One of the biggest sports stories of 2014 was sadly not of a great accomplishment, but of a horrible accident and a tragic loss.
On Aug. 9, the car of three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. in a sprint car race in upstate New York. The tragedy occurred after the two drivers tangled on the track and Ward had gotten out of his wounded machine to confront the veteran.
Stewart, who missed several races in his grief, ultimately did not have to face criminal charges after a grand jury declined to indict him.
But while winning a Sprint Cup championship as the team owner for Kevin Harvick gave his year a positive ending, he’ll have to carry the events of Aug. 9 with him forever – just as Ward’s family and friends must do as well.
Today during NASCAR AMERICA: 2014 In The News, Rick Allen and NASCAR on NBC contributor Nate Ryan discussed the sad event. You can hear their thoughts in the clip above.