THOMASVILLE, NC :: I haven’t written anything in a while, work and other things have had my time tied up. But, after the terrible events of this past weekend, then the even more atrocious stuff that followed, I had to speak my mind. The actual tragedy was bad enough, but with every hack in America calling themselves journalists because they can sensationalize a tragic event, it makes it where some should be struck in the head with a 2×4.
I’m not going to harp on the terrible accident that claimed the life of twenty year-old Kevin Ward, Jr., nothing that can be said can change anything now, people just need to pray for the family and those involved. But, I will address a few things here.
First off, anyone that thinks Tony Stewart hit and killed someone on purpose, go jump in a deep hole, you’re wasting air for people that actually deserve it. The guy is a PROFESSIONAL race car driver that has been driving for many years. He is one of the best to ever live. He knows what he can and can’t do. He knows he can’t go in to other series and cross major lines, and most of all, he knows to never intentionally hit someone at any time with a car. Secondly, everyone keeps talking about his temper; well the guy wasn’t even mad. Hell, he didn’t even know anything had happened, there are no radios or mirrors in the cars so when he came back around following the field under caution, he had no idea that a young man was going to be mad in the center of the track, he more than likely didn’t even know what happened. Furthermore, I don’t even like the guy so don’t feel as if I’m taking sides, but he is human and has respect for the sport and others lives. I’m just going to quit talking about it, to have to explain it makes me feel as stupid as the people accusing stuff.
The meat of the whole piece is the mainstream media. Now before I start lighting asses on fire, I’ll tell the truth with no problem. I’m some backwoods stock car writer and photographer from Thomasville that works a regular day job 50 hours a week, then I head to the local tracks on the weekend. By no means am I saying I am a great journalist. But after the last three days I do see I have one thing more than 95% of the big names reporting on TV and print have, that’s decency and common sense.Never have I wrote a story without having the facts together, if I don’t know for sure, I don’t write. And yes, that mentality has cost me some big stories, well, many big stories that National outlets have broken. But I refuse to do things half-ass just for the sake of readers or viewers, they can have that. It’s the world we live in today, drama and controversy sell, and the media is going out of their way to make a very tragic situation that should be filled with sadness and compassion into a horror story. And the sad thing is that some people are eating it up, at certain times when I look at things it makes me hate the human race in general.
It’s amazing to see the comments and stories, especially from people that have no idea. For instance, I know nothing about politics, so I don’t write about it, and if I did I would research what was going on. Instead we get this mentality, “I know nothing about this sport or situation, but we can spin it to make people keep coming back for more”.
At what price? A young man is dead and another man has to live with it the rest of his life, how the hell is that appealing to anyone? Wait, it is, to sickos and bottom feeders that thrive off the perils of others, more times than not their own lives are messed up beyond belief so they find joy in seeing others sorrow. There is too much of that in this country, we see it every day and it seems to get worse by the minute.
Speaking of people reporting that know nothing of what they are talking about, some big names have made absolute fools out of themselves. The guy reporting that “road rage” in racing has caused all this from a Washington newspaper to one of my favorite channels for sports to fall into the pit of embarrassing reporting as well are some of the suspects. Then we get Nancy Grace, I didn’t want to call out names but this moron has topped herself, I didn’t think she could do it but she has. From taking a video of Tony Stewart leaving pit road a few years ago and hitting a crew member leaving his pit box and saying, “Allegations of plowing down pit crew members” … and after some more ramble, she says, “Stewart mows down fellow driver Kevin Ward, Jr.”
Mows him down? I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone say anything more stupid on TV in my life and show video in the context she did. Wait, that’s right, she is an expert on racing. None of these hacks are, it’s probably the one thing that most of them don’t know anything about remotely so they jumped on the bandwagon to have the “first and most exciting” story.
Lost in all this is the compassion and remorse that should be felt for the Ward family. The young man’s death has been made into a spectacle, not a tragedy like it should be. A person’s life is gone, his family and friends are hurting, and it was a freak accident that I myself have seen could happen at many different times. But no, let’s act like starved wolves for attention and give false reports, show the video over and over again in hopes that one of their news breaking reports turns out to be true. That’s all it is, media hoping for the best, hoping they are the ones to make crap up and it actually turn out to be true. And when it doesn’t they just spin it another way, with more crap until it’s so cloudy no one knows what the hell is going on.
The jest of everything I’ve seen is how dangerous racing is; they are running it into the ground. Well he’s a news flash to the media ignorance, racing cars at a high rate of speed is dangerous. And racers are not candy-asses, it’s a rough sport for people that actually worked hard for a living at some point in their life, got in some fights when they were younger, and like to go fast. REAL people, people that most Americans can relate to, not these yuppie silver spoon fed reporters who stay in Washington and have never gotten their hands dirty. Even the people that supposedly report on the sport are being taken in by the glow of drama. Marty Smith said something along the lines of this stuff happening nearly every week at every track across the country. What the hell are you talking about? I go to nearly 80 short track races a year, at some of the roughest places you could possibly race, and it does not happen at every track, not remotely close. Once the people that actually report on the sport fall into the mainstream “death to a sport” category, it’s all downhill from there.
It was a terrible accident, simple as that. But from this day forward, I’m scared racing will change as we know it. I’m all for tracks making punishments against drivers chasing cars on foot, but it will ultimately take what little passion we see today completely out of the equation. Local short track racing is all we have left almost, and the mainstream media will be the death of it. That is unless we do what I’m doing, just don’t believe the hype and keep on keeping on. I could write all day on this but it just isn’t worth it, I’ve already gave too many people that don’t deserve their job titles their day in the sun. Go out this weekend and pack your local tracks, show the drivers and team you appreciate what they do, because at the end of the day, they do it for you.