Last weekend, former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart struck and killed another driver during a horrific sprint car crash, making much of the racer's future uncertain. For many, however, the only question was whether Stewart would continue to compete, which was seemingly answered Thursday when Empire News reported "Tony Stewart to Announce Retirement."

The online response was immediate and emotional, resulting in a near-deluge of bitter cyber-tears.

Empire News cited a number of sources to support their claim, including ESPN's Nicole Briscoe and NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, who reportedly said, "I talked with Tony yesterday and he made it clear, he is done with racing." Fortunately for the Internet's Stewart supporters and their beleaguered emoji, Empire News are a bunch of filthy liars.

Yesterday, both Wallace and Briscoe dismissed the article on Twitter, the latter saying point-blank "the 'story' regarding Tony Stewart's impending retirement is a hoax."

Sadly, some NASCAR fans still didn't get the message, moving directly into the bargaining stage of stock car racing grief.

[Image via AP]

Antiviral is a new blog devoted to debunking fake news, online hoaxes and viral garbage. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and send your tips to