Monday, April 27, 2009

Gold star goes to 'the fence'

As rookie Brad Keselowski ducked below Carl Edwards and nudged him out of the way for the win at Talladega, I thought, “It’s about damn time someone holds their line.” Then Edwards’ car went airborne and ricocheted up in the catchfence and my thoughts immediately changed: “Uh, oh. This is gonna hurt!”

Well, now that all the drivers walked away (or ran in Edwards’ case) and the seven fans survived with mostly minor injuries, it’s time to discuss the yellow line. I thought this was a great idea when NASCAR implemented it in 2001, but the sanctioning body has not done a good job enforcing it. Instead of scolding drivers that block cars below the apron, it only penalized drivers who attempt to make a pass after making an evasive move to avoid a massive crash. A perfect example was last year when Ragan Smith went below the yellow line because Stewart gave him no room. Here’s what I suggested last October…

“If NASCAR punishes most drivers in those situations – Smith finished 18th rather than 2nd – then it’s about time they learn to hold their groove above the yellow line and the consequences be damned.”

Apparently Brad Keselowski was listening. He said that he had no intention of moving his car out of the way because he knew what happened to Smith. And that’s exactly what he should’ve done in the situation. But the next question most fans are asking is whether NASCAR should abolish the yellow line. Quite honestly, I think Keselowski and Edwards fixed the problem. The difference now is that a rookie had the cojones to stick his nose in there at 190 mph and refuse to move. How many other drivers are going to try and block to the yellow line in the future? Seems like the problem has been solved.

The bigger concern for NASCAR is finding a way to keep the cars on the ground. They resolved that issue in 1994 with the advent of the roof-flaps, but there seems to be a growing issue with the new COTs. This is the biggest issue facing the sport, because we all saw what an out-of-control car can do at Talladega.


El Duffo O Muerte said...

Ricky Bobby is prooud of you, Carl Edwards.

Mike Jones said...

Too bad Carl didn't have Juan Pablo Montoya to make out with at the finish line.