Kevin Ward Jr.’s father speaks out, questions Tony Stewart

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Kevin Ward Sr. has given a public interview following his 20-year-old son, Kevin Jr.’s, passing on Saturday night.

Ward Sr. spoke to Syracuse.com, and asked how Tony Stewart could have been, in his eyes, the only car that did not see Kevin Jr. on track after he’d gotten out of his car.

“Apparently, Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn’t see him,” Ward Sr. said.

He added the reason, in his mind, Kevin Jr. got out of the car was in retaliation for the contact between Ward Jr. and Stewart.

“I think the reason he probably got out of that car is who put him into the wall. He was definitely put into the wall,” Ward Sr. said.

[ MORE: Sheriff says Stewart/Ward investigation may continue for “two weeks or more” ]

Ward Sr. also questioned when or if Stewart will speak publicly beyond the statement his team of representatives issued Sunday.

“The one person that knows what happened that night is possibly facing 10 years in prison. Is he going to say what he done?” Ward Sr. asked.

Although both Ward Sr. and wife Pamela were at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park Saturday night, per the report, Ward Sr. did not see the contact itself. Track officials did not let them on the track until an extended time passed, and reportedly, they watched as CPR efforts were attempted but failed.

[ MORE: Dan Patrick on Tony Stewart: “I want to know that it bothers him (VIDEO) ]

Ward Jr. died in hospital, not at the track.

Ward Sr. remembered and reflected his son’s passion for racing as he grew up, while also recalling on the work his son did with his company, Westward Painting Co.

“His heart, I don’t know how he fit it in his chest,” Ward Sr. said.

Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”