Sunday was a prime example of making a plan, sticking to it, and hoping it works! There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to Talladega. The first school of thought is to get to the front quickly and stay there. The hope is that you will stay in front and out of the way of “THE BIG ONE’. The other school of thought is to lay back at the back of the pack in order to avoid “THE BIG ONE”. By staying at the very back of the pack, you could see “THE BIG ONE” starting to materialize and stay out of the bent sheet metal! That would be your hope, anyway!
Sunday there was a phenomena that took place that we have not seen happen at past races at either Daytona or Talladega. Sunday, for some unexplained reason, when just two cars hooked they would absolutely blow by the entire freight train of cars and motor right up the lead! Using Fox’s telemetry, the two car train was blowing by the long line with more that 10 MPH overtake! That is unbelieveable, in light of the fact that EVERYONE is driving their cars with their right foot BURIED on the floor!!
The lead changed 57 times among 27 drivers. That didn’t approach the record of 75 lead changes, but nonetheless, a very exciting race. There was three versons of “THE BIG ONE”! The first verson came on lap 7 taking out Jeff Gordon and several of the top 12 drivers. There was also another “BIG ONE” in the latter stages of the race.
But the one that had/has everyone gasping and talking about what happened in the tri oval just prior to the Start/Finish line as the Checkered Flag was begining to wave. It actually all started as the fright train of cars went by the Start/Finish line with one to go and the White Flag waving. The Carl Edwards #99 AFLAC Ford, who was back in 9th place, made a move to the outside and Brad Keselowski driving the #09 Miccosukee Indian gaming resort Chevy, in only his second Cup race this season, latched onto Edward’s bumper for one last valiant try to charge to the front. As the two “LONE WOLVES’ came out of turn two, “high wide and handsome” their combined effort gave them a huge run! They systematically one by one blew by the pack of 10 nose to tail race cars going down the back stretch!
As both Edwards and Keselowski rolled into turn 3 and 4 in first and second place,repectively, they drove their cars left side tires right down next to THE DONT’GO BELOW/OUT OF BOUNDS DOUBLE YELLOW LINES that marks the inside of the race track! Now onto the short straight leading to the tri oval, where the Start/Finish is at Daytona, but not Talladega, Keselowski has a big run and makes a move to the outside to pass Edwards. Edwards moves to block this attempt. Keselowski quickly turns left to go around Edwards on the inside, and gets up to Edward’s left rear quarter panel . “Cousin Carl” can see the flag man beginning to unfurl the Checkered Flag, reverses course, turns left to run Keselowski down below THE DOUBLE YELLOW LINE, thus keeping him from passing Edwards for the win!! Edwards is thinking that he probably has got this win in his hip pocket now. Remember the fall Talladega race with Reagan Smith and Tony Stewart????? Tony ran Reagan Smith down BELOW THE YELLOW LINE and Smith passed him for the apparent win…..WRONG!!!
However, Sunday Edwards turned left to try to force Keselowski down below the yellow line and keep him from passing Edwards for the win. Now Keselowski is going to be faced with two choices. The first choice is to get out of the throttle and let Carl Edwards win this race. the second choice becomes very risky, and that is, keep your foot “MATTED TO THE FLOOR” and take the results of what is about to happen, pleasant or not.
The choice, that the Young Mr.Keselowski took, was “keep ‘er gassed and hold your line”!! The end results was his first Cup win at Talladega Superspeedway and one spectacular crash for Carl Edwards!
Now the question that begs to be asked, “What is NASCAR going to do now?” After last fall’s race with the Tony Stewart and Reagan Smith controversey, it appears that there needs to be a tweaking or re-examination of the“Double Yellow Line” rule! It is this reporter’s view that after the fall race at Talladega last year, you had to know that this result was going to happen soon! A racer is a very competitive person and they will block the other cars, ESPECIALLY coming down to the Checkered Flag!!! Unfortunately, there is occasionally going to be some crumbled up sheet metal when drivers block others at restrictor plate races! In this case a few spectators were injured from flying debris off of either the car or the catch fence. That was extremely unfortunate!
What are your thoughts on restrictor plate racing? Is blocking fair? How do you cambat someone who is blocking you? Is there a better way for NASCAR to patrol the blocking and bump drafting?
Please participate in the poll below. Also click on the comment button at the bottom of this post, let me know what you think and why you think that!!