Tony Stewart, Kevin Ward: Hang Up and Listen on what happened on the sprint car tragedy, Rory McIlroy’s latest major win, and big changes in college sports.

What We Do and Don't Know in the Aftermath of Kevin Ward Jr.'s On-Track Death

What We Do and Don't Know in the Aftermath of Kevin Ward Jr.'s On-Track Death

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Slate's sports podcast.
Aug. 11 2014 5:23 PM

Hang Up and Listen: The Tragedy at Canandaigua Edition

Slate’s sports podcast on the death of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr., Rory McIlroy’s PGA Championship win, and big changes in college sports.


Listen to Hang Up and Listen with Josh Levin and Mike Pesca by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

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In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Josh Levin and Mike Pesca interview Editor-in-Chief Steven Cole Smith about the tragic death of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, the mechanics of sprint car driving, and whether NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart is to blame. They hear from Grantland’s Shane Ryan about Rory McIlroy’s come-from-behind win at the PGA Championship, McIlroy’s impending stardom, and whether the PGA can escape the shadow of Tiger Woods. Finally, they talk with New York Times college sports reporter Marc Tracy about the potential impact of the decision by the NCAA’s Board of Directors to grant additional autonomy to the five biggest college athletics conferences and Judge Claudia Wilken’s decision in the O’Bannon case.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:

Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Ragnaröks:


Mike’s Ragnarök: Paying tribute to the greatest Yankee of all of 1992, and maybe inadvertently disparaging Derek Jeter just a little bit.

Josh’s Ragnarök: Engaging in a little raw talk courtesy of Target Toss Pro: Lawn Darts, and maybe retroactively saving the arcade video game industry.

On this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, Josh Levin and Mike Pesca talk about the Prime Prep Academy and the utility of sports academies in the U.S. Slate Plus members get an ad-free version of this podcast with bonus segments. Visit and try it free for two weeks.

Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Chris Laskowski.

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*Correction, Aug. 12, 2014: This article originally misspelled attorney Jeffrey Kessler’s first name. (Return.)

Josh Levin is Slate’s editorial director.

Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.