Carl Edwards: The Crazy Notion of On Track Payback (**Updated)

(**Original post, March 8th 2010)
Last night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, rather than show itself to be one of the top-tier racing series’ in the world, NASCAR displayed tactics that were more in common with a poorly rehearsed circus act. With three laps to go, the great white elephant in the room was the Roush Fenway Racing pilot Carl Edwards, as he quite deliberately bumped the Penske Racing machine of Brad Keselowski, sending the then 6th place driver into the air. Keselowski’s number 12 machine flipped over and hit the concrete retaining wall hard – just missing the catch fencing in the process.
Quite frankly any driver that feels the need to resort to such puerile and volatile actions is surely a rogue entity and shoddy competitor to boot and no excuse could possibly be made the cover such reckless actions; regardless of crimes Keselowski may have committed against Edwards earlier in the race.
Now some twenty hours after the event and I still cannot fathom the stupidity of Carl Edwards. A large number of incidents in the recent past is never a reason for such dangerous behaviour and “fans” that have the nerve to defend such actions need to take a long hard look at both themselves and the sport. This is not wrestling; people can get hurt.
If NASCAR truly wants to be taken seriously outside of the US, it needs to eradicate these “payback” chops with immediate effect, less they find themselves with a real disaster (and possibly blood) on their hands. Shame too on the reporting from FOX, as the presentation crew egg on these childish actions with unabashed glee.

Has the sport travelled so far down the wrong road since the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001 that these moronic tendencies are now actively encouraged rather than being properly monitored and kept in check?
To wantonly inflict damage and danger with such abandon, because of some pointless feud borders on the absurd and ridiculous, but worse than that – much worse than that – it will eventually result in the deaths of spectators and/or drivers if this sort of behaviour is left unchecked and that is something that even NASCAR would struggle to recover from.

(**Update, March 9th 2010)

This afternoon, Carl Edwards was handed a three-race probation by NASCAR officials. They have now killed any appreciation I may have had for the series. If they believe that Edwards’ irresponsible tactics deserve only a three-race probation, then NASCAR deserves everything that may eventually come to them. As a fan of motor racing, I can only utter disgust at this decision.

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