Local drivers, fans react to Kevin Ward Jr. death - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local drivers, fans react to Kevin Ward Jr. death

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Thousands of Iowans spend part of their weekends at dirt tracks across the state and the talk at many of those dirt tracks Sunday was about the Tony Stewart incident that took place Saturday night. Jerry Mackey is an announcer at the Dubuque Speedway. He said he heard about the incident driving home from another race Saturday night in West Liberty.

"The details as they were coming in were very sketchy, as the night went along it became very apparent that it was a grave situation," Mackey said.

Mackey has been involved in racing for some 30 years. He said he knows accidents happen on the track.

"Over the years, yes that's happened many times. There have been accidents involved where a driver will get out of his car and he'll try to approach another car and maybe throw his helmet at somebody," Mackey went on to say, "They put themselves in a position where cars are moving on a racetrack and you should not be doing that."

Jared Miles has been racing at the Dubuque Speedway for the past four years. He said he has never gotten out of his car on the track, but he knows some drivers do.

"Some people fight on the track and some people do it in the pits. It can happen anywhere...It just all depends on the driver," Miles said.

Jerry Mackey said he believes the incident involving Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr. on Saturday stemmed from emotions.

"Racing is an emotional sport. Your adrenaline is pumping, full force, and when you are out there racing and involved in an accident. The racers are all keyed up on adrenaline and it's running their whole system. Unfortunately, I think the young mans emotions got the best of him and when he got out of his car, he put himself in a position that he was simply not seen," Mackey said.

Mackey said he always reminds drivers that safety comes first.

"The number one thing you can do is control your emotions. You have to take care of yourself because it's not you. It's about everyone around you," Mackey said.

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