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Tag: nascar

McEnany Briefing ‘Off The Rails” As She Defends Trump’s Racist Tweet

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

At her first appearance before the White House press corps, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany promised reporters that she would never lie to them. She's clearly broken that promise many times since, but perhaps never as blatantly and egregiously as she did on Monday when defending President Donald Trump's morning tweet attacking a Black NASCAR driver.

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Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

#EndorseThis: Colbert Schools Trump (And Mnuchin) On Why Athletes Are Kneeling

Once more Stephen Colbert steps up to the challenge of educating President Trump about an issue he has clearly misunderstood.

As Colbert explains, Trump is all wrong when he tells credulous supporters that football players are kneeling during the national anthem in protest against the flag. “Those players are protesting against racial injustice, they’re not protesting the American flag. Saying that kneeling is a protest against the flag is like saying Gandhi’s hunger strikes were a protest against snacking.”

The Late Show host also offers a few pro tips for Trump on respecting the American flag (hint: don’t hug it!). He does a killer impression of weirdo Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. And he offers a clue as to why NASCAR owners probably don’t have to worry about drivers protesting police misconduct.

NASCAR Stewart Probe Shows ‘No Criminal Behavior’: Police

New York (AFP) — U.S. police have found “no criminal behavior” on racing driver Tony Stewart’s part but will continue their probe into the bizarre incident in which he struck and killed an up-and-coming driver.

Stewart, one of the most popular drivers in America’s NASCAR stock car circuit, plowed into 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. during a non-NASCAR race on a dirt track Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

“At this time there are no facts that exist that support any criminal behavior or conduct or that any probable cause of a criminal act in this investigation,” Ontario County Sheriff spokesman Philip Povero told reporters on Monday.

Povero said they have interviewed Stewart and several others who witnessed the incident and they say Stewart, who was unhurt, has been cooperative.

Povero told reporters they are looking for more video footage of the crash as part of their ongoing investigation. He said they already have two videos of the incident.

“We are seeking persons outside that are familiar with racing that can help us review and analyze these tapes to hopefully fully understand the crash,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 43-year-old American, who missed Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Watkins Glen International track, has withdrawn from a second non-NASCAR race Saturday in Plymouth, Indiana.

“We at Plymouth Speedway extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of Kevin Ward, Jr. and thoughts and prayers to Tony Stewart and his family. Tony Stewart will NOT be racing at Plymouth Speedway this Saturday,” race officials said.

There is no word yet from Stewart’s team, Stewart-Haas Racing, on whether Stewart will compete in a NASCAR race at the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

Saturday’s incident happened near turn two at the halfway point of a 25-lap Lucas Oil Super Sprint Features dirt race.

Stewart first bumped Ward’s car and knocked it out of the race. On his next lap Stewart’s vehicle collided with Ward, who had climbed out of his car and was walking down the track pointing his finger in the direction of Stewart.

– Dragging him along the track –

As the car passed by Ward it appeared to rev and then fishtail, hitting Ward and dragging him along the track for several meters.

An autopsy was performed on the body which showed Ward died of massive blunt force trauma.

Ward, of Port Leyden, New York, began competing in Go Kart racing at the age four in 1998. He began sprint car racing in 2010 and won his first career sprint car feature in June 2011.

Stewart, who is a multi-millionaire, is part owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, whose drivers include Danica Patrick.

Despite his success, he continues to compete in non-NASCAR races on small and dirt tracks across America against drivers of varying talent levels and ages, including some in their teens.

The hard-headed Stewart has a history of dust-ups with other drivers. Two years ago after a crash he walked onto a track at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee and threw his helmet at Matt Kenseth’s car.

When Stewart competed in an event at Canandaigua in July 2013, he caused a crash that involved 15 drivers.

In Fontana, California last year, Stewart stormed down pit road and got into a fist fight with Joey Logano, whom he accused of trying to block him.

AFP Photo/Jared C. Tilton

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NASCAR’s Stewart Skips Race After Hitting, Killing Driver

New York (AFP) — Tony Stewart missed Sunday’s NASCAR event after striking and killing a sprint car driver who left his damaged vehicle mid-race to confront the motorsport veteran.

Stewart, one of the most popular drivers in American stock car racing, ploughed into 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr during a race in upstate New York on Saturday.

“There aren’t any words to describe how I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.,” Stewart said Sunday in a statement as he pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen.

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

The Ward family also issued a statement Sunday saying they are trying to figure out what happened.

“We appreciate the prayers and support we are receiving from the community, but we need time to grieve and wrap our heads around all of this,” they said, according to ABC television affiliate WHAM.

The 43-year-old Stewart was questioned by police and released. No charges have been laid but the investigation continues. Police said Stewart is co-operating.

The incident happened near turn two at the halfway point of a 25-lap Lucas Oil Super Sprint Features race.

Stewart first bumped Ward’s car and knocked it out of the race, which was being held at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York.

– An ‘unbelievable tragedy’ –

On his next time around, Stewart’s vehicle then collided with Ward, who had got out of his car and was walking down the track pointing his finger in the direction of Stewart.

As the car passed by Ward it appeared to fishtail, hitting Ward and dragging him along the track for several meters.

“This is an unbelievable tragedy, and our hearts go out to Kevin and his family,” said Greg Zipadelli vice-president of Stewart-Haas Racing.

“This is a very tough and emotional time for everybody — his family and our family at Stewart-Haas and Tony Stewart. We feel that as a group Tony will not drive today.”

Ward, of Port Leyden, New York, began competing in Go Kart racing at the age four in 1998. He finished second in his first race and went on to claim 250 feature wins in only eight years of Go Kart competition. Ward began sprint car racing in 2010 and won his first career sprint car feature in June 2011.

NASCAR released a statement on the accident, saying, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and fellow competitors of Kevin Ward Jr.

“We support Tony Stewart’s decision to miss today’s race, and we will continue to respect the process and timeline of the local authorities and will continue to monitor this situation moving forward.”

Stewart had qualified 13th for the 90-lap NASCAR event at Watkins Glen. He is a record five-time race winner at the 2.45-mile road course. NASCAR is the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in America.

Stewart has a history of dust-ups with other drivers. Two years ago after a crash he walked onto a track at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee and threw his helmet at Matt Kenseth’s car.

When Stewart competed in an event at Canandaigua in July 2013, he caused a crash that involved 15 drivers.

AFP Photo/Jared Wickerham

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France Is Trying To Keep NASCAR Popular

By Jim Peltz, Los Angeles Times

NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski remembers slamming into a rival’s car in Phoenix a few years ago, only to be summoned after the race by officials who scolded him for being too aggressive on the track.

Then NASCAR Chairman Brian France, the third generation of his family to run stock car racing’s empire, walked into the room.

France “looked over at them and said, ‘Are we yelling at him?’ ” Keselowski said. “Nobody really answered. Then [France] turned and said to me, ‘I love what you’re doing. Don’t change a thing.’ And he walked out.”

Fender-banging is part of NASCAR’s appeal, one reason the sport draws tens of thousands of spectators to tracks each weekend along with the 4 million to 8 million who watch Sprint Cup Series races on TV.

It’s a multibillion-dollar sport that France runs as a family business, just as his ancestors did.

His grandfather, “Big Bill” France Sr., founded NASCAR in 1947, uniting the Southern sport and moving it from mostly small dirt tracks to high-speed paved venues such as Daytona International Speedway. Brian France’s father, Bill France Jr., then ran NASCAR for three decades as star drivers such as Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt helped lure corporate sponsors and TV contracts that turned stock car racing into a mainstream sport.

Brian France became chairman in 2003 and has implemented some controversial changes that have again transformed NASCAR, while tackling the economic collapse of the late-2000s. But whereas his grandfather and father were outsized personalities who reveled in commanding NASCAR in full view at speedways each week, Brian France is one of the most publicity-averse bosses of any major American sport.

He has that luxury because NASCAR, as a family business, is unlike the NFL, MLB, or NBA, leagues with individual teams that elect a commissioner to oversee their sport and become its public face. Roger Goodell, Bud Selig, and Adam Silver would draw attention in any major city. France probably wouldn’t, and he prefers it that way. On many NASCAR weekends he’s not even at the track or might make a brief, unannounced visit to the speedway.

“I’m not part of the show,” he said.

As a result, France, 51, has long battled perceptions that he’s a wealthy, disengaged policy buff more interested in think-tank studies than the ear-splitting action on the track.

The criticism “bothers me, I’m human,” France said. “[They say] I’m a technocrat … that I’m somehow aloof, that everything is going on and I’m sort of there having a cup of coffee watching it all happen.”

Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, a 22-year Cup series veteran who also drove while Bill France Jr. was in charge, said, “People don’t see [Brian France] as much at the track and they say, ‘Oh, well, he doesn’t know what’s going on.’ Is he a hands-on type of guy like his dad was? No, he’s not. But that doesn’t make him less effective. The world has changed.”

Photo via WikiCommons

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