Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ward's Aunt Disputes Claim Of Impairment

Kevin Ward, Jr.
The aunt of Sprint Car driver Kevin Ward, Jr. insisted yesterday that her nephew was not under the influence of marijuana at the time he was struck and killed by a car driven by former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart.

In an open letter provided to USA Today, Wendi Ward disputed toxicology reports and a statement by Ontario County (NY) District Attorney Michael Tantillo that Ward, Jr., had enough marijuana in his system to impair his judgment at the time of the Aug. 9 incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

“(Marijuana is) known to mellow a person," she wrote. "We understand that the report showed marijuana, but we as a family don't believe he was under the influence or impaired at the time, due to the 10 hours prior to the race that he spent with the family."

She also repeated her earlier claims that Stewart was careless, or intentionally attempted to intimidate her nephew on the night of his death.

"Tell me how a NASCAR star totally forgot what ‘caution’ means," she wrote. "Maybe he should get a different headset so he is able to hear on the radio that the car in caution is up high, so go low. Or was he low until he rounded the corner and saw Kevin Jr. standing up for himself?"

Sprint Cars are not equipped with two-way radios allowing drivers to communicate with their pit crews.

Stewart was cleared of any criminal charges last week, after a grand jury declined to hand-down an indictment after deliberating for less than an hour. He may still face a civil lawsuit, however, with Ward’s mother vowing recently to "pursue all remedies in fairness to Kevin."


  1. Todd C. Lewis9:44 AM

    G.28 Radios
    – On-board, one way radios, approved by the Technical Inspector, must be used.
    Only ESS officials may communicate with driver
    s using the on-board radio system. Official ESS
    radio communications overheard by others will not be used as the basis of a protest, nor will
    they be used in support of a protest.

    Straight from the ESS rule book BUT Ms Ward please just stop you are dragging your nephews name farther down in the mud

    1. As I said, "Sprint Cars are not equipped with two-way radios allowing drivers to communicate with their pit crews." The radios in question were ONE WAY ONLY.

    2. Anonymous2:49 PM

      Was anything said over the radio before the accident to warn the drivers?
      Or was that even possible. So sad for everyone involved.

  2. It's a shame that this tragedy is going to continue to be played out.

  3. Anonymous9:47 AM

    I guess the medical examiner doesn't know what he found? The aunt knows more than the mother?

  4. SO sad! Ms Ward, no amount of money that you inevitably will gouge from Tony will bring Kevin back. Just say you get a large amount...will that new car /swimming pool /vacation / new home ease that pain? You gonna live on hate and money the remainder of your days? The man is worth a go-zillion dollars, whatever you settle for is a drop in the bucket to him. you can't punish him financially. He has to live with the accident, that is something that should give you some peace in your hatred.

  5. Chemically impaired or not, there was a mortal lesson in personal responsibility that night.

  6. Anonymous10:58 AM

    In a way it's understandable given the grief the Ward family must be going through, but they're making fools of themselves and in my opinion tarnishing the memory of their son with this craziness. The professional toxicologist didn't know what he was doing? The crash reconstructors are wrong too? As well as the grand jury?

    Stop it. I know it hurts, but Kevin made a mistake that has been made by hundreds of drivers. Sadly, it cost him his life.

  7. Anonymous6:21 PM

    I agree with the previous post! They are making fools of themselves by keep giving news bites . What is even worse some media outlets pick this stuff up and change the story a little to get more headlines! It was an accident. I don't mean to be harsh or cruel in anyway as we race at the Oswego Speedway but it it had been any other driver then Tony Stewart that hit him that night just a normal upstate driver most of the world wouldn't even had heard about this!

  8. If they really wanted to help, they should make a deal with Tony to give generously to a charity to help kids not do drugs in lieu of suing him. This would solve both problems.

    Legalizing weed still doesn't make it legal to do whatever you want. When I get to work everyday there is a huge sign saying that medical weed is still illegal in this workplace and if you fail a drug test for medical weed, you are still escorted off premises and mandatory 5 year time out. BTW: That is a FEDERAL law for that (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

  9. Anonymous7:20 PM

    Toxicology reports DON'T lie!! Sorry Wendi- No disrespect. And the university that did the independent test on the accident stated Tony either didn't see him or had less than a fraction of a second to react. EVERYONE is responsible for their own actions. And Kevin had NO business getting out of the car, period. Regardless of what the toxicology reports say! And stating Marijuana is known to mellow a person, well that's fine. But are you an expert on drugs now too? With all due respect, the family needs to stop dragging this poor young mans name through social media, it's ugly enough. Tony said it was an accident, accept it. There are NO winners here, only victims.