Grand jury hearing testimony in Tony Stewart case UPDATES: Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo has convened a grand jury to determine whether charges should be brought against NASCAR driver Tony Stewart for his role in an on-track incident that caused the death of driver Kevin Ward Jr. Grand jury testimony began Tuesday in the case. Tantillo said on Sept. 16 that he would present evidence from the police investigation to a grand jury. Chuck Hebing, who was driving in the Aug. 9 race when Ward was killed at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, confirmed that he was called to testify about the accident but declined to discuss the matter further. Ward, 20, died after he was struck by the car of Tony Stewart during a Sprint car race. The incident took place moments after Stewart, a three-time NASCAR season-series champion, bumped Ward's car and forced it to crash into the corner wall on Turn 2. It is not known how long it will take for the evidence to be presented to the grand jury, or for witnesses to provide testimony.
UPDATE2: Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo will hold a press conference at 3:00pm/et today to reveal the findings of a grand jury investigation into whether charges should be brought against NASCAR driver Tony Stewart for his role in the on-track death of driver Kevin Ward Jr. In a press release, Tantillo said the grand jury's determination would be made public this afternoon
UPDATE3: Tony Stewart will NOT face criminal charges in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. ... who was struck and killed by Stewart during a race last month ... TMZ Sports has learned. TMZ learned ... that a grand jury just decided not to charge Stewart
UPDATE4: A grand jury has decided Tony Stewart will not face charges for his role in the on-track death of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. Prosecutors in upstate New York made the announcement Wednesday, just hours after the grand jury finished hearing testimony in the case. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo also said Ward was under the influence of marijuana at the time of his death, according to toxicology reports. Tantillo looked at the evidence and could have brought charges or dropped the case himself, but said last week that the matter would be decided by the grand jury. Stewart could have been charged with second-degree manslaughter under New York law, experts said, if prosecutors believed he "recklessly caused the death of another person." Negligent homicide also was another possibility
Stewart Statement: Following a thorough investigation and presentation of all the relevant evidence and witnesses to an Ontario County (N.Y.) grand jury, the grand jury has determined there is no basis for the filing of any criminal charges involving the tragic accident of Kevin Ward Jr. on Aug. 9 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park. The following is a statement from Tony Stewart regarding the grand jury's decision.
"This has been the toughest and most emotional experience of my life, and it will stay with me forever. I'm very grateful for all the support I've received and continue to receive. I respect everything the District Attorney and Sheriff's Office did to thoroughly investigate this tragic accident. While the process was long and emotionally difficult, it allowed for all the facts of the accident to be identified and known. While much of the attention has been on me, it's important to remember a young man lost his life. Kevin Ward Jr.'s family and friends will always be in my thoughts and prayers
Truex out of the #83 ride? Ryan Truex's run in the #83 Burger King/Borla Exhaust Toyota appears to have come to an end, after BK Racing replaced the New Jersey native with former Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Sources within the team said the change stemmed from unhappiness with the level of feedback received from Truex. He is not expected to return to the car this season. Messages left with BK Racing officials seeking comment were not immediately returned (Godfather Motorsports)
AND For the second consecutive week Ryan Truex will not drive the #83 BK Racing entry, and the rookie's long-term status with the team is in doubt. When asked about Truex's future with the team by SB Nation Tuesday, a BK Racing spokesman described the situation as "week-to-week" with no determination having been made about the remainder of the 2014 season. As to why Truex was being replaced, the reason cited was an "owner's decision," with discussions ongoing between the organization and Truex's representatives, according to the spokesman. BK Racing replaced Truex with former Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kvapil is again listed as the driver of the #83 for Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway.(SB Nation)
ANDMotorsport.com's Nick DeGroot tweeted that Truex's absence was due to BK owing Truex "a good amount of money." He later disclosed that sources of his own passed along that news to him
Fan-designed paint scheme for Newman at Dover: Ryan Newman's #31 Chevy boasts a fan-designed paint scheme for this weekend's race at Dover. Blake Pass of Blue Ridge, Ga., is the grand prize winner of the Paint Your Way to Dover contest with his ghost-flame inspired design. More than 1,000 schemes were submitted by NASCAR fans nationwide and after three finalists were chosen, fans voted at QLRacing.com to determine the look of Newman's ride for the Dover Sprint Cup race. As part of the grand prize package, Pass, a middle school teacher, and his family will travel to the race to meet and see Newman tame the Monster Mile. Should the Quicken Loans driver finish first on Sunday, Pass will take home one year's worth of mortgage payments. If Newman scores a top-10 result, Pass is awarded a one month mortgage payment. Besides voting on a design, QL Racing fans also voted for three charities to benefit monetarily through the promotion. Autism Speaks collected the most votes and received a $10,000 donation. Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma and Folds of Honor each received a $2,500 donation
Gordon voted 3rd Quarter Driver of the Year: This year's Brickyard 400 winner, #24-Jeff Gordon, was named winner of the third-quarter Driver of the Year Award 2014. The four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion won the voting by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists. Gordon is also the first four-time Driver of the Year It was the 42-year-old Gordon's record fifth victory at NASCAR's annual stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indiana native also won the Pure Michigan 400 from the pole in the third quarter that ended at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31rst. "It's an honor to be recognized as the Driver of the Year 3rd Quarter, and it's been an incredible summer for this #24 team," said Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy. Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said, "I've had the pleasure of handing Jeff many trophies. His talent appears limitless."
In the voting Gordon, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports, had four first-place ballots and totaled 87 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Will Power, who drove the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet to win the IndyCar championship this year, took seven first-place votes and totaled 77 points. Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Dallara Chevrolet was third with 47 points and one first-place vote. Donnie Schatz, who drives the Tony Stewart Racing sprint car in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series was fourth in the balloting with 33-points and two first place votes. Jason Line who drives the KB Racing Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stock car in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series tied Schatz with 33-points and one first place ballot. Gordon won the overall Driver of the Year title in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001. "The team has really been performing at a high level, and anytime you win a Brickyard 400 it's extremely special, " added Gordon. A total of 16 drivers scored points in the second quarter voting. In its' 48th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Two panelists didn't vote this time. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Gordon will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented later