Home » NASCAR - Sprint Cup Series

Hood: It Sounded Like A Bomb

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, March 12 2010
Carl Edwards now getting scrutiny from sponsor. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Carl Edwards now getting scrutiny from sponsor. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

In Carl Edwards’ world, someone with a bigger stick than NASCAR president Mike Helton and Roush Fenway Racing co-owner Jack Roush spoke on Thursday.

In a prepared statement, Scotts, which sponsored Edwards’ No. 99 Ford in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, made it very clear that the type of behavior shown by the Missouri native over the weekend won’t be tolerated going forward:

“Scotts appreciates the support of NASCAR fans everywhere, and we have an excellent relationship with Carl Edwards, Jack Roush and the #99 Roush Fenway Racing team.

“However, like many fans, we were very concerned about the on-track incident that occurred in Atlanta this past weekend. As a result, we have strongly expressed these concerns to both Carl and Jack, and we are confident that they have a clear understanding of the trust we have placed in them as ambassadors of our company, our associates and our brands.

“In addition, as a sponsor, we want to make sure that drivers, race teams and NASCAR focus on keeping these types of incidents and misjudgments from happening.”

Let me preface my comments by stating the obvious: Brad Keselowski is no angel.

However, in the name of sportsmanship and basic civil obedience, what Edwards did to his rival on Sunday bordered on criminal behavior.

The way NASCAR reacted was puzzling, but not surprising.

A three-race probation for intentionally wrecking a fellow competitor at 190 miles per hour?

Puh-leeze.

From where I sat in the press box on Sunday, I heard a bomb detonate at the exact moment I saw Keselowski’s crumpled car clobber the wall out of the corner of my eyes.

A couple of things rushed through my mind:

Keselowski’s powerful impact reminded me of Blaise Alexander’s wreck at the start-finish in an ARCA race in Charlotte in Oct. 2001. Alexander’s contact with the wall sounded like an explosion. Alexander was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

Sunday’s impact was just as loud.

As Keselowski’s No. 12 Dodge slid helplessly toward Turn 1 on Sunday, I immediately flashbacked to the violent, bomb-like sound that echoed through Turn 4 during the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 as Dale Earnhardt’s No. 3 Chevrolet ricocheted off the wall and slid to a stop below the apron. Just over an hour later, Earnhardt was pronounced dead by medical authorities.

Sunday’s impact was just as loud.

On Monday night, Kyle Petty commented on PRN’s Fast Talk radio show that Edwards “broke a code” by wrecking a competitor on one of the circuit’s fastest tracks. The third-generation driver went on to say that he had retaliated against drivers throughout his career on short tracks. But he never dreamed of intentionally crashing someone at a place like Atlanta.

Petty also called for Edwards to be suspended for one race.

“My grandfather raced in this sport, my father raced in this sport, I did, and I had a son that came along,” Petty told the New York Times immediately after learning of Edwards’ three-race probation. “I love this sport more than anything in the world.

“To me, this is one of the saddest days I’ve ever experienced in the sport.”

Fortunately for Keselowski, modern safety initiatives implemented by NASCAR saved him from serious injury or death on Sunday.

As for Edwards, don’t expect him to show up at Bristol next week and show remorse.

How will the powerful fan base in Bristol react to Edwards’ “misjudgment” in Atlanta?

I look for one of NASCAR’s more popular drivers to be greeted with a chorus of boos.

Let the healing process begin.

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, March 12 2010
12 Comments

12 Comments »

  • ANM says:

    Interesting.

  • Lynnsy says:

    I want to say I totally agree with Charles in the fact that just because Brad was going for the win at Talledaga it was OK to send a car in the air? Of course we all know that Brad is the type of racer that would NEVER bump a car out of the way if he really thought it would go airborne. He said what an awful thing that was for Carl to do when it could have injured fans so that leads me to believe that when he did it at Talladega he thought it through in the matter of a few seconds and decided that there was no way it would injure any fans if he bumped Carl out of the way (it was for the win after all!!!!). OOPSY. Can’t have it both ways Brad.

  • Charles says:

    You need to get a job working with Ralph Nader, not Nascar!!!!!!!

    Your calling might be trying or writing on how dangerous the roads we drive on everyday!

    Racing is supposed to be dangerous!!!!

    There is past history in Nascar of cars flipping!!!!! and drivers hitting each other! Just because the car went airborne is no, repeat no reflection on Carl Edwards! He could have flipped and did when Brad hit him at Talledaga!

    Now what you are probably going to say was at Talledaga he was going for the win! Well if you are such a safety gruru then it does not matter on how the car went airborne,the danger is the same! Freak accidents are going to occur nomatter what they do!!!!

    As long as I have accepted the danger on our highway system, I sure can accept the danger in a Nascar Race!!!!!!

    • Big Ed says:

      Gee, Charles, maybe this weekend you will get really lucky and a plane will crash somewhere.

  • Lou says:

    Yankee Granny, You should stick to knitting if you can’t stand to watch men racing. Take your $2,000 and spend it on yarn.

  • Lou says:

    Nascar designed the flying brick, they should get the heat. Carl was within his rights to pay back and the result was way overblown but look to Nascar. They are the bright ones who say how this car is built.

    Yes Carl turned into him when they were about to touch but if you don’t you end up going around to as your nose gets trapped. Yes he did intend to spin him, but the total result was a function of design and this could happen anytime there is a spin at these speeds.

    Nascar should stick to collecting fees for providing the show place and leave the design work to the teams.

  • Keith says:

    I usually don’t agree with most of the opinions of Kyle Petty and I don’t trash him because of the awesome charity work he does but he hit the nail on the head with the fact that you don’t get even at tracks like Atlanta and this was an unwritten rule that was always followed unless the payback was done right away.

  • Barry Tierney says:

    Amen, Amen, Amen!!! I did the same thing to Scotts… When I e-mailed them I gave them my home address and told them to do a goggle earth map and look at the difference between the yards all around me. Its so clear you can’t miss it even from outer space. I offered my thanks for the deep root bed that weathers the summer heat, but no longer will be a customer of theirs as long as they sponsor Carl Edwards. I told them I thought this was like the Tiger Woods deal only the moral defect was a little different but somehow deeper and more dangerous.

  • Lifelong Fan says:

    Not supporting Scotts because of an unrelated person’s actions is asinine. There, I’ve said it. People didn’t stop buying Wrangler Jeans or GM cars because of Earnhardt’s style, people didn’t stop shopping at Home Depot during the controversies that Stewart has had, either. Use the product that gets the job done for you, and let marketing be just that, marketing.

    Personally, I think the incident was great for NASCAR, because it got people who don’t normally tune in to a race to pay attention to it. Edwards VS Keselowski was front page stuff just about everywhere. AND, Keselowski needed someone to “put him in his place.” He’s been a real jerk in most every race I’ve seen him in. I’m just glad he didn’t get hurt, nobody would’ve wanted that myself included. This isn’t the first time someone tried to pay Keselowski back either. Denny Hamlin also did it at the end of last year in the Nationwide Series. So, I guess we’ll stop doing business with FedEx now, right? Please… The 1979 Daytona 500 ended with a fistfight, and if it wasnt for that, there might not be a Daytona 500 today. It got the nation interested, showed that these “good ‘ol boys” really know how to put on a show. This could have a similar effect.

  • yankeegranny says:

    I spent over $2000 on Scott products in 2009, I have already e-mailed them that I will not spend one cent more as long as they sponsor that thug Carl Edwards. Hit him and Jack Roush in the pocketbook by not buying anything that sponsors Edwards, but be sure to e-mail the sponsor that you are boycotting their product and why. Money talks and BS walks.

  • Sue says:

    Great article Jeff. Did you read Jeff Hammonds’ piece yesterday calling all of us, including reporters, a bunch of bad things because we think Nascar and Carl were wrong? I have heard from a lot of people, that were at the track, that there were some people who suffered minor injuries from stuff flying off of the car. I would like to know if this has been ignored by Nascar and the Press. Keep up the good word. Sue