On Friday, Tony Stewart made his first appearance before the public following the death of Kevin Ward Jr. by his hand on August 9. The famous sports person spoke in a faltering and unsteady voice for more than two minutes. In front of him on the table was a Coca Cola bottle that had the name of the three time champion of the Sprint Cup custom imprinted on the body along with a Dasani branded water. It is not known whether his corporate supporters would continue to support him and the team might end up in a rut. This is because brands like Chevrolet, Mobil 1, Rush Truck Centers and Bass Pro Shops take into consideration feedback from fans while assessing their investments that are in the range of $20 million for each car that is driven by a formidable team like that of Stewart.
But the sports star will be returning full time to car racing regardless of the fact that he would be facing the possibility of criminal accusations. Philip Povero, the Sheriff of the Ontario County has made known that the investigation into the death of Ward will take an extra two weeks. In a news conference held on August 12, the Sheriff had said that even though it did not have any proof of criminal intent the conclusions for the case are still to be arrived at.
According to Ed Kiernan from the Engine Shop that is well-known for handling corporate sponsorships for sportspersons, “A lot of it is going to be determined on is it found as an accident or a criminal charge,” in addition to the fact that “The public perception will pressure him to not race, which I think ultimately will be the outcome,”.