What's it going to take?
Yesterday, for the second time this season, the end of the Talladega race was a scary. Cars flew everywhere and Mark Martin ended up on his roof. Earlier in the race Ryan Newman had a scary crash in which he bounced on his roof and when the car stopped sliding and tumbling, on his roof is where he ended up. This spring Carl Edwards flew into the catch fence and race fans. These are not "freak accidents." These scary crashes have been happening for years. In 1996 Ricky Craven was the featured driver in a huge wreck. In 1993 Rusty Wallace had a terrifying crash on the last lap of the race. Let's not forget Dale Earnhardt's nasty, nasty crash in 1996. Neil Bonnet flew into the fence in 1993.
Honestly, what's it going to take? What more can be said by drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman? They hate restrictor plate racing and fans that actually enjoy racing hate it. Those rednecks that sit in the stands and howl at exploding race cars can suck it. What the hell, NASCAR? You have a history of responding to a dangerous situation only after something bad happens. The danger of fire? Fireball Roberts crash at Charlotte. High speeds at Talladega? Bobby Allison's 1987 crash. Deaths from head injuries? Dale Earnhardt's 2001 fatal crash. Maybe we shouldn't put 68 cars on a giant speedway at once? The 1960 Daytona race. Pit road being dangerous for the workers due to no speed limits and no helmets required? Ricky Rudd's 1990 wreck at atlanta.
Judging from NASCAR's history something really horrible is going to have to happen at Talladega or Daytona for restrictor plates to go away. Eventually a car or a tire is going to fly into the crowd and then we'll get the changes that were needed twenty years ago.
I think the only real solution is going to come from the drivers. If they try to publicly form a union NASCAR will crush as they have before. What it's going to take is an agreement between all the starters to go on one of these plate tracks and do one lap and park their cars. I dare them to do it.
If you have any doubt about how fed up the drivers are check out the post race interviews below. Mark Martin is pretty pissed off. "I hope everyone enjoyed the show!"
On a lighter note this is hilarious.
Big Panther Win
I'm not sure how long this video will be up but it's worth seeing while you can. Big day for our team.