Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ New Lenox native Marla O’Guin earns her spurs as mechanic on prominent Funny Car team ]]> Lead story image

Marla O’Guin is a “jump in and go for it” person. She was like that as a high-school freshman at Lincoln-Way Central when she tried out for the soccer team. “I didn’t know how to play the game,” she said. “I didn’t know the rules. My friends were playing.” She made the team. O’Guin — then known as Marla Weidenaar — was a junior at Central in 2005 when after one visit to Route 66 Raceway, she became fascinated with the idea of being a mechanic on a nitromethane-powered car. Today she’s on one of the NHRA’s most notable teams. … ]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:20:09 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tony Stewart cleared of charges in fatal crash ]]> Lead story image

A grand jury has decided against charging NASCAR star Tony Stewart in the August death of another driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York. ]]> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:22:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ Grand jury will decide if Tony Stewart faces charges ]]> Lead story image

A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York. ]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:15:40 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicagoland Speedway president expects big crowd for Sprint Cup ]]> Lead story image

If you include the pits, the camping area and the suites, Chicagoland Speedway can hold about 60,000 bodies. There won’t be 60,000 there Sunday when the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs kick off with the 400. Capacity crowds at NASCAR events have been a thing of the past for a while now. Although NASCAR is still holding its spot as the second most-watched professional sport behind football, what you see on those television broadcasts are a lot of empty seats. Theories? Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway, has his. ‘‘I think as an industry we grew too fast, with perhaps … ]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:24:22 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tony Stewart set to go in NASCAR event at Chicagoland Speedway ]]> Lead story image

As the investigation into an accident that resulted in the death of 20-year-old sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. comes to a close, Tony Stewart will be continuing his return to racing this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. ]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:36:45 -0600 <![CDATA[ Kevin Ward death investigation results due out next week ]]> Lead story image

The investigation into the death of Kevin Ward Jr. has been completed and results will be announced late next week, the Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff’s Office said Thursday. Ward was struck and killed Aug. 9 by a sprint car driven by NASCAR star Tony Stewart during a dirt race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York. In a statement Thursday, the sheriff’s office said the “thorough investigation” included “a forensic video enhancement recently received from the New York State Police Laboratory in Albany.” The local district attorney’s office has been meeting with Sheriff Philip Povero throughout the process and … ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 09:48:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tony Stewart pit crew jumps to Kevin Harvick’s car ]]> Lead story image

Kevin Harvick’s shaky pit crew now belongs to Tony Stewart. Harvick got a pit crew upgrade on Tuesday for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet when Stewart-Haas Racing announced it has swapped Harvick’s crew for Stewart’s. Harvick is participating in the Chase for the Sprint Cup while Stewart is not. The pit crew cost Harvick several victories this season and the driver has been outspoken in demanding the performance improve. “We made this change in the best interests of the entire organization,” SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli said. “Our primary goal is to win races … ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:02:18 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tony Stewart: ‘This will affect my life forever’ ]]> Lead story image

Tony Stewart said “this has been one of the toughest tragedies I’ve ever had to deal with, both professionally and personally. This will affect my life forever,” in his opening remarks from Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday as he returned to NASCAR for the first time since Kevin Ward Jr. was killed Aug. 9. ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:10:23 -0600 <![CDATA[ Kevin Ward’s father questions Tony Stewart’s innocence in fatal crash ]]> Lead story image

The father of the driver run over and killed by Tony Stewart told The Syracuse Post-Standard that “there’s no reason for” the crash that led to his son’s death. ]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 13:48:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Kevin Ward Jr. built reputation as fearless wheelman ]]> Lead story image

Kevin Ward Jr. was crafting a reputation as a wheelman, the kind of driver who could race vehicles on any track without fear. ]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:16:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Autopsy: Kevin Ward Jr. died of massive blunt trauma ]]> Lead story image

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — Kevin Ward Jr. died of “massive blunt trauma” according to the Ontario County coroner, said county sheriff Philip Potero during a news conference Monday afternoon. “The autopsy was conducted today. The Ontario County coroner has stated cause of death was massive blunt trauma,” Potero said. Ward Jr., 20, was struck by Tony Stewart’s car during a sprint car race Saturday night at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park after Ward exited his car and walked down the track under a caution period. Ward’s body was thrown and he was fatally injured. Potero said the sheriff’s office had two videos … ]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:38:50 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tony Stewart crash is a tragic lesson in road rage ]]> Lead story image

RICK MORRISSEY: Tony Stewart hasn’t been charged with a crime, but that hasn’t stopped national discussion about his intent in the tragedy. ]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:05:15 -0600 <![CDATA[ Crash leaves Tony Stewart with uncertain future ]]> Lead story image

For the second consecutive Sprint Cup season, Tony Stewart’s future is unclear after missing the August race at Watkins Glen International. ]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:56:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tony Stewart fatal crash probe focuses on track, lighting ]]> Lead story image

The collision was as common as any in racing. Kevin Ward Jr.’s car spun twice like a top, wheels hugging the wall, before it plopped backward on the dimly lit dirt track. ]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:55:18 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tony Stewart pulls out of race after fatal crash ]]> Lead story image

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Tony Stewart pulled out of the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen Sunday, 12 hours after the three-time champion struck and killed a sprint car driver who had climbed from his car and was on the darkened dirt track trying to confront Stewart during a race in upstate New York. ]]> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 13:42:47 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chase Elliott wins third race, takes Nationwide points lead ]]> Lead story image

Chase Elliott didn’t have a particularly good Friday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet during practice for the Nationwide Series race ­Saturday. “Our car had speed at times; we just weren’t as good the whole time as I wanted to be,” he said. The 18-year-old has a ­pretty slick crew chief in Greg Ives. “We made some really good adjustments overnight,” Elliott said. “I can’t thank Greg and everybody enough.” He showed his appreciation during the race, which he led for 85 laps en route to capturing his third win of the season and vaulting past Regan Smith and Elliott Sadler … ]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:07:44 -0600