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Where my head is at right now…

Posted by Amy in All About Amy | General | NASCAR | Non-NASCAR

I posted this on my Facebook yesterday…but realized this morning while I was driving to work that I probably should have posted it here too:

I haven’t said much about the incident at Canandaigua because I can’t. I can only envisage the heartbreak the Ward family feels. I am also crushed for Tony. I know in my heart that, despite some claims, it was not intentional. I can only imagine how this weighs on him.

What I can say is that the nearly instantaneous vilification of Stewart last night and today has disheartened me more than I can express and has made me seriously wonder about the nature of humanity.

I meant that- and as you probably noticed Misty was the one who wrote her opinion about the accident because I just didn’t have the heart to post anything.  Between social media trolls unleashing personal attacks on fans who were trying to make sense of a tragedy in their own internet spaces and the sensationalistic and downright misinformed mainstream “media” I am still reeling and severely disappointed in what I saw of human nature. Sure maybe I look at the world through rosy colored glasses but I like that color because it makes the world I live in liveable.

That said, I want to bring up a piece I wrote years ago (2011) called: Musings on Being A Tony Stewart Fan 3 (or Don’t Be That Guy)  The situations in that post are totally different and much less vicious in nature but I have a feeling that it’s people being “that guy” who are being the evil internet trolls that are making things worse for everyone involved, who are cutting deeper open wounds that need time to heal. And like one of my Facebook friends said to me on the very Facebook post I quote at the beginning (someone by the way who by the way doesn’t, that I know of, follow NASCAR at all) (and I am totally going to paraphrase this and probably badly): It’s the vocal minority who are vilifying while “the silent majority waits for more information, has more empathy, and feels the sorrow of the tragedy.” I can only hope she is right.

I am not saying that all social media has been bad. On the contrary I have had some great (sometimes cathartic) interactions with Smoke fans on both Facebook and Twitter (DMs in all cases)- ones who have reached out to me because they thought I had been unusually quiet (and I have been- withdrawal is kind of how I deal with things sometimes) or just to give me a late night virtual hug because they thought I would need it (and I did).  These are the kind of interactions we need right now – the whole racing community in general. It’s a sad time for ALL forms of motorsports.

So I remain a bit more mum on the subject than my readers probably expect because of the hate and the inability for people to contain their jackass knee-jerk reactions and the inexpressible sadness that envelopes this tragic accident.

I will, however, share this link to a story that I think really captures the essence of Tony Stewart more than anything I have read lately- both before and and after the accident. What strikes me the most is that this article is by a member of the NASCAR and INDYCAR “beat” media who’s article’s I am usually not so impressed with- but this? This is right here– is spot on and I thank Jenna Fryer for writing it: Stewart Found His Roots On Sprint Tracks.

Tony Stewart in his office, August 8th, 2014

Tony Stewart in his office, August 8th, 2014 (before his world changed).  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

(FYI I am going to allow comments on this post but if you aren’t being good humans to each other I will turn off comments immediately).

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3 Responses

  • Amy says:

    I haven’t been vocal about all of this on Facebook or elsewhere. One I am still in shock about this past weekends events. The more stories I see about it, the angrier I get. I am angry with media outlets who have no clue about what they are talking about. They want to vilify Tony Stewart. All they show are the angry outbursts of this man. I don’t have blinders on when it comes to Tony. He has a history of anger management issues. You can’t judge who he is as a person by just those snippets. We have all had times where we have blown up in the heat of the moment. Those are just a fraction of what Tony Stewart is as a person. He is a loving and caring person with one of the biggest hearts around. Last year I read an article about the crash that left him with a broken leg. He made a last minute decision to turn his car to avoid hitting another competitor. A move that cost Tony a broken leg, but saved that man’s life. That’s why when I hear people say he turned intentionally to hit Mr. Ward, I just get angrier and angrier.

    People have asked the question should Tony Stewart should be racing at these dirt tracks? My answer, is no. Tony is a racer. Dirt racing is his passion. It’s his baby. How can you ask someone to give up something they love, something that is part of who he is. I am sure Tony is asking himself these very same questions.

    I can’t even begin to understand what Tony is going through at this point in time. Yes, he was behind the wheel of his race car when he struck a fellow driver which resulted in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. That will always be with Tony. He will always wonder if I had done this or that, would it have made a difference. I don’t’ know and we will probably never know. This incident has not only changed Tony in a profound way but the whole racing community.

    All I ask from people who know me, as well as you, take the time to ask questions. Ask me about Tony Stewart the person. Ask me about what happened. Ask me about my loyalty to Tony Stewart. I will try to help you understand so you can feel compassion for a man who is devastated and heartbroken. This is not a time to judge. Even though I do not know Tony Stewart personally, my heart aches for him. One last thing, Dale Jarrett is class act. We should all take a page from his book.

    Sorry for the length, but I just feel this is the only place I can comment without judgement.

    Thank you, Amy.

  • Sandi says:

    All the ignorant negative uninformed comments infuriate me. My way of dealing with such asshats is to ignore them. I have found several articles, tweets, viewpoints that support Tony & these are the ones I focus on & try to share. All parties involved will never be the same. It is a tragedy.

  • Ralph Marbach says:

    I think everybody has the right to say what they feel. It doesn’t make them an “asshats” or internet troll. If it bothers you, ignore it if you like or respond to it in a professional manner. Attack it with your opinion if need be. Don’t give them what they want by hiding unless it gets out of control. None of us know what was going through Tony Stewarts mind when his car hit the young man Ward. Like my wife said ” If this would have been one of the young unknown drivers in the dirt class, we most likely wouldn’t have heard but maybe a slight mention of it in the media.” There would still be the same sadness and some who would end up with hate in there hearts and it would not be any less of an accident. A good fan sticks by his or her driver through good times and bad. Mr. Ward’s fans will most likely feel like Tony Stewart hit him on purpose, maybe only because his car had made contact with Ward’s car just one lap earlier. I hear things said by our media anymore that is delivered in such a way as to stir people up about an event and I personally feel that IS NOT what responsible reporting is but that is a whole different subject.
    I feel for the Wards and the Stewarts both. I don’t feel Tony Stewart went out to run someone over and kill them.
    You can tell by the way Ward was acting that his temper was out of control and he felt like he had to make a point by getting close and I am sure he picked that up from watching other drivers when he was coming up through the ranks, that being said Tony is at fault as much as other drivers that have reacted in a non professional manner during a race incident making it look like that is the norm. Media, Promoters and fans are at fault also for reacting the way we do when seeing the drivers reactions and making a big deal out of it. That should be ignored by all and in time would become less of a show for all. It is about the racing not the fighting like some would want you to think. Sure there will always be tempers but they must learn to control them. Nascar needs to hit them in the pocket book harder if need be to control it. My prayers go out to the Wards and also the Stewarts and if nothing else I hope something good comes out from the loss of Ward.

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