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Woody: Enough Of The Gripes Of Wrath, Already

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, March 17 2010
Brad Keselowski is ready to go after an interesting weekend off for the Sprint Cup drivers. Carl Edwards is ready to go as well. Will they go after each other?  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Brad Keselowski is ready to go after an interesting weekend off for the Sprint Cup drivers. Carl Edwards is ready to go as well. Will they go after each other? (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Larry Woody | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Judging from all the media hissing and moaning, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski should be ashamed of themselves, whaling away on each other and disturbing NASCAR’s nap-time.

Yeah, Keselowski took a wild ride at Atlanta. So?

Wild rides are what stock car racing is all about. Or at least it used to be, back before they started racing with dollies on the dashboard and their pinkie fingers extended.

I think NASCAR handled the situation about right. They sat Carl down and told him not to knock anybody else into the cheap seats for the next three races.

A lot of fans and media wanted Carl’s head on a platter. A silver platter, I presume, with some Perrier to sip and truffles to nibble while they watch curling on the Snooze Channel.

They seemed shocked that they witnessed a (gasp!) crash in a stock car race. Goodness gracious, what’s the world coming to?

Anyone remember a driver named Dale Earnhardt? Went by the name of “The Intimidator.” Ran over everybody but the pace-car driver. Widely considered the greatest racer in history. How come they didn’t wail about Dale they way they’re crying about Carl?

Everybody knows that Keselowski and Edwards have a history. They’re Hatfields and McCoys with lug nuts. Jimmy Carter couldn’t negotiate a treaty between these two. It’s just bad car karma.

First Brad hit Carl. Then Carl hit Brad. Carl is ordered out of the sandbox and Brad gets a cookie.

See how it works?

Meanwhile laptops continue to short out from distraught sports writers weeping into their consoles. They’ve worn the t off their keyboard typing “tisk tisk.”

They’ve left no tongue un-clucked.

I haven’t seen so much angst since, well since Cale Yarborough and the Allison brothers’ muddy smack-down in the Daytona infield. NASCAR was so embarrassed by the brawl that it used the replays to promote next year’s race.

When the violets get through shrinking they might look around and notice how interest in NASCAR has perked up.

Fans who had been bored silly by the same two tired old story lines – Danica the Hottie and Jimmie the Awesome – are starting to wake up and smell the rubber burning.

After an off-week to let the dust and car-parts settle, look what’s coming up: Bristol. Brutal, bruising, brawling Bristol.

A joint so mean that it should be served with a restraining order. A place where the Lap Leader Award usually goes to the wrecker driver. The only track with its own zip code: 911.

All the media and fans who were so shocked and chagrined by the rowdy racing at Atlanta might want to avert their eyes.

Bristol’s the kind of place where somebody’s liable to bump into somebody and lose their temper. Gosh, there might even be a wreck. Nobody wants to see that. Do they?

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, March 17 2010
10 Comments

10 Comments »

  • Marc says:

    Steve o – “Are you a journalist? What did Scott’s say about all this? After all, they hired Edwards to represent them. From what I have read they weren’t very happy about it. They are paying the freight and some guy on his 4th beer hoping for another big crash is not.”

    Well then, let’s burn all the grandstands to the ground ’cause steve o somehow thinks crowds that number larger than any sport in the US of A aside from a couple college fb games fail to matter.

    Steve o you were joking right? Or serious and just misguided?

  • Barbara Nierman says:

    Just had a chance to read the Gripes of Wrath article, and it was spot on. No two people watching NASCAR have the same opinion, and someone will always find fault. I loved NASCAR 40 years ago when I first got interested in NASCAR and love it now. I don’t always agree with every thing I see or hear, I love the sport. As far as Carl and Brad are concerned, the sport has enough young drivers who start to believe their own hype, and haven’t paid their dues, yet. I really like some of the young drivers, but I love to watch a more experienced driver knock the socks off them. Young drivers don’t have to be butt kissers, and the experienced drivers shouldn’t have to baby sitters. If the 12 car hadn’t flipped, no one would have an opinion about this as everyone would have moved on to something else. Let em race, and lets see how far this goes.

  • lydia says:

    To me..the point Carl was trying to make with Brad was…I am a veteran driver..and as such YOU need to give me respect (i.e. all the room I want on the track..yours and mine…. and never never never race me for position). Brad didn’t…Carl kept whining..and then took Brad out. So what does NASCAR do? They “backup” Carl’s whining by giving him literally NO penalty. The result…we all know now if you are a veteran you have a pass..if you are a rookie..you better watch your step. That’s pretty much what I got out of the entire fiasco….kinda sad.

  • steve-o says:

    Are you a journalist? What did Scott’s say about all this? After all, they hired Edwards to represent them. From what I have read they weren’t very happy about it. They are paying the freight and some guy on his 4th beer hoping for another big crash is not.

  • steve-o says:

    Are you a journalist? What did Scott’s say about all this? After all, they hired Edwards to represent them. From what I have read they weren’t very happy about it. They are paying the freight and some guy on his 4th beer hoping for another big crash is not.

  • steve-o says:

    Are you a journalist? What did Scott’s say about all this? After all, they hired Edwards to represent them. From what I have read they weren’t very happy about it. They are paying the freight and some guy on his 4th beer hoping for another big crash is not.

  • Jim says:

    In the spirit of rodeo racing, I still think the next chapter should be a bounty on Carl at Bristol, doubled if he is injured, an extra bonus if he misses the next race, and if he missed the next 2 races, a ticker tape parade. That would sell tickets!

  • SB says:

    Your description of racing at Bristol is B.C. – before the chase and before the COT. I won’t even mention the track redesign. The two ‘C’s’ have managed to neuter Bristol. Remember how all you media types were rhapsodizing about how much better things are at Bristol since all the changes? Now you’re hyping the ‘old’ Bristol racing. So, which is it? And does anyone think that three feet of missing track is going to bring back the old “Racing the way it Ought to be” days?

  • Ruckus says:

    In the Yarborough/Allison 1979 Daytona 500 incident they were racing hard fighting for position on the last lap. P1 in fact. As a result of the hard racing they wrecked. They got out of their cars and got into a fight. That’s fine by me in my book. In my opinion THOSE kind of wrecks are part of NASCAR. “Stuff” happens when racing hard.

    But that’s not really what happened here. Carl Edwards was not racing for a win or even a position. His ONLY purpose was to wreck Keselowski. The end of the 79 Daytona 500 was “rowdy racing”. The wreck at the end of Atlanta was the result of a demolition derby IMO.

    I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I were in charge of handing out penalties. I think a suspension would have been too much. But I wouldn’t have had a problem with lightening Edwards’ wallet just a little.

    What a fascinating incident though. On the one end of the spectrum you have some who are speculating a driver could get criminally charged for what Edwards did. And on the other end you have people that want to give him a medal. Obviously those are both a bit extreme.

  • Roger Merkley says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Great analogies referencing the past. Old school racing is back and the events of last week have put NASCAR on the front pages and in prime time news. The boys and girls in the boardroom at Daytona are very pleased with the increased interest with their sport. Great timing with the 2 crash em up tracks on the menu. Who’s the next rivalry to be hightened?? Time will tell. My advice to all fans – sit back and enjoy short track racing at its best