Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Am I missing something here?

Carl Edwards admits he intentionally rammed Brad Keselowski's car Sunday in the closing laps of the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, causing Kes's No. 12 Dodge to spin, take flight, flip upside down and crushing half of the top of the car (fortunately it was the right side of the car, not the driver's compartment -- leading to another fortuitous result: Keselowski was shaken but not injured).

And for such an egregious act, Edwards is placed on three weeks of "probation."

That's it. No fine, no suspension, no points deduction -- no other penalty whatsoever.

That's right, absolutely nothing else in terms of being "punished."

NASCAR president Mike Helton said that there were actually two episodes at work here. The first was Edwards' actions. The second was how Keselowski's car unexpectedly went airborn -- something that even Edwards sheepishly admitted he didn't expect to happen when he essentially did a PIT maneuver on Keselowski's ride (if you don't know what a PIT maneuver is, watch some police chases online or on TV and you'll find out soon enough).

So, instead of focusing on the core of the problem -- that Edwards was the aggressor and sent Keselowski flying -- NASCAR has chosen to consider it a more serious and egregious situation that Keselowski's car caught lift at 190 mph and turned Atlanta Motor Speedway's fast racing surface into a takeoff runway.

Let's not put the cart before the horse here. The facts are pretty straightforward: if Edwards doesn't do what he did, Keselowski doesn't wind up the way he did -- regardless of the fact that his car wasn't "supposed" to lift off the ground.

We've already seen the same situation several times in the last few years, particularly at Talladega, where cars have gotten into the air after being hit from behind or from the side. Edwards knows that as well as anybody, as it was Keselowski that gave Edwards the ride of his life a year ago at 'Dega, almost taking out the frontstretch fencing and injuring seven people in the process. Had it not been for good fortune, many more could have been hurt or worse.

NASCAR knows it has a problem with cars lifting up and off into the air. That's why it plans on replacing the rear wing element and return to the old tried-and-true rear spoiler later this season. But given what we saw Sunday at Atlanta, and the fact we have an upcoming off-weekend, wouldn't the prudent thing be to replace the wings with spoilers right now -- particularly in light of what happened with the Edwards-Keselowski imbroglio?

NASCAR's "have at it, boys" philosophy has morphed into a "hands off" policy, it would seem. Even some of NASCAR's hardest and most aggressive drivers, like Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick, were nothing short of stunned by NASCAR's action on Tuesday.

Or should I say, lack of action.

I'm not trying to be a maudlin drama queen or conspiracy theorist or anything of the sort, but unless NASCAR starts being a bit more astute at the way it hands out penalties -- in the past, it's penalized guys like Dale Earnhardt Jr. for inadvertently cursing on TV, or Jeff Gordon simply pushing Matt Kenseth (with his hands, not his car) -- something bad is wound to happen.

You know what I mean by that, too. Something bad equals someone gets hurt (or worse), be it a driver, crew member or fan. I would think we have come a long way since Dale Earnhardt lost his life nearly 10 years ago. But by turning such a blind eye to Edwards' actions, we may very well have regressed in some of the progress we've made since Earnhardt's death.

As I said in the headline, where's the beef in NASCAR's "punishment" of Edwards? The answer is simple: the beef is from the fans, the beef is Edwards' blatant ramming of Keselowski, and the beef is NASCAR's almost non-existent penalty in the offing.

Actually, scratch that last one. That's not beef, that's pure bull.


  1. You are a maudlin drama queen!

  2. Boys have at it? Are they, could they actually be serious? That'd be like the NFL saying they've been handing out too many personal fouls lately that have been making the show less interesting or something, so they're going to let the players "police themselves." WHAT? No credible sporting even can have the competitors policing themselves, are you kidding? Let's say Kurt Bush is 20 points behind Johnson at Homestead this year, with 10 laps to go. Get Sam Hornish to take Johnson out, problem solved. Then, does Mark Martin take Bush out? I'm NOT exaggerating, apparently it's now OK to take someone out during a race, is that not correct? That simply DOESN'T WORK, the sport turns quickly into a demolishon derby! They've all but said it's OK to behave this shamefully. This makes no sense whatsoever. Mayhem results, and the drivers, Carl included, are just pawns in this show, contrived for the most blood-thirsty among us. They might as well hire Jerry Springer to replace Helton, he has far more experience with this type of "entertainment." If they want us to take this as a serious "sport" it is going to have to behave like any serious sport has to behave, with a respectable amount of law and order. Allowing what happened Sunday to happen turns this "sport" into a joke, immediately. This is sad, I'm a big NASCAR fan.

  3. "I'm a big NASCAR fan."

    Apparently not.

  4. Well NASCAR just pushed the door wide open.....
    They just told the drivers that it's perfectly acceptable to put tour fellow drivers and fans lives at risk for the betterment of their TV ratings.
    Just another one of NASCAR's long list of double standards to protect their poster boys and super teams.............

  5. Ok..going the drama queen route...I get the feeling half the drivers think it was justified and the car going airborne was the ONLY problem..and the other half are stunned ... So right there is a problem. If NASCAR is giving the "go at it boys" message..what does this send to the up and coming drivers? Doesn't it lend to having more "Brads" coming into the series? I mean as it stands now the rookies wishing to make it to CUP will have to ramp it up..how can they enter the series if they don't have "their big boy panties on" and race the veterans the way the veterans have been given the green flag to race them? You can't have it both ways..you can't tell the rookies to "honor thy father"..and then give the "fathers" the green light to take out anyone they deem in their way! This should be interesting..and maybe a little more then chaotic. Hey you think Brad is aggressive...I can't wait till Stephen Wallace enters the CUP Series..and given the free pass the drivers have now...it should be MORE then interesting..it could turn out to be a hell hotter then NASCAR could ever imagine!! But wait!!! I am going to assume this free pass extends to the Nationwide and Truck Series...so maybe hell will be here sooner then we think!!!

  6. Great Call by Nascar, when I watch races, it "better be more dangerous" than the state highway I just got off from!

    Iam tired 'Tumping the Safety Card" everytime their is a wreck!

    I dont go to see anyone get hurt, fan or driver, but also if it happens,it happens, life goes on! I have seen more danger on the highway we drive on,look at all the drucks leaving a Nascar event! so until Nascar races get more dangerous than our highway system, I will find the courage to attend!!!!!

  7. Regarding the Nationwide and Truck Series, I was wondering the same thing... so now Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine have a free pass to take out anyone they want, on purpose if necessary, no penalties or fines... really? This would be THE new and most effective strategy to win the championship, take out whomever is ahead of you in points! It's just one of them racin' deals, boys have at it!

  8. Well we know Cousin Carl is one of B. France's koolade boys......"You scratch my back and I will scratch yours".
    And we all know how desperate Nascar is for attention since most of the fans are leaving in droves!

  9. Aloha Jerry,

    Come on give Carl a break, he did what they have been doing for years, only this time stupid aerodynamics on the cot put an exclamation point on the simple spin out. If Krashalotski could drive or at least have some respect then it would not have happened.


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