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Scary Weather Has Drivers Speeding For Shelter

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, April 15 2011

Carl Edwards relaxes in his own personal storm shelter. Scary weather moved into the Talladega area on Friday, canceling several events. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Erik J. Perel)

Talladega, Ala. – Friday’s media sessions at Talladega Superspeedway had the feel of one of those situations where you meet someone and can’t think of anything better to start the conversation with than to say: “What do you think about the weather?”

The weather was an issue as weather radar showed potentially dangerous storms approaching from the west.

Carl Edwards had one of the better comebacks when he turned the tables on the media, asking reporters where they thought he should take shelter if a storm hit the track. Someone suggested staying in his race car with its protective roll cage.

“I thought about that, actually, put the helmet on and get in the car,” Edwards said. “The problem is I’ve got some family members here.  I don’t know how I’d get them in there.  I guess they could sit in the other guys’ cars.”

The though of taking shelter in the tunnel leading to the infield was suggested, and rejected.

“I thought about the tunnel, but people are going to be going in and out,” Edwards said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do.  I hope it gets through and I hope everybody is safe.

“This stuff is nothing to mess around with.  I worry about all the fans sitting out there in the campgrounds in their tents, so, hopefully, it goes well.”

Ryan Newman said he planned to stay in his motor coach if a storm approached.

“Of all the time I’ve watched the Weather Channel with tornados, they’ve never reported a bus lot of 43 expensive, heavy buses getting destroyed, so I’m going to stick with the odds and stay in the bus and go from there,” Newman said. “I don’t know that we’re going to get the weather that they thought we potentially were going to get, but I think it has potential to be bad if it does get down here.”

Media members and racing crews spent much of the day staring at weather maps on TV, but by late afternoon rain was the biggest threat. It did wash out the second round of Sprint Cup practice and the 3 Amigos 250 ARCA race, which was rescheduled for 8 a.m. on Saturday with grandstands opening at 7.

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

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, April 15 2011
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