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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Carl Edwards' reckless retaliation was just plain stupid

I must be blunt about what happened Sunday.
Carl Edwards screwed himself over pretty good on Sunday.

Let me count off the damage he did by taking his laps-down car and blatantly wrecking front-runner Brad Keselowski and sending him flying onto his roof with just laps to go in the race.
1. He may be suspended by NASCAR for a race (which would make his efforts to make the Chase much more difficult), and will for sure get a massive fine and points penalty
2. He will be eagle-eyed by NASCAR for the rest of the year, as they will watch his every move for overly aggressive action.
3. Perhaps most importantly in the long term, he lost the respect of potentially millions of fans who were watching the Atlanta race on Sunday with his ridiculous and dangerous actions.

He knew better, and the consequences should be harsh.

To sum it up for those who don’t know already, Edwards was wrecked early Sunday in a not-on-purpose incident by Brad Keselowski, and decided to violently retaliate on Brad when they were traveling at 190+ mph with just 5 laps in the race.

Stupid, stupid and stupid are the only ways to describe such an action.
Come on Carl, you’re a smart guy … Save it for Bristol, when people tend to get hit anyway and the speeds are way lower.

But Carl couldn’t do that. He had to get back at Brad right away. I’m guessing that right now, he’s not too happy with his decision.

I recognize that Brad is an aggressive driver, and could probably learn from this incident that it’s probably a good idea to give the other drivers a little more room on occasion, especially early in the race. But even if you’re on the anti-Brad bandwagon, and there is a considerable number of people who are, there’s no justifying what Edwards did on Sunday.

As he’s sitting at home with his wife and baby for the next two weeks (possibly longer if he gets suspended), I hope he realizes that he’s used up any patience NASCAR may have had with him for a long time.

The “let em race” rule was intended to promote healthy competition on the racetrack, not encourage drivers to take a wounded car that’s 150+ laps down back on the track and dangerously wreck a car that’s contending for a top-5 finish.

As Brad accurately said in his interview after the wreck, both he and fans in the grandstands could have been seriously injured in the kind of accident Edwards created. Edwards should know this personally, since his flying car at Talladega actually did injure some fans.

I’m curious what NASCAR will do about this, and I hope the response is not tame.
He should be suspended for a race, though I wouldn’t put money on that happening.

Regardless of the punishment, the only person really hurt by Carl Edwards’ actions on Sunday was Carl Edwards.

New faces in the Chase?
Paul Menard AND Scott Speed are sitting in Chase territory in the points … that’s not a typo.

Both drivers have been less than strong finishers in the past, to be kind. Speed has a horrible rookie season where he caused a ton of cautions and didn’t do much else. Menard, likewise, has been a backmarker who was only mentioned on TV when he was being lapped.

At this point in 2010, it appears that their storylines are changing. Speed is outperforming his teammate Brian Vickers, who made the Chase in 2009. And Menard is leading the way for the Richard Petty Motorsports, doing even better than superstar teammate Kasey Kahne.

I say good luck to them … it’s always nice to see a few fresh faces in the top-10 each week. If they stick around up front all year, and that’s a big if, the question becomes: Who will falter and be running laps down in their place?

Fewer start-and-parkers
After some warnings from NASCAR in recent weeks about the practice of “starting and parking,” it appears the practice is close to being extinct. A quick glance at the results of the Atlanta race reveals that the only team to do it this week was the two-car squad of Prism Motorsports – with drivers Dave Blaney and Michael McDowell.

A former start-and-park team, Tommy Baldwin Racing, had a solid 24th-place run by Mike Bliss on Sunday. Also, the new #26 team with driver Boris Said is not start-and-parking either, at least so far.

It’s a good sign that the practice is becoming less common in Cup. I don’t mind it as much in Nationwide, but it shouldn’t be happening at the top level of the sport.


Blogger HEATHER said...

You know, my mother and were watching the race and said the exact same thing-that Carl most definately needs to be suspended for at least one, if not two races.
Carl is really fortunate that Brad Keselowski was not killed. What was left of the number 12 car was a pretty scary site.
Carl's actions seemed to have escalated in the past few years and it seems to co-incide with the bulking up of his physique which makes me wonder if he doesn't have a case of "roid rage".

March 7, 2010 at 6:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bliss and Said are not start and park teams. They haven't been all year. They just have been back markers for most of the season thus far.

March 8, 2010 at 11:35 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I wouldn't mind seeing drivers get in each others faces after a race. Example, jeff gordon pushing matt kenseth after bristol, even get so mad as to let them throw a punch or two like the 88 and 20 nationwide teams at charlotte, don't fine or suspend drivers or crew members for stuff like that. But when I have to watch a wreck like that, that was caused by a jacked up Carl Edwards, and wonder if I'll see brad k's brains or a fans on national t.v. spread all over the racetrack; that's a little more than a little extra action, that's not what racing is about, yeah let'em spin each other at bristol, but who wants to see another adam petty or kenny irwin at the expense of a little added excitement from time to time, NASCAR needs to make a example of carl for the safety of all the other drivers and all of the fans.

March 8, 2010 at 6:24 PM 

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