Tony Stewart makes first public comment on race tragedy

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Shortly after the start of Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International, Tony Stewart broke his silence and made his first public comment about Saturday’s tragic accident that claimed the life of young racer Kevin Ward Jr. at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Speedway.

Stewart’s brief comments came via a statement released by his team, Stewart-Haas Racing:

“There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.

“It’s a very emotional time for all involved, and it is the reason I’ve decided not to participate in today’s race at Watkins Glen.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Although unlikely at this point, if Stewart releases any subsequent comments, we’ll bring them to you here at MotorSportsTalk.

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Social roundup: Racing world largely outraged by Verstappen penalty

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The discussion over Max Verstappen’s post-race five-second time penalty assessed in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, issued when he tried to the inside of Kimi Raikkonen at the Turns 16, 17 and 18 carousel complex at Circuit of The Americas, will roll on far beyond today.

The debate today largely centered over consistency in adjudication and application of the rules, track limits themselves (always a sore subject at COTA given its wide runoff areas) or whether there should be permanent stewards.

In the immediate aftermath, though, Twitter lit up with outrage over Verstappen being assessed a five-second post-race time penalty.

Here’s a mere sampling of the reaction, below.