WX-Man Weighs In: My Take on the Carl Edwards/ Brad Keselowski Incident
Above is the video of Carl Edwards crashing Brad Keselowski that has the NASCAR and all of the sports world talking. This wreck was intentionally and blatantly caused by Carl Edwards. I will be totally up front with all of you reading my blog. I am not a big fan of either of these drivers. I don’t have a strong connection either way. Yes, Carl has been around longer and there have been times when his temper and his reactions have made me ask, “What was this guy thinking?” The one that stands out and made me lose some respect for him was when he came out of the pits (not sure what Nationwide race it was) and hit Dale Jr. almost taking off his hand had Jr. not quickly brought it in. There have been numerous times, especially last season where Carl could have been accused of the same kind of aggressive driving he accused Keselowski of doing.
Looking back at the crashes and accidents involving both Brad and Carl 2 of the 3 (Taladega & the 2 at Atlanta) were what I call racing accidents. There was no true fault, just racing in my opinion. Taladega you had 2 drivers going for the win, Carl blocked once tried to block again but Keselowski had gotten inside of him and sent Carl flying. I don’t believe Brad was purposely trying to crash Carl just trying to win. Then on lap 41 at Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 in Atlanta the first contact was again a racing accident. Keselowski had the inside lane Carl was in the middle. Carl tried to squeeze down in front of Brad but there was no room they make contact and Carl is sent up the track into Logano. Sure Brad maybe could have checked up maybe given him more room, I don’t really know but someone’s spotter failed there and then a wreck occurred.
After the 1st wreck here is what Carl had to say, ““I know Brad has made his career on being super-aggressive. We both had a part in it and it’s not his fault, but it’s just a little too aggressive overall, I think, for that early in the race and caused us to wreck” Apparently while Carl waited for his crew to fix his car for over 100 laps he changed his mind and felt Brad was TOTALLY at fault and wanted payback.
If you’re a NASCAR fan and on Twitter like I am, you can’t escape this, everyone has an opinion. Of course the real passionate ones are those who are either Edwards fans or Keselowski fans or they are passionately against. Here are to NASCAR writers who cover the races, I personally think they make very valid points but have a completely different take on what should happen to Carl Edwards.
From SBNation.com you have Jeff Gluck who writes, “NASCAR Should Not (And Cannot) Punish Carl Edwards” his reasoning is because Edwards’ intention “was not to send the car flying.” Although I agree Edwards didn’t want to see Brad fly and flip in the air, he DID want to wreck him and his actions caused Keselowski to go flying. I’m a father of three boys ages 8 to 7 (I have a set of twins) I know from experience that 90% of the time they get in trouble their intentions are not to get in trouble and typically are harmless. Unfortunately there have been times that what they were doing could have gotten them or someone else hurt even though they weren’t trying to hurt or harm someone. As the father, I had to punish them because there are consequences for ones actions whether it was an accident or on purpose.
I’m also in the TV news business as a meteorologist. I’ve have seen numerous stories about a kid or someone else waving a gun with the intention of scaring and unfortunately the gun goes off and someone is shot. In these situations, although the intention was harmless, harm was caused and again someone had to pay a price for that accident.
Jeff also cites the “Have at it, boys” that NASCAR officials implemented at the beginning of the season:
“We are putting things back in the drivers’ hands,” said NASCAR chairman Brian France. “We’re going to open it up. We want to see what you want to see. We want to see drivers mixing it up. This is a contact sport and you’re going to see more contact. It’s going to make very good racing even better.”
Well when you read that you think, hey Carl was just doing what NASCAR wanted him to do. Go out there and police themselves but if you read more from this Jan 22, 2010 article from ESPN.com Terry Blount, “NASCAR gives drivers the green light” you will find the fine print so to speak:
“It doesn’t mean these guys have a get-out-of-jail-free card,” said NASCAR president Mike Helton. “But there’s an old saying in NASCAR: ‘If you ain’t rubbin’, you ain’t racin’.’ I think that’s what the NASCAR fans bought into and what they expect.
“Our role is to deliver that correctly while maintaining law and order. But we are the last people that want to over-regulate the sport.”
I know Jeff Gluck, I read a lot of what he writes and most of the time I agree with his opinions when he shares them, but this time I don’t. I like Jeff but I respectfully disagree with him on this issue.
I am more in line with what ESPN.com Terry Blount who wrote Monday, “NASCAR needs to drop the hammer on Edwards” he writes:
If NASCAR fluffs off Sunday’s incident and refuses to punish Carl Edwards severely, someone somewhere could die at a future event.
A harsh and uncomfortable thought, but entirely possible if Edwards’ payback moment on Brad Keselowski goes unchecked.
NASCAR’s judgment is coming in a day or two. Suspending Edwards for one race is the right thing to do.
Yes, I know all the wrong reasons why they won’t do it: hypocrisy; Brad had it coming; you can’t take a big-name driver out of the championship with a suspension.
Terry then goes on and breaks down all the “Wrong Reasons” I think everyone should read both sides before attacking anyone on their personal opinion.
Then of course there is the fun and always interesting “What if” game. Trust me I’ve been playing this myself. I have said numerous times on Twitter today that if Keselowski’s car never left the track and only slid bounced off the wall and into the infield this would not be as big of a story as it is today. In fact some people, well mainly those who don’t like Keselowski, would be applauding Carl for taking action into his own hands.
Then you have the car itself, All the flaps that were meant to keep the car from going airborne opened when Brad slid and started to go backwards unfortunately the large wing on the back of the car gives to much lift and that is why the car went airborne. Fortunately NASCAR is going back to the spoiler and let’s hope this fixes the the flying flipping cars.
Then back to Carl. All though he didn’t intend for Brad to go airborne he knew it was a possibility. He himself in an incident last year at Taladega involving Keselowski and Edwards at the end of the race where getting hit in a similar fashion sent him up up and away and he hit the catch fence seriously hurting one young fan who was there for her first ever NASCAR race.
When NASCAR said, “Have at it, boys” back in January I bet they didn’t expect to have to defend it or fine tune it this early on in the season. Although NASCAR is getting lots and lots of publicity on this crash I still think in the end no matter what their final decision is on Carl Edwards there will be a lot of NASCAR fans who will be upset.