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Another Nascar Problem
March 7, 2010 - Al Stephenson
The 2010 Nascar season has gotten off to a shaky start. With a pothole problem in Daytona to the yellow lights coming on without warning in Las Vegas, Nascar fans are wondering what is going on. There must be some gremlins at work somewhere.
Today's race brought a new (some would say old) problem to the forefront. Brad Keselowksi tapped Carl Edwards quarterpanel and sent him into Joey Logano and the wall early in the race. Edwards spent a lot of time in the garage finally emerging with no hope of finishing any better than the mid-30's.
Keselowski on the other hand was having the race of the season as he was sitting in the top 5. Edwards was waiting patiently for his chance at "payback" which came with just a handful of laps remaining. He missed his first chance, but not the second a lap later.
Edwards drove deliberately into the left rear of Keselowski's machine and spun him out. One of the problems with the maneuver is that Keselowski's car went airborne even though the roof flaps deployed as they are supposed to. At the speeds they run at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the flaps were not enough to keep the car on the ground.
Keselowski was done. He finished 36th. Edwards was parked by Nascar for aggressive driving and ended up 39th. The incident led to two green, white, checker attempts to finish the race. The green,white, checker finishes may end up being another Nascar problem before the season is over.
The problem as I see it, is that Nascar is going to have to do something about the retaliation mentality that its drivers have before someone gets seriously injured. Keselowski said as much after the race. As he pointed out it may not be a driver, it could very well be someone in the stands.
Keselowski's driving style has ruffled a few feathers among the drivers. Maybe one of the veterans should have a chat with him, before the next incident turns out to be much more serious.
As for Edwards, the view from my seat suggests that Nascar should sit him down for a race or two. Send a message that a deliberate attempt to wreck a fellow driver will not be tolerated. The sport is dangerous enough without retaliation at 190-plus mph.
I like to watch good hard auto racing. If I want to see cars wrecked, I will go to the local demolition derby.
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