Tragedy comes in many forms. Things that happen to us, things we’re involved in and choices others make that turn us into the victim, but no one else notices.
I’m a spiritual person, a minister of my faith. On my path, we believe in reincarnation, karma, and that we’re all connected and interconnected throughout the Divine Universe! We are ALL part of the greater Divine consciousness, because we are made from that same star-dust that created the multiverse we live in.
Because of this view I don’t believe in the random tragedies or that all events we go through are accidents, nor are they preordained. Rather they are things we, let me rephrase – our greater inner spirit – has chosen to be involved in on a much higher level than our physical selves. In some cases I believe some of these events are extremely and extraordinarily selfless acts of sacrifices given for the betterment of a community, a nation or maybe even the world.
Before I go any further, let me once again, publicly offer my deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers to everyone in the Ward family. This article will not and does not disparage anyone, through judgement or inference about what happened on that tragic night in August. In fact, I believe from my ministerial perspective, there’s a greater Divine act occurring and both Kevin and Tony have made a huge selfless sacrifice for others in the world of racing. Please let me explain.
It might sound strange to some to think of the tragic event that occurred between Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr. as selfless sacrifice. I’d respond with give the thought a chance. There’s history in that kind of thinking. It’s not the first time such an event has changed the world.
Decent people always ask Why. And sometimes there isn’t a physical world answer to that when tragedy strikes. We may not fully understand what, why and how until we have left this world and can see our life with Divine clarity. But sometimes, the sacrifice we’ve made or been involved in, serves a higher purpose. We can only hope that we’re able to see the outcome when all is said and done.
We could argue back and forth about exactly what happened. Did Kevin Ward, Jr.’s decision to get out of his Sprint Car set his fate on a path that was already arranged to occur? Did Tony’s decision to race that night in upstate New York seal a deal his soul had with Kevin as an unselfish act for the betterment of the racing world? You and I may never know the answer to these questions. I’d argue we have no right to make the judgement in the first place. But it’s a question I’ve been asking myself. It’s one that I’ve pondered for many years and long before this. So I’ll even go so far as to say my bias in being a huge Tony Stewart fan is not in play here. This isn’t the first young man in my life who has died in an accident.
I believe that before we enter this lifetime, we select lessons to work on, situations that help us pay and redeem karma. All of which empower our free will and choice to carry out our ultimate goal of working our mission and completing it before we return to spirit. Some of us choose a life of sacrifice for the betterment of others. In big ways or little ways, we give something back to the world that brings significant change to provide harmony from hardship for others in the world we know, and even those we may never know.
Here’s an example we talk a lot about in my spiritual world. When most people hear the name Helen Keller, they think of a life on quite solitude, and somewhat sad. A child born deaf and blind who struggled for years in frustration and loneliness before she learned how to communicate. And when she did, her life changed. But she also helped share her achievement with others and gave those who were/are blind eyes to see with. Those who are deaf, ears to hear with. The stigma of being mentally touched or ill, changed to one of respect, caring and in some ways, normalcy. Her gift of sacrifice help to share these teachings with others like herself. Consequently millions upon millions of people around the world and long after her death were given the gift of communication. And I believe she’s one of the biggest examples of spiritual sacrifice for the betterment of others. But how does that relate to the world of racing?
The Governing Body
Every form of racing has a governing body that makes rules, regulations and requirements, not only to sanction races and make them fair. But to ensure safety for everyone involved. Sometimes it takes something big and major to bring about change in these rule books that govern the racing community it covers.
NASCAR has had many of these situations throughout its history. Events that brought attention to issues and pushed for changes in the name of safety. The crash and death of Fireball Roberts might have been one of the first events like this. Fire retardant suits replaced slacks and short sleeve dress shirts. Helmets were introduced and then better helmets, more secure and stronger. Michael Waltrip’s sever crash into an entryway at Bristol highlighted flaws in wall security. Certainly the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr. was one of those events. Today’s NASCAR race car and driver must use a HANS device to protect their neck and head. And it most probably has saved many a driver from serious and life threatening injury. Popular Mechanics has a good article, with video, of the Top 10 Crashes That Change Racing and it’s worth reading/watching.
But the events on the big screen don’t always filter down to what some call the “lower” series. I don’t believe other racing series are higher or lower than any other. Indy Car, F1, NASCAR etc., are no different from the Sprint Car, Midgets, Late Models and so on; all face the same dangers, same passions as any other form of racing. And sometimes in order to make major changes, a huge profile event must take place. To some degree Tony’s accident that broke his leg in the SprintCar in 2013 was one of these accident/benefit type events.
In July 2013 at Huset’s Speedway just east of Sioux Falls Tony was involved in a terrible crash during a World of Outlaws race. He broke his leg in several places, puncturing the skin and suddenly facing a life threatening condition without the proper and immediate care. He was lucky to get that care came from Masur’s MED-Star Dirt Track Race Rescue team. Almost immediately Tony began looking at how to improve safety for everyone.
From the Argus Leader:
“Tony is bringing awareness to dirt track race rescue,” Masur said. “He’s setting up a racing safety council from everything to seats to roll cages to emergency services. There are very few tracks around the country that are prepared for what can happen.”
“The positives that come out of this are going to be unbelievable,” said veteran racer Terry McCarl, a seven-time Huset’s champion. “Tony’s going to bring a lot more recognition to our sport.”
Could this be the answer to Why did this event happen? Could the soul within Kevin Ward, Jr. select his fate as a sacrifice to change the rules so others in this time, and the time to come would be spared from future tragic accidents and injuries. In my spiritual world, the answer could easily be yes. There’s no reason to blame a young man for his passion, emotions and frustrations that brought him out of his car. We’re also so easy to point to the negatives, and rarely look at the alternative spiritual sacrifices that souls make around the world every day.
Then why was Tony Stewart involved? Couldn’t Kevin’s spirit accomplish his mission without involving someone else? Maybe. But look what happened because a famous 3-Time Sprint Cup Champion like Tony Stewart was involved. Did you know that a 21 year old woman was killed days after Kevin Ward Jr’s tragic death? If you’re not a racing fan, you probably know nothing about it. Even if you are a racing fan, you may not have heard about it, because it’s not part of the type of racing you’re interested in.
“Amanda Gambacorto of Middletown, N.J., died after her three-quarter midget went head-on into a wall at Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall, N.J.” – FoxSports
But you sure did hear about the accident Tony was involved in. His name recognition puts fans in the seats at dirt tracks. He brings in dollars to the track itself, vendors and businesses. And some of those people who have never been to a dirt track before, might come to see Tony and become loyal fans.
Many who read this have some form of spiritual believe in their life. Imagine for a moment if the Divine force that’s in your life, tapped you on the shoulder and said I need a favor? Would you turn away and say you’re crazy, no way!
Out of all the people in dirt racing, the one person who has done more for safety, bringing attention and having a voice to make things safer for drivers, teams and fans, has been Tony Stewart. I don’t think anyone else could live through this immense pressure and stress, but he’s doing it. Taking the heat and immediately forced racing bodies to make changes to insure safety for all drivers. Today ALL drivers are required to stay in their car and wait for emergency crews before exiting. Unless the car is on fire, you need to keep your butt in the seat. Good rule. Why wasn’t it in the books in the first place? Sometimes it takes a great tragedy for things to be forced into change.
Some would then ask, so why was it Kevin who was sacrificed? No one can answer that question either. But perhaps he had completed what his spirit came here to do. I have no doubt that Tony will find some way to make a difference for the better in the name of Kevin Ward Jr as a tribute to his legacy. The changes created from such an organization in his name could continue making better and bigger changes in the Dirt Racing community and not only in the World of Outlaws, but in all forms of dirt track racing.
There’s a great deal of sorrow, grief and devastation surrounding this event. On an emotional level, there’s hurt, anger, blame and judgement because people need answers in order to heal. If you can’t find the answers on the physical level, sometimes you have to rise up into your spiritual path and look at all possibilities. You may think talking to the Divine, God is weird. But how many of you do that very thing on Sundays? Some stand on a podium, field, court or ring and say “First I want to Thank God”. But when tragedy happens, we don’t take the time to see if there’s any kind of positives that are created from sorrow. And sometimes, that’s exactly where the answers we seek are waiting to be found.
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