Sunday, April 26, 2009

This Could Have Been The True Last Lap At Talladega

Brad Keselowski won his first Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway but it was Carl Edwards who was the talk of the race. Edwards car became airborne and sailed into the fence near the finish line. It was a chilling crash as seen by the pictures. Thankfully Edwards managed to get out of his car under his own power and then did his best Ricky Bobby - Talladega Night impression as he ran down the track to cross the finish line on foot, lord knows the car wasn’t going to make it that far. Talladega is a NASCAR regulated restrictor plate race. Basically for those who are not racing fans, Restrictor plates are used to combat the high speeds at NASCAR's two fastest tracks, and the plates typically keep the field bunched tightly together. One wrong move by a driver can and almost always cause a massive accident.

NASCAR put these restrictions on the cars at a few tracks known as the Superspeedways. It was a crash by Bobby Allison that led to this rule at this very track. In the attempt to slow the cars down to make things safer, they made the races more dangerous.

With all the cars only able to go the same speed and it is not like it is a slow speed either. All the cars will bunch up during the race creating a big pack still going at a high rate of speed. 1 small mistake by any of these cars will result in what is known in the NASCAR world as “The Big One” and every week that they are at one of these tracks before, during, and after the race they talk about the ‘Big One’. This is not something new. Fans know it, commentators know it and of course the drivers know it....and very few like it. Many people will tune into a race to see the racing, many others will tune in to see a wreck but these races are more then just a fender-benders...just ask Carl Edwards. "We'll race like this until we kill somebody," said Edwards, "then (NASCAR) will change it."

Where the accident happened it was also very lucky that the “Safety Fence” held up and prevented the debris and the actual car itself from flying into the stands and doing some serious damage and undoubtedly killing spectators. This event had all the potential to turning into one horrific tragedy. It is bad enough if a race car driver is hurt, but at least they know that they are always in a dangerous position when on the track, fans in the stands our for a fun afternoon of watching a race, usually with friends and family don’t expect to be taken out by sheet metal, tires or a whole car. Luckily the safety measures in place held up this time but next time NASCAR may not be so lucky.

Not only was there Edwards' frightening flight into the fence, Sunday's race was also marred by a 13-car crash on the seventh lap and another 10-car accident with nine laps to go.

NASCAR needs to look into this NOW. They are always talking about the improvements that they make to make the races safer to ignore one of the biggest risks is borderline negligent!
it happens too often and they know that there is always a real possibility that a major tragedy is just 1 turn away...Smarten up and do something!

See the last 2 laps here


Eazy MFing E said...

Wow, what an ex post. I had not seen footage of this accident so I appreciate this blog providing a link for me. Now that I have watched it I must say I agree with your post. A little crazy! I love restrictor plate racing in a way because it is so competitive, but you're right, it's retardedly dangerous and something needs to be done.

SB said...

Carl was blocking - so I know it was not Brad's fault. What I did not like however was Brad's attitude after the race in post race interviews and the fact that he did burnouts. A member of his team should have told him there were fans injured and to cool his jets and hell just the fact that he nearly killed a very popular driver should have been enough. Perhaps the next time the rookie is involved in something like this he may show just a little more class. Take some lessons from Carl Edwards.

Good post RB.