Keselowski: Stewart/Ward case being sent to grand jury “feels like a little bit of a cop out”


Earlier this week, the Ontario County (N.Y.) District Attorney announced that evidence from the Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. case would be sent to a grand jury.

But while Stewart tries to carry on at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – he qualified 28th today for Sunday’s Sylvania 300 – several of his fellow competitors were asked today by reporters about what they knew about the matter.

Stewart’s former teammate, Ryan Newman, brushed aside such a query when it was posed to him, while Jeff Gordon said he didn’t have enough information to comment.

Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson said he was like the rest of the world – “waiting to see when Tony is able to sit at a mic and talk.”

But Brad Keselowski appeared to take a sharper tack.

“The only concern I have is that it sounds like there’s a second tape that they haven’t released and I don’t understand why,” he said in reference to a tape of the sprint car crash that involved Stewart and killed Ward on Aug. 9 in upstate New York.

He then added: “Beyond that, it kind of feels a little bit like a cop out that they send it to the grand jury, but I think everybody is wishing Tony the best and supporting him, and that’s probably the most important thing.”

It’s worth emphasizing again that the fact that the Stewart/Ward case will be presented to a grand jury does not mean that Stewart will face an indictment for his role in last month’s tragedy. For his part, Stewart has said he would continue to cooperate with authorities throughout the proceedings.

But Keselowski’s comments today are odd considering what he said just days after the crash.

“I think the dust has to settle before anyone can have really a full opinion on it,” Keselowski said during a NASCAR teleconference on Aug. 12. “Right now, I don’t even think everybody has all the facts. I think we have to get to that level first.”

Nick Bromberg of Yahoo! Sports mentions that having to bear witness to the crash’s clear toll on Stewart may be at the source of Keselowski’s apparent irritation over this week’s decision.

Nonetheless, this is a matter involving the death of a human being. And as Bromberg astutely notes, a final resolution to the Stewart/Ward case may be important for some within the NASCAR garage but it’s not the most important thing of all.

While Keselowski has the right to believe what he wants, it may be best for him to remember his previous words and let due process take its course for the time being.

We would all be wise to do the same as well.