I wasn’t going to discuss the roe between Carl and Brad more than I did on my previous post. I was, literally, all set to publish my next entry (about NASCAR -related commercials if you are curious) when I found out that Carl Edwards was given a three race probation for his antics with Brad Keselowski at Atlanta on Sunday. So I have to interrupt my own regularly scheduled post to rant a bit.
Now, I realize that NASCAR is trying to loosen the reigns on the drivers so that the drivers can feel free to be a bit more aggressive with their driving. I get that and frankly I agree with it and am all for it. But wow…this wasn’t a little bit of aggressive driving gone too far. This was a blatant attempt to take out another driver- revenge style. This was not a bump and run, this was an all-out crash and burn. Add that to the fact that national broadcast commentators told us several times during the race that Atlanta is THE FASTEST track (because of restrictor plates being used on the super speedways) right now in the series- it’s really scary! It’s one thing to bump a guy’s bumper to make a point or rub some fenders making a pass. It is a completely other thing to take a 3400 pound race car at speeds of 190+ mph and purposely aim for another guy also in a 3400 pound car, also going 190+ mph, for two laps. That is not being an aggressive driver- that is being a vigilante. While neither Brad nor Carl are favorite drivers of mine I don’t want to see ANYONE get hurt. Do I want to see some exciting racing? YES. Do I want to see ANY driver or fan (or crew member, track official etc) maimed or killed? ABSOLUTELY NO!
A huge part of me wants to bring up the whole Kurt Busch/Tony Stewart Bud Shootout practice from 2008. That really didn’t put anyone in danger. That was expressing some frustration. The bumping was fairly low speed; neither Kurt nor Tony were pointing their cars at each other going 190+ in front of a grandstand filled with spectators. Yet if memory serves correct Tony got put on probation for an entire year (and there may have been points and monetary fines as well I don’t remember honestly- it was a long time ago and my brain is nearly filled to capacity).
I mean I know that I am kind of comparing apples to oranges in a way since the Kurt/Tony incident happened two years ago before NASCAR adapted their looser stance on penalties. But let’s be honest here…what the heck is probation going to do? Nothing. Just make Carl mind his p’s and q’s for a couple races? That’s like slapping a kid’s hand for getting in the cookie jar- then giving them a cookie– in my opinion (obviously you can probably tell by my analogy that I am not a parent).
Mostly I guess I just was using this post to try to work through why NASCAR would do a 180 and be so lenient. As always comments are totally welcome….