Blog Entry

Talladega Rear View Mirror

Posted on: April 26, 2009 6:56 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2009 6:57 pm
Once again we leave Talladega with our heartbeat much faster than it was when we arrived.

Sunday's frightening last lap crash that sent Carl Edwards into the outside retaining wall catchfence will thankfully be remembered for nothing more than another spectacular chapter in the track's long history.

It's easy to see why some fans love the action at Talladega. There are those who do follow auto racing simply for the crashes.

It's also understandable that some see the three and four-wide racing as the reason for looking forward to whenever NASCAR comes to the mammoth 2.66-mile track.

There is no doubt there may not be a more exciting sight than watching packs of thirty cars glued together from nose to tail racing around the lightning-fast track.

But you can never shake the feeling that danger is in the air or that with each passing lap the chances of the dreaded "Big One" seem to multiply at a frightening rate.

It was the case in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races again this weekend with both featuring incredible close racing as well as a multitude of major league pile-ups.

Thankfully no one was injured, whether it was a driver or a fan after the way Edwards violently tore down so many yards of the frontstretch fence.
And at least we get a few months off before we have to do it all again in November.

But I would bet the mortgage the majority of the drivers in the garage area aren't counting down the days.

o  Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn't win either Talladega race this weekend but there had to be at least a little satisfaction in knowing that even in the midst of the turmoil he's been in recently with an underperforming race team he can still get the job done when the series heads to restrictor plate tracks. Junior's second place finish in Sunday's race helped his place in the standings and he is far from completely out of being a Chase participant. Richmond next week could be the place he rolls back into victory lane after another long winless drought and if momentum and confidence mean anyting, he should have some from his Alabama weekend.

o  How Kurt Busch was able to get a top ten finish in a car that looked like it won the local track figure eight feature race is quite an accomplishment. The Penske Racing camp looks to have its plate program working very well with Busch and teammates Sam Hornish, Jr. and David Stremme all looking very strong at times on Sunday.

o  Not a very good day for the other Busch little brother Kyle - again. The frustration level has to be rising in the Shrub camp after another week of nearly getting a win came up short. I'd be on the lookout for that 18 car to have a little more purpose than usual the next couple weeks.

o  Have to give a shout out to Joe Nemechek and Regan Smith for finishing 14th and 15th on Sunday. Those two small and under budgeted teams got a big shot in the arm coming way with Top 20's.

o  Thank goodness Talladega installed the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the backstretch. Had Robby Gordon hit about 100 yards further from where he did or that crashed had taken place two years ago, his violent impact would have surely been the cause of serious injuries.

o  Thumbs down to the management at Lowe's Motor Speedway who tied in a ticket promotion for its upcoming Memorial Day weekend race to the number of crashes at Talladega. Very poor taste and another example of how things have slipped at LMS since Humpy Wheeler's departure.
Category: Auto Racing
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