Monday, March 8, 2010

View From The Flagstand

This week we had an unobstructed view of Carl Edwards cutting to the right as he turned into Brad Keselowski right below the flagstand. Which led to The Kes getting airborne on the frontstretch at Atlanta. This, after neither requesting, nor receiving permission for a flyby. That's a negative, Ghostrider.


The Blue Deuce is back, baby! Kurt Busch won this race for the second year in a row. Thanks to Edwards' selfish behavior, Busch had to drive an extra 16 laps beyond the scheduled distance with the cautions and green, white, checkered finishes. I'm thinking that has to be some kind of record.


Kevin Harvick dominated the Truck series race on Saturday, then, somehow, on Sunday, lucked into a 9th place run. The RPM trio of Kasey Kahne (4th), Paul Menard (5th), and AJ Allmendinger (6th) had great finishes. Brian Vickers (7th) and Scott Speed (10) gave Red Bull Racing some wings. Juan Pablo Montoya stalked the leaders all day and came home 3rd.


Every one of the Hendrick (and associates) cars suffered from recurring tire problems all day long. Thanks to Edwards' jackassery we never learned after the race who was to blame... Goodyear, or the team's setups.


Plenty of empty seats at the track. Sure it was cold the night before, but the weather wasn't that bad on Sunday. Official estimates of attendance were 85,000. Other, non-biased guesses were closer to 65,000. Or, about the same figure that would be in Rockingham for a Cup race in March.


Carl Edwards! For starters, Keselowski did NOT cause the first wreck with him. BK held his line, Carl came down, and wrecked himself. They were entering turn one on a restart! He should know that The Kes doesn't back off for anyone.

So, after having over an hour to think it over, and check the replays, Carlsbad reenters the fray with one objective....take out The Kes! Keselowski is not just an innocent victim here, though. No doubt if he did not have a history of contact and controversy with Edwards (among dozens of others) there probably wouldn't have been any retaliation for the earlier incident.

I'm writing this before any sanctions are handed down, but I'll give a prediction on what Edwards' punishment will be. NASCAR stated a few weeks ago that they will let the drivers police themselves, so I don't see Edwards getting a huge penalty for the intentional wrecking of a competitor. However, when NASCAR ordered him to park his car during the caution, he drove across the infield grass, and went the wrong way down pit road. NASCAR frowns on that kind of insubordination.

I look for Edwards to be placed on probation for the rest of the year, and lose some points, and cash. No suspension, even though plenty of fans are overreacting and calling for one. Although, if Edwards had upended any other driver--- except for Kyle Busch --- NASCAR may have pulled the trigger on a one race suspension.


  1. This past weekend, the first Athens Speedway reunion was held. I didn't find one thing about Wendell Scott, although the movie "Greased Lightning" was filmed there. Thank you, drivers, for having the decal on the cars at AMS honoring Scott.

  2. Maybe for the first time, I agree with you. Edwards pulled a bonehead move. I didn't like it when Speedo turned Stenhouse for the ARCA title, I don't like it now.

    As for the punishment, take some points, take some $$$, but let him drive.

    NASCAR said the drivers should police themselves. Maybe it will happen. Will the Big K will think about adapting his driving style, and the rest of the drivers also think twice the next time they want to send someone into the wall? Or do you think they'll continue the practice and hope that their victim stays on the ground? I think NASCAR should back off and let it play out -- until the next guy goes airborn.

  3. You hit it right on the head with the BK/CE deal. Wrecking somebody is nothing new in this sport but we take notice when cars are flying through the air.

    I remember Emmo doing Al Jr. at Indy years ago near the end of the race. Jr. gave him a thumbs up as he came back around and went on the win the Indy 500.

    Johny Beauchamp did Lee Petty at Daytona in the early 60's ....maybe a little payback for losing the first Daytona 500 ?

    Dale Earnhardt did Rusty Wallace at Dega back in the 90's, they were running for 3rd or 4th or 5th or whatever but had to chance to win this one. Wallace wrecked so bad that Dale turned around and came back to check on him. I hope so.

    Tony Stewart ran Matt kenseth off the Superstretch 3 years ago at the mid point of the Daytona 500. Nothing was said or done about it.

    It is up to the drivers regardless of what the sanctioning body says or does. The key is many drivers do not respect the speed or it's implications even at 100 mph.

    Just one of them racin deals

  4. ATH...I don't know why they didn't honor Wendell in his home state of Virginia instead of Atlanta.

  5. RA6AN....So, you're finally coming around to my way of thinking, huh? lol

    I kinda doubt that Super K will change his style. All the drivers whine about someone getting killed whenever they get airborne--- see Carl at Dega last year---- then they keep on doing the things that make them get airborne. The sport is not for the meek.

    I agree that NASCAR probably won't do much.... until next time.

  6. Rick...Payback has been around since the 2nd race... maybe the first, if there was an Edwards involved.

    NASCAR prefers that it not be so blatantly obvious so they don't have to penalize the drivers so harshly.

    I think Edwards' punishment should be having to watch video of the first incident over and over until he admits that BK never came up off the yellow line.

  7. What a wild weekend. Edwards makes his move plus Menard finishes fifth?! I don't think NASCAR will suspend Edwards. That could affect too many things down the road.

  8. WOOT! Blue Deuce is back baby!! =) We could have had all 3 of Penske's teams in the top 10 had Sam not had engine prob and well, thanks Carl!

    HMS + SHR set ups not Goodyear...

    You are the only one who is calling the penalty right Gene. He'll get something for the way he came off the track but with NASCAR promoting them to solve things on the track, well thats what we got.

    I will say the damage to BK's car was pretty scary and I am sure the psychological stress of nearly seriously hurting BK might be enough to make some of them rethink retaliation going 200mph. But then again probably not.

    It was the perfect storm for Carl being so many laps down and BK having a stellar run you just *knew* it was coming!

  9. Word is that Edwards got a 3 race suspension. I thought it woulda been till the end of the year! No word on points or $$$. He got off pretty easy.

  10. Dammit! JPM blew the final restart! Juan is really starting to P.M.O.

    3 race probation, Ragan. Yeah, he got off cheap. But, once Pemberton said "Have at it, boys" the boys in the yellow hauler signed up for this.

    Still say they had a hand in this. Notice this was the first ratings spike this year after 4 races...

    How in the heck did Happy finish in the Top 10? Every time I switched over he was stuck with the backmarkers.

    Bobby Labonte...OMG...just see the truth already and start hanging out with Kyle Petty and Jimmy Spencer on SPEED - will ya?

  11. yeah, "probation" is what I meant. That's what happens when I try to post on my way out to a meeting.

    seems like a slap on the wrist.

  12. JM...That was a WILD finish! The race wasn't too bad either.

  13. Kristen... Am I the only one who thinks that Carl has serious issues with expressing his anger?

    The Busch Bros blow off steam via the radio with their crews... Carl seems like more of a passive aggressive bully. Abandonment issues?

  14. RA6AN... He got a slap on his limp wrist! Three races! I'm glad NASCAR didn't overreact though.

  15. Moseby...Kurt deserved it more than JPM.

    Yes, with the light penalty, NASCAR has set a helluva precedent.

    Harvick, and Jr, can thank Carl for improving their finishes by 15 spots due to the cautions and G,W,Cs that he caused.

    Poor Bobby. I think back to when Ward Burton quit cold. Everyone knew he could still get it done, but I'm now glad that he didn't hang around in a bad ride.

  16. Well it did make for an exciting final part of the race.

    I am not taking sides with Carl or Brad. Just seems sad that it takes something ike this to wake up the crowd on a boring race.

  17. Great blog Hany,

    No frame by frame needed as u got it right,,

    Carl's spotter must have snezzed,yawned and gave him the clear low when he was not,, Then the clown in the holloywood hotel say's during one of the updates that Brad bumped Carl taking them out f the race. WRONG!!!!

    Then to fix the car and come back out and reck the driver for youe own mistake just shows how much Carl needs his mother when he makes mistakes to say it's ok son,, your still number 1 in my book.

    I will say this now it's not just the wing making them get air born and I hope soon to do a post about it.

  18. Photo...Yes, it did add some excitement.... it also tore up a lot of cars in overtime...Thanks, Carl!

  19. F-2...Carl knew he was wrong and still tried to lay some of the blame on Brad. It was a restart... did Carl really think that Brad would give him any room going into turn one?

    Looking forward to your insights on the flying cars. Great to see you back, bro.


  20. Running that early in the race, experienced drivers expect each other to give and take. BK should have let off and moved down. Don't be a prick.

  21. the replay, dude. Both of BK's left side tires were on the yellow line in turn one. Going down on the apron, in the turn, at Atlanta, at 180 MPH.... not too great of an idea. As for 'letting off'... they were entering turn one on the first lap of a restart... kind of crowded behind him.

    I can't stand either one of those guys, but it was 100% Carl's fault.

  22. I'm pretty excited about the precedent NASCAR set with this one just because we're going to see more sparring. Edwards was the first one to test the new "loose" policy and showed everyone else how easy it is to get off. I think it's going to be fight night at the track regularly and then maybe we'll get some rivalries going.