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Minter: Of Gods And Goddesses

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, May 10 2010

Brad Keselowski takes checkered flag at Talladega in Nationwide race last month. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR)

By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Some random thoughts from a cool Mother’s Day morning in Georgia:

It’s been more than two months since the Brad Keselowski-Carl Edwards incident at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Edwards retaliated against Keselowski and sent the red Dodge flying into the catchfence, supposedly to teach him a lesson he and other Cup drivers had been wanting to teach for some time.

But now it’s beginning to look like the racing gods are penalizing Edwards and rewarding Keselowski. While neither driver has done much on the Cup side, Keselowski is wearing Edwards out on the Nationwide Series side, where both are planning to run the full schedule.

Keselowski has two poles and two wins and is leading the series standings. Edwards has a pole but is winless and is fourth in the standings, 199 points behind Keselowski.

Keselowski has nine top-10s in Nationwide to Edwards’ eight.

Edwards, who led the Cup circuit in victories back in 2008 with nine triumphs, hasn’t won since in that series, a stunning development given the positive results of his career up to that point.

Keselowski, despite his reputation coming into this season as that of a driver with little patience, has managed to steer clear of controversy for the most part since Atlanta.

Did the run-in with Edwards make a difference for Keselowski? Probably not.

Are Edwards’ problems related to the Atlanta incident? Probably not.

But the racing gods, or luck or coincidence or “what goes around comes around” or whatever, seem to have a way of taking care of business, one way or another.

Where’s Tony?: It seemed like Tony Stewart spent the first several races of 2010 “having at it” with the media during the weekly appearances required of those drivers in the top 12 in the points standings.

Stewart has been fairly quiet in recent weeks, at least as far as his dealings with the media are concerned.

But that’s in large part because he’s no longer required to make a weekly appearance.

Since the eighth race of the season, at Texas, he’s not been among the top 12. His free fall in the points started after his second-place finish at Bristol. Since then he’s had an average finish of 23.83 and is 18th in the standings after a 23rd-place finish at Darlington.

Those racing gods appear to have a soft spot for a media corps that has absorbed some of the hardest blows of an economic situation that has affected every part of NASCAR.

The Lady Has Vistors: It’s unscientific, but from the TV angles shown Saturday night, Darlington Raceway held its own, attendance-wise, despite a tough date – a night race on the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

The Lady in Black delivered again, providing a great race and a great finish even without a string of green-white-checkered-flag finishes or a regular scrambling of the running order by way of “debris” cautions.

It proves what many race fans and reporters have learned over the years – the best races are always in the towns the tourists and casual fans tend to avoid – places like Rockingham, North Wilkesboro, Martinsville, Talladega and Darlington.

Thanks, moms: And if there was ever a day that NASCAR should recognize it’s Mother’s Day.

Imagine what the sport would be like today without the influence of some great moms like Anne and Betty Jean France, Lynda and Elizabeth Petty, Kittie and Judy Allison and mine and yours?

– Rick Minter can be reached at rminter@racintoday.com

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, May 10 2010
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