TIME NASCAR

Father of Driver Killed After Race Collision: Tony Stewart Was ‘Only One’ Who Didn’t See My Son

Cheez-It 355 At The Glen
The #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet is prepared by its crew in the garage area prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 10, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. Jerry Markland—Getty Images

Kevin Ward, Sr., says his son slept with a smile on his face

The father of Kevin Ward, Jr., who died Saturday after bring struck by NASCAR star Tony Stewart, said Tuesday that his son “was just a very God-gifted kid.”

“I think he slept with a smile on his face,” Kevin Ward told Syracuse.com of his son, in an interview published Wednesday.

Kevin Ward, Jr. was killed after he was struck by Stewart’s car during a race on a dirt track in Canandaigua, New York, about 25 miles from Rochester. Before the incident, Ward’s car was bumped into a wall by Stewart’s vehicle, effectively knocking Ward out of the race. During a subsequent safety lap, Ward got out of his car and stood on the track, seemingly to confront Stewart about the collision — a move that’s not uncommon in local races. However, Ward was struck and dragged by Stewart’s car, and he died later that day.

An investigation into the incident is currently ongoing. Stewart, a NASCAR driver who also often competes on a local level, dropped out of a NASCAR event Sunday following Ward’s death.

“I think the reason [Ward] probably got out of that car is who put him into the wall. He was definitely put into the wall,” Ward’s father told Syracuse.com. “Apparently, Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn’t see him.”

Ward Sr. said he did not see his son get hit because he was busy getting to the spot where the racer’s car had hit the wall. He did, however, watch paramedics perform CPR on his son for some 45 minutes.

“He was a special person to many, and a very special person to his family,” Ward Sr. said.

Ward Sr. and his wife have met with the Ontario County Sheriff’s deputies twice since their son’s death.

“The one person that knows what happened that night is possibly facing 10 years in prison. Is he going to say what he done?,” asked Ward Sr.

[Syracuse.com]

TIME racing

The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy: Dangerous Motorcycle Mayhem

This is one of the deadliest races in the world.

+ READ ARTICLE
The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is among the most dangerous races on Earth, with 242 deaths in 107 years of existence.
The TT, as it is commonly known, is the oldest race in motorcycle history, uniting high-octane adrenaline junkies with fun-loving bikers.
For more, see our feature video story on Conor Cummins, a racer who crashed in the TT and survived: The Isle of Men – The World’s Deadliest Race
TIME racing

The Isle of Men: The World’s Deadliest Race

This is one of the most dangerous races known to man.

+ READ ARTICLE
Once a year, for six days, the population of a small island in the Irish Sea doubles as motorcycle enthusiasts from around the globe flock to the racing mecca.
The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is perhaps the most dangerous race on earth, with 242 deaths in its 107 years of existence. The TT, as it is commonly known, is the oldest race in motorcycle history, uniting high-octane adrenaline junkies with fun loving drunken bikers.
With six different events to boast of, the Manx TT races paralyze the island, as the event closes down these country roads so bikers can zoom, curve and dip through a 37.5 mile long loop at a frightening 130 mph average speed—that’s one lap in less than 18 minutes. All the kids on the island are given time off and the local economy thrives, making a large part of its earnings for the year. For those few days in spring, the incessant roar of motorcycle engines spewing high-pitched noise can be heard across the island as racers rev up for the main event.
In addition to traditional motorcycle racing, the event includes categories for electric motorcycles, sidecar racing, and various engine-sized motorbikes that see racers compete for top rank, risking life and limb in the process. Over the course of this year’s races, two men tragically lost their lives in crashes, as did one tourist riding his bike and a field marshal hired to clear the track before racing begins.
Conor Cummins, a seasoned rider describes the event as “the best race on the planet”—this despite a devastating crash in 2010 that shattered his arm, broke his back, dislocated his knee, bruised his lung and fractured his pelvis. Cummins, a native to the Isle of Man, was back on his bike 8 months later and somehow managed to compete in the following year’s Senior TT. “That was then and this is now,” says Cummins on the eve of the 2014 race “and it’s taken a lot to get back from to be honest, it took a lot of strength… And hopefully I’ll start seeing the fruits of my labors.”
On race day, Cummins, the soft spoken Manx rider tore through six laps and 226.38 miles as he competed with the heir to the Dunlop family name, Michael Dunlop. Despite a neck-and-neck race, Cummins came in second and was cheered as a victor by the local population, proving his worth to his Honda-sponsored team in the process.
As the list of deceased racers continues to grow, some wonder how much longer this race can go on.
“No one is forcing anyone to do this race… there’s not one man in that paddock that signed up because they have to” says Cummins. “iI’s because they want to.”
Die hard fans stand in the way of anyone who objects to the danger of the event, as one fan gleefully explained. When asked what he would do if they tried to cancel the Isle of Man TT, he responded simply: “Over my dead body.”
A little over a month after the TT ended, Conor crashed again at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man, suffering a broken left forearm .“Had a bit of a shunt yesterday and got ran into by another bike,” he said. “I will be back better and stronger in no time all being well. Game on!”
TIME Photos

Photos: The Week in Sports

Kickoff of the World Cup, the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup and the U.S. Open all made for a week packed with sports. Here are TIME's best photos from these athletic events

TIME HD

Texas Motor Speedway Unveils World’s Largest HD Screen

"Big Hoss" TV Construction Tour
Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage looks on during the "Big Hoss TV" Contruction Tour at Texas Motor Speedway on February 14, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. Sarah Glenn—Getty Images

Because everything’s bigger in Texas

The world’s largest HD screen is now deep in the heart of Texas.

Positioned along the backstretch of the Texas Motor Speedway outside of Fort Worth, “The Big Hoss TV” is reportedly 12 stories tall and provides 20,633.34 square feet of HD broadcasting, according to ESPN.

“To have the biggest one in the world, this is another one of those everything-is-bigger-in-Texas stories,” TMS president Eddie Gossage told the sports broadcaster.

The gargantuan monitor is set to make its high-definition, NASCAR debut during the Duck Commander 500 on April 6.

According to the designers, Big Hoss is outfitted to withstand central Texas’s temperamental climate and will be able to handle 120 m.p.h. wind gusts and hail storms. Workers tested the monitor’s resilience by reportedly hitting golf balls at the screen.

[ESPN]

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