Blogs > Nascar: Beyond the Track

Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

By letting Edwards off, NASCAR has set dangerous precedent

Boy, did NASCAR blow this one.

To put the ridiculous free pass given to Carl Edwards by NASCAR after his reckless actions at Atlanta into perspective, here’s a quick sample of previous fines and penalties that have been levied by NASCAR against drivers.

-- In July of 2001 at Daytona, Tony Stewart had an altercation with NASCAR official Gary Nelson in the garage following a yellow line violation. The result: A $10,000 fine and probation until the end of the season.

-- In August of 2003, Jimmy Spencer punched Kurt Busch in the face at Michigan Speedway after an on-track incident. The result: A $25,000 fine, a one-week suspension and probation until the end of the year.

-- In September of 2005, Robby Gordon at New Hampshire International Speedway tried to hit another competitor's car during a caution period, threw his helmet at a competitor's car and used improper language during a TV interview. The result: Gordon was fined $35,000 and lost 50 championship points.

-- Dale Earnhardt Jr. was famously fined $10,000 and docked 25 points for using a cuss word during a Victory Lane interview in 2004 at Talladega. Jr. earned the same penalties in March 2004 for intentionally causing a caution.

So now it’s 2010. NASCAR wants to let the drivers police themselves, which I agree with to a point, as it relates to letting them race competitively for position and make the races more exciting. (i.e. … none of the babysitting like NASCAR did last year at Talladega with their bump-banning rules that made it essentially a single-file race).

But by giving Carl Edwards NO points penalty, NO monetary fine and NO suspension, and simply putting him on probation for a measly 3 races (which is even less than a slap of the wrist), NASCAR set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the year.

Edwards’ actions went beyond “let them race” … He took a car that was more than 150 laps down, just making laps to earn a couple extra points, and turned it into a weapon. He slammed into Keselowski (a couple times actually, as Brad escaped the first attempt) with no regard for the safety of Brad, the other competitors or the fans in the stands.

I’m all for getting payback if needed (Bristol would have been a nice place to do that), but Edwards’ actions were ridiculous. If Brad has been seriously injured or worse, the police may have gotten involved due to the recklessness of Edwards’ actions.

Mike Helton said that NASCAR is more concerned with the cars getting airborne than what Edwards did, because it’s a much bigger issue.

Wrong. They are both big issues. I agree the car lifting is a huge concern, but I was hoping NASCAR wouldn’t pass down a judgment that basically condoned vigilante tactics that could end up seriously hurting a driver, but that’s exactly what they did.

I’ll all for letting drivers take the gloves off, but I’d rather see them do it on pit road with their fists than on the track with cars traveling nearly 200 mph. (Jimmy Spencer’s punch was widely celebrated, in fact).

It’s insane to condone the kind of action Carl Edwards took, and if someone does end up getting hurt or worse this year, the blood will be on NASCAR’s hand by essentially condoning it with the Edwards ruling.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home