt of that response which was originally reported by Bob Pockrass of ESPN.

"Stewart did not see Ward, Jr. or anyone else walking on foot on the track until just prior to contact, and did not know the identity of the person walking on the track until afterwards. Stewart was not aware that Ward, Jr. had crashed because the crash was behind him, and was not aware that anyone was walking on the track. Stewart did not know Ward, Jr., and had never had a pervious track incident with him. Ward, Jr. approached Stewart’s car and attempted to make contact with it. As a result of Ward. Jr.’s actions, Ward, Jr. was killed."

Stewart would then go onto make reference to the fact that Ward Jr.’s team was owned by his father and it was therefore his father’s responsibility to make sure his son wasn’t under the influence of drugs while racing. In the response Stewart also reference a waiver that all drivers have to sign saying that they waive their right to sue any other participants in the event.

After it was announced that the Ward family was going to come after Stewart again there was some concern amongst those in Stewart Nation. It’s no secret that Stewart is in the midst of the worst slump of his career and another distraction is certainly the last thing that he needs. With that in mind, there was some thought that Stewart might just settle with the family in an effort to put this behind everyone.

While a settlement is still possible, Friday’s response makes it seem as though Stewart is ready to fight.

Stewart’s response makes it evident that he is digging his feet into the sand. Stewart made it clear on Friday that the accident and the death of Ward Jr. was the fault of only those in the Ward family. Stewart made it clear that he did nothing that attributed to Ward’s death and that he didn’t even see him on the track until it was too late. Stewart made it clear the Ward’s decision to drive under the influence of drugs, leave his car on a hot track and approach Stewart’s car were all factors that led to his death.

On Friday Stewart made it clear that he isn’t backing down and he isn’t going to be forced to take blame for something that he believes he wasn’t at fault for.

Stewart has been known throughout his career as a driver that wasn’t afraid to back down or saw what was on his mind. Since the accident NASCAR has seen a somewhat more reserved Stewart with on a few instances of the “Old Tony.” Stewart’s response to this lawsuit proves that the “Old Tony” is alive and well and that the Ward family is going to be in for a fight if they plan on winning anything in this lawsuit.

Now Stewart Nation just has to hope that “Old Tony” will turn up soon on the track.

Next: Tony Stewart: Ward Jr. Tried To Make Contact With My Car