Sunday, April 26, 2009

Let's not miss the point on Talladega insanity

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- A lot of people are going to spend a lot of time this week arguing about the wrong things after Sunday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.

It has already started.

Within an hour of the checkered flag falling, I had two e-mails from fans telling me what happened on the final lap was caused by the yellow-line rule that prevents cars from going too far to the inside to make passes here.

I am sure others also will debate whether Brad Keselowski was far enough inside Carl Edwards' car that Edwards shouldn't have made the block that led to the wreck that led to Edwards' car nearly going into the frontstretch grandstands. Or whether Edwards was entitled to make the block in his effort to win the race.

None of that is the real issue. It's not even close.

Why is there a yellow-line rule? Why are there restrictor plates? Why does NASCAR beat its chest about how it's going to police the drivers from being too aggressive, even though it never lifts a finger to actually restrain the lunacy that goes on in its races here?

Why must a driver spend more time looking in his mirror to see what's happening behind him than he does looking at where he's going? Why must drivers block all over the race track, swerving from lane to lane hoping to deny those behind them a place to go with the momentum they've built up? Why must a driver slam the guy in front him and implore the guy behind him to ram him in the rear bumper in a 195-mph game of bumper cars?

All of those are symptoms or lame attempts at treatment for the real sickness. The real problem here isn't the cars or the rules or even the drivers who do exactly what they're expected to do even though what they're doing is abject insanity.

The real problem is the same as it has been for the 40 years this track has existed. From the very first weekend of racing held here, when speeds were too fast for tires to withstand and anybody with any regard for what's really safe would have called off the race, the problem is and always has been this race track.

It was crazy -- and I mean that word literally -- to ever let things get to a point where Bill Elliott could run 215 mph here. It was crazy to react to Bobby Allison's wreck into the fence, one that looked entirely too much like the wreck Carl Edwards had here Sunday for the comfort of anybody with good sense, by trying to write rules and change the cars to make this place safe. It's crazy to ask drivers to participate in the kind of racing that goes on at Talladega today and it's crazy for them to willingly do so.

It's also sad that fans who profess to love this sport and the people who compete in it not only tolerate this madness, but embrace it and celebrate it.

Instead of talking about how "cool" Sunday's race was with all of its wrecks and the near disaster that happened on the final lap, fans ought to be screaming their demands that NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation do something to make this race track safe to race on.

If you want to talk about the problem, that is the only conversation worth having.


Unknown said...

I completely agree David. I've never liked restrictor plate racing and I never will. I know a lot of fans do but to me it's nothing but a demolition derby waiting to happen.

Asking 43 drivers to run nose to tail for 500 miles without making a mistake is asking the impossible. And when they do make a mistake, it ends up having major consequences. Instead of one or two cars getting involved like at most tracks, it's 10 or 15 or even 20 cars. And as we saw today, even the restrictor plates and roof flaps aren't enough to keep a car from getting airborne. Thank God the catch fence was strong enough or else there may have been some fatalities. Thank God for the COT or else one of those fatalities may have been Carl.

Obviously racing at those tracks without restrictor plates is out of the question so I agree with you. I would just like to see them stop racing there altogether.

Anonymous said...

Every year for both of the Talladega races, I find myself nauseous. I can barely make myself watch the race. Usually I watch the start and then switch back and forth from something else on TV, so that I don't get too upset. This is from a person that has watched racing of all types since I was 2 or 3 years old (and I am now 59). Talledega is not racing (or should I say restrictor plate racing is not racing). It is tempting the fates and hoping and praying that you come home alive. Everyone did today, but what about the next time? Talledega could be a great race, but Carl's wreck into the fence today proves that the restrictor plate put into effect with Bobby's wreck into the fence does not prevent this type of accident. Let them race so they can get away from each other.

contolboy said...

Eliminate the yellow line rule on the last lap past turn 4. there has now been two extreme incidents in a row on the last lap coming out of turn 4. Reagan Smith got robbed last fall and Carl Edwards (and fans in the stands) were lucky to not get killed today. I don't profess solutions for other problems at the track, like "the big one", hundreds of laps in packs of 30+ cars. ect, but a change in the yellow line rule on the last lap would help.

concerned fan said...

Very well stated David. I understand racing at any level is dangerous, from go-cart, to top fuel. Obviously someone, or multiple people have to get killed wether its a driver, spectator, official, child, or whomever, before NASCAR impliments changes. Unbeliveable that the 99 didn't go into the stands. I want everyone to sit back and think for a minute when they thought how "cool" the wrecks were, and then think about how "cool" it would be if you were sitting in the first 10 rows with your child and a 3400lb car came into the stands at you at over 100 mph...

Dano said...

I disagree, I love Talladega! There are only a few races a year where you are totally engaged the entire race, sitting on pins and needles to see what happens and are guaranteed a great race to the finish line. Yes, perhaps there is some tweaking to be done, but Talladega is one of the few tracks I will drive more than a few hours to go see a race.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. If it isn't racing in line with no one moving because of the restrictor plates-there are complaints that the racing is boring.

If there's a yellow line or no yellow line, there are always complaints about blocking causing the wreck.

The catch fence did its job from an extraordinary "perfect storm" such as the Bobby Allison incident which was just as much a fluke.

Racing has never been safe. From the G forces on the human body to the forces when a sudden stop causes the brain to hit the skeletal covering.

So what is the answer? Either stop watching and stop complaining or watch and stop complaining. This is Nascar's show, Nascar's track, Nascar's rules. The drivers could work at something else to make a living. They don't HAVE to make millions and fly airplanes, rationalizing the risk gives them entitlement to such compensation.

Look, some of these races are already a snooze. And someone seems to agree and tries entertainment called Digger. Boy, if that isn't an insult to fans. But especially to those of us who remember when there wasn't such money, and gloss and political correctness.

Talladega won't change. Look what happened when they changed Bristol-kind of toned down the excitement of the racing.

It is what it is.

Anonymous said...

I've wondered about the plates for a while. I mean, they were initially plates bolted on the same type of engine run at other tracks, but those engines have now become track specific ... they don't use them anywhere else right?

So if they're already building specific engines for these two tracks, why not set different specs.

10 to 1 compression, 93 octane pump gas, and smaller carbs. Easy enough to check during inspection.

Having no plate would give you throttle response, so you wouldn't be afraid to lift "cause you'd lose momentum".

I know, it's not this simple, but still, it's better than a plate.

Anonymous said...

You media types are just as big of hypocrites. You whine about the lack of competition then rail against NASCAR when its racing actually produces something people want to see. Don't like it? Don't cover it. Don't like the racing? Don't drive in it. Don't want to risk getting hurt? Don't go. Take some responsibility for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm in the minority, but I like plate racing because it's exciting. Yes, it's dangerous, but that comes with the territory. And it sure beats watching them run parade laps at places like Pocono. Please don't get me started on Pocono.

John said...

What are you guys talking about? The race was great to watch and the cars are as equal as you will ever get them… again the race was amazing to watch, I’m sorry that some of you don’t have the stomach to watch it. As for the stands, and the safety issue, I have twin 6 year olds and NO, they would never be in the front rows of ANY race track, I don’t care if its horses, go-carts, or any kind of racing. That’s stupid.
I remember in the early to mid 90’s the drivers complaining about what Nascar does to the racing at Daytona and Talladega. If they take the restrictor plates off they are too fast and the racing would be too spread out (plus they tend to fly), slow them down more, the pack gets bigger. I think it’s as good as it’s ever going to get, I love the restrictor plate racing. Those drivers know what kind of danger they are climbing into before they ever climb into the car. The danger is why NASCAR has legions of fans, and with danger comes the competition, which if they take that out of NASCAR you end up with a boring series where cars just turn left, and on occasion, right…
The only way to fix it… close the tracks, and yes that means Daytona too.

Anonymous said...

it doesnt matter what the fans say or do.. nascar could care less about what the fans think.. all they are concerned with is ccash... the only way to cause a change in what nascar thinks is to just stop goin to the races... but we all know most fans wont do that... in the last few years i have decided to no longer attend a nascar cup race and chose to spend my money at the local saturday night short tracks were the drivers truly appreciatte the fans that show up. and just for reference,, none of the tracks ai attend are nascar sanctioned.

Jerry Jordan said...

You've got my vote. Three or four more feet of air or Edwards gets airborne a little closer to the wall and the No. 99 could have been doing 190 mph through the grandstands. Thank God the fence held up. We were lucky to come away from this afternoon with the only serious injury being a broken jaw.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will change until a car goes into the stands and kills a bunch of fans. Then they'll finally do the sensible thing because they'll be forced to. They will either shut the track down completely or they will lower the banking so the drivers have to lift off the gas. That will separate the cars more.

JustMe said...

Come on people! No one is 'forcing' the drivers to drive that fast or the fans to attend the race with track side seats. As long as there are men and machines and race tracks they run at, there will be fans willing to pay top dollar for the awesome seats track side. It is truly amazing that there were no injuries today and for that, we should be happy instead of complaining about everything. I bet the fans who are injured will be compensated greatly, even though there are disclaimers on the back of the tickets that protect the track, drivers and sport from law suits resulting from injuries caused by flying debris.
He who races knows the risk.
He who attends the races know the risks.
If you want something softer, kinder and gentler, watch golf.

Rick said...

You seem to have a strong feeling that with enough encouragement from fans, that NASCAR will adjust something to make the Talledega race better. NASCAR has listened to the masses for such a long time, and still there are wrecks like what occured today.

NASCAR can certainly do something about the kind of racing at this track, as well as, Daytona, but it simply does not want to.

Not much will change until NASCAR changes its opinion of what the drivers want. As for the number of people who believe the drivers can make a difference, how in earth can a driver protest the Talladega race. They must race, or risk the loss of 195 points.

carcar said...

It like being 48 years old knowing your 60 pounds overweight and heading toward a heart attack and doing nothing about it. You know you should eat less...excercise more but that takes effort..a change thats not easy. If anyone should understand why NASCAR does not change it should be YOU>

Anonymous said...

I agree with you David, no one is talking about the underlying issues at Talladega and Daytona. Unfortunately I think someone with have to get seriously injured before NASCAR reacts.

We all know what the problem is with Talladega. The banking is so high at Talladega they don’t need to brake in the corners which translates in speed that needs to be controlled with the restrictor plates. I think they have change the track or downsize the engine to the point they don’t need a restrictor plate.

I also believe that the wing on the COT caused the 99 to fly when it was turned by the 09. The flaps on the roof of the car I don’t think deployed. The car was airborne as it the 39 in the windshield. I would like to hear NASCAR take on the dynamics of the crash.

I definitely saw debris on the other side of the catch fencing. Hopefully no one was hit with anything.

Yes it was exciting. The way a train wreck is exciting. When I saw that car in the catch fencing all I could think is someone is going to die in the wreck.

Unknown said...

Dead on, David.

Anonymous said...

The argument would be more impressive if it had been made before the race - and if it had been the Talledega Outrage about which you wrote.

Anonymous said...

no one has mentioned that the only reason that Edwards flipped is because Newman launched him when they hit...if you watch the replay Edwards car was coming back down when Newman hit him.

Anonymous said...

Nascar needs to stop racing at Daytona and Talladega. Its a death waiting to happen off the track! Anyone remember the 1993 Die Hard 500? Its only a matter of time unless this stops. I used to like the "show" but this weekend has changed my mind!

Anonymous said...

For once, I totally disagree with you David.

OK-Let's go the way that you want, and THEN--we can get to NFL to play with flags instead of tackling, outlaw a runner in Baseball from running over the catcher, and take the sticks out of Hockey Players hands.
Let us go the way that this Country is heading, and have all the boys act like good little girls.
Nobody gets hurt, and we all go home smiling after watching boring Hockey, Football, Baseball, and RACING.

Anonymous said...

waah waah waah....40 years of racing at Dega, 2 cars go into the fence, the fence holds, you get a few minor injuries, big deal. I love how everyone whines now about WHAT IF HE HAD CLEARED THE FENCE!?! Well, he DIDN'T, nobody has in 40 years, the fence did it's job. Get over yourself Poole...if you don't like it, go cover hockey..

Anonymous said...

Carl Edwards said it best - "we'll do this until someone dies."

I remember...

Rusty Wallace flipping violently end over end and NASCAR's seemingly slow acceptance of simple roof flaps to keep these cars from launching.

Bobby Allison's fateful 1987 crash that gave birth to restrictor plate madness.

Countless other "big ones", as coined by promoters and commentators, that have taken the racing out of the hands of drivers and feels more like Roman Arena Death Matches.

I also remember listening to team communications on that February day in 2001 as we lost arguably the greatest driver this sport as ever known.

This is madness folks. While I consider myself a real NASCAR fan, Daytona and Talladega truly shows the divide in our fan-base.

While Lowes Motor Speedway is selling tickets discounted by the number of cars involved in a crash at Talladega, I find myself praying that THIS will finally be the watershed moment that fixes the insanity.

NASCAR is a family sport (they say it - I believe it) and we see them at the track and invite them into our living rooms every weekend. The affection for all those involved (even Kyle Busch) grows and makes these restrictor plate races all the more daunting.

These drivers choose the life - and we all live through them. But their fate is based largely on their abilities...except on days like today when their fate is decided by a regulatory body that is mostly broken as best I can tell...

What is the fix? I have no idea. But when the morbid thoughts fade and I look forward to bringing my son to the track...I'll know it when I see it.

Anonymous said...

You ALL watched or attended this one knowing this could happen. You ALL will spend inordinate hours talking about it. And you ALL will watch or attend the next one. So who is to blame?

Anonymous said...

The post at 11:31 p.m. was spot on. The 99 was on its way back down (meaning the flaps did their job) when Newman made contact sending the 99 back into the air.

Regarding Poole's column, all I can say is that it's one thing to whine, moan, groan, belch, etc. like Poole did to address a problem.

I just wish he offered up an answer instead of being like every other talking head and complaining about it.

Truth be told, the only way for NASCAR to fix Tally and Daytona is to get rid of the tracks altogether, and we all know that isn't happening...

Anonymous said...

David basically repeated what Dale Jr. said

Anonymous said...

If Carls car, after being hit by Newmans car, had also been hit by Jrs car while in the air, it would have been very likely that Carls car would have flown over the catch fence.

I've been an active race fan since the early 1960's. Its past time to slow them down. NASCAR hasn't been a testbed for the Big Three in decades. The COT is safer, but the fans are still at great risk so close to the track.

We could very well have been reading in tomorrows news how many were killed at Dega. Thats all we race Fans need, is Obama regulating our sport of choice.

Joe Grav said...

They did at one point have a 'fix.' In late '99/ early 2000 they figured out a formula to make plate racing 'safe.' The rules package created constant single-file racing and everyone hated it, and rightfully so. The result was the 'crazy rules' that we saw at Dega in fall of '00 and Daytona in 2001.

I would argue that the current aero package is far crazier, nuttier, and more dangerous than the rules in '01 when Dale Sr. died. It's rare to see people get hurt in the big multi-car pileups. But cars getting gigantic runs of 10mph more than their opponents is another story entirely.

How could it possibly be any less safe to run w/o restrictor plates and just run smaller engines at these tracks?

It's a tough call for NASCAR because the racing at most tracks has devolved to the point of being unwatchable. This was the first race that I watched more than 10 laps of since maybe Las Vegas. So when they do have something noteworthy and entertaining, it's hard for them to look for 'solutions' to that 'problem.'

We'll see what happens.

Joe Grav said...

On a side note,
<3 soft walls. Robby Gordon is thankful for them tonight and so am I.

And the catch-fence did its job quite well.

Let's give credit where it's due on the safety front.

Anonymous said...

If you want to make a change, remove the first 20 rows from the lower grandstands so if a car gets into the fence, the likelihood of injury is far less.

hank in cali said...

insane, i will tell you whats insane...

with all due respect, and i mean with all due respect to james finch.....

brad kezlowski has won as many races in a hendrick car as junior has. brad isnt headed to the 5 car someday, he will get the 88/25

Beavis said...

Restrictor plate racing = the best racing. I'm love it!
Congrats Brad on his great win!

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a big wreck to bring out the hand-wringing from some members of the motorsports press who would kill for the chance to drive but just don't have the ability to do so. Instead of beating up on Talladega, do something productive -- like getting over yourself.

This is a sport of two-ton machines running airplane speeds and whenever there's a wreck, here comes the bleating and the begging and the crying over how something must be done.

Folks, this is RACING. It's not safe. There's a reason it's illegal on streets and insurance companies take a dim view of it if you're convicted of ever doing it on a state highway. It kills people, it always has and it always will.

We've made it as safe as we can. Lost in this crybaby crap is the fact that Carl Edwards walked away 100 percent healthy. You want to protect the fans? Fine -- close the first 20 rows of the grandstand and move the crowd up. Problem solved.

If you want to make racing into a sterilized, risk-free endeavor, you take away what drives humans to do it and watch it.

It's so predictable how the writers have reacted, though. I knew I was going to see this tripe the minute the checkered flag fell.

marc said...

There's a few fairly ignorant comments in this thread, most of them revolve around "you pays your money so shut up."

But I have to say this one from "anon" wins the booby prize for being the most ignorant:

waah waah waah....40 years of racing at Dega, 2 cars go into the fence, the fence holds, you get a few minor injuries, big deal.First of all one fan received a broken jaw and facial lacerations, hardly "minor." If you have any doubts I'd suggest you wire your month shut and eat thru a straw for a few weeks.

It may serve as an enlightening experience, maybe.

Secondly "anon" notes a time frame of 40 years, regardless of the length or number or cars that have flown into the catch fence, and BTW one is too many, I'd further suggest some research on the 1955 Le Mans crash.

The result of a car going into the stands killed 80 people and the country of Switzerland banned motor racing within the country, a ban that wasn't lifted until 52 years later in 2007.

With so much talk of people pulling out of racing whether it be NASCAR or other forms of racing the last thing the sport needs is to have a major accident involving fans.

Now, the solution isn't simple, and it would be costly.

The basic problem with the restrictor plate is a loss of throttle response, that loss translates in drivers spending more time a lot closer to each other for fear of losing the draft.

Either a smaller carb or a smaller one run in conjunction with a smaller displacement engine would reduce speeds but allow a driver enough lower end torque allowing a driver to "catch-up" to cars and lesson the need for pack racing.

If speeds were reduced to approx 175-180 lap speeds - and I defy anyone to visually determine the difference between 175 and 196 with any accuracy - safety would be greatly improved and I believe racing would also.

Anonymous said...

The Edwards wreck should get headlines. But Robby Gordon's wreck on the backstretch once again points out the lack of installation of the 'safer barrier' on every wall inside and outside. Robby was withing a few feet of hitting solid concrete head on at over 150mph. This is also unacceptable as a car getting airborne. NASCAR is full of BS when it comes to preventive measures where safety is so obviously in question.

Anonymous said...

The whole situation is sad. We have had rather dull racing this year and I look forward to the close racing and finishes at talladega but I don't think killing somebody is worth the exciting racing. Something needs to be done before the unspeakable happens again!

Anonymous said...

that was one of the better races i have watched in a long time. if you lower the banking then what? flat corners like new hampshire? i have seen a modified go into the stands at stafford and wheels go over catch fence at quarter mile bull ring. i have been attending races since i was six and sometimes people get hurt and sometimes they get killed that's the way that it is when it's your time but two incidents in 40 years.

Anonymous said...

Ok, say Carl's car went into the catch fence roof first instead of front end first and ground the car away like a cabbage shredder. Would you then say the catch fence did it's job..............Cars shouldn't fly, only airplanes.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous... This was a big wreck, but it wasn't a bad wreck. No one died, the fence held, the car did its job. Mess with Talladega and Daytona, and you lose what is left of the NASCAR fan base. Indy has much worse wrecks with serious injuries and you don't see them threatening to change Indianapolis... My guess is NASCAR is going to slow them down by messing with "the plate" and we will have the drivers complaining about the "big one" in October...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Marc. Reduce the engine power without losing throttle reponse and let's get back to racing, not playing follow the leader.

And can the media finally stop glamourizing "the big one"? It's not what true race fans want or enjoy anyway.

Anonymous said...

If Earnhardt Junior or any other Hendrick driver had won?Poole wouldn't be crying the blues.As far as the yellow line rule...I remember Junior going below it to advance one year and he won the race.As far as injured fans.It would take a fool to pay money to watch a race with a pre destined winner.You get what you pay for.Wanna make Talladega safer.Ban Junior from racing there.
Poole your nothing but a blow hard.Thank goodness the sport knows this and pays you no attention.

PRW said...

I agree that if you took every bit of danger out of racing, it would take something away from the sport. I know there are a few misguided people who go to races, particularly at Daytona, Talladega and Bristol, to see wrecks. I think there are more people who go to see drivers push things to the edge. It is part of racing's appeal.

That being said ... this is 2009, not 1969. There is a reason no one is building 2.5- or 2.66-mile tracks with 33-degree banking anymore. There is a reason that drivers, while they gladly assume the innate risk of racing, aren't exactly chomping at the bit to do what has to be done at Talladega and Daytona.

And NASCAR and ISC can put every kind of disclaimer they want to on tickets, signs at the racetrack, etc., in the biggest, blockest letters about how you're there at you're own risk, and the more libertarian among us can talk about how you're at risk in every day life, blah, blah, blah. But the idea that people should willingly assume the risk of possible death if they choose to sit up close at a sporting event will be laughed out of any court in this country, local, state and federal, in the year 2009.

The fence has held twice (I was sitting pretty close to B. Allison's incident in 1987, was the scariest thing I've ever seen at a race track and I've been a fan since the '60s). It may not hold the third time. If it doesn't, by the time the lawsuits are over Talladega will be the world's fastest plowed field because there will never be another race at the place, and the fans won't have one bit of say-so in it.

Anonymous said...

Hey David, did you happen to see how full the grandstands were at this race compared with others this year - fans love plate racing. This was an exciting race - unlike most of the others so far this year.

Anonymous said...

Okay a couple of points...

#1 - Carl Edwards was wrong. Dale Earnhardt already died racing this way and they still do it so it won't stop when someone gets killed. It will stop when multiple fans get killed.

#2 - NASCAR's idiotic ruling at the end of last year's race (Tony Stewart/Regan Smith) was a major factor in this wreck. Everyone mentioned it. Regan Smith even predicted it last year after he was robbed.

#3 - The Chase was also a HUGE factor in this wreck. Pre-Chase it would be much less likely that Carl Edwards (or Kyle Busch before him) is blocking the way he blocking b/c an incident would cost him way too many points. Now all these drivers know (at least the top, top teams) is that first place is all that matters. Anything else is irrelevant b/c those points will just be taken away from you by NASCAR's welfare system. You have to win these exhibition races to gain anything from them. Blocking like this cost Rusty Wallace the championship in 1993. It cost Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards absolutely nothing.

#4 - Two quick ways to make the track safer for fans. Take out the tri-oval in the front and make the track a true oval. That way a car is never headed towards the stands. The second way is to simply remove the first 50+ rows along the front stretch and put in big grass hill so if a car ever gets into the fence again there are no spectators close to the track.

#5 - Nothing will change b/c NASCAR only cares about entertainment value. They even changed their championship system to make it more entertaining. That's all they care about.

PRW said...

I agree with Marc's comments and anonymous' comments at 8:15.

Sponsors who foot the bill for this stuff have this little quirk ... they don't like being associated with death. It's kind of a downer when it comes to selling "soap," which is all they're interested in here; the only reason they care two ca-cas about the fans is that they are potential "soap" buyers.

Anonymous said...

One: NASCAR is not a "governing body," it's a family with a logo and a few nice Daytona Beach offices. As long as their money flows in, they answer to nobody...they simply do as they please. You don't like it, go race in ARCA or IRL.

Two: To the people who say the only two options are to use restrictor plates or close the track...hogwash. Use smaller engines. Heck, go to a V4 or a V6 if you have to. Is 140 mph less exciting than 190?

Three: To those who say "Well, if a fan gets killed, that's the way it goes..." I can guarantee you that a bunch of publicity-hungry politicians will jump on that, anxious to have government regulations all over the sport. Hearings in DC, floor debate, and some new government commission in charge of all racing, including NASCAR. Is THAT what you want?

Anonymous said...

Excellent comments Marc and also the rest of you that "get it".
Yes racing is dangerous,yes it's entertainment but do people have to die or get seriously injured to prove that it is?

I starting following racing in the mid 50s and participated in it for almost 30 years,saw too many deaths and injuries to suit me,even losing two good friends at the same race track in less than a month!When I read some of the comments on here it made me want to scream.
Having built and maintained lots of race cars the number one priority was having the latest safety equipment and to build the cars the safest I knew how but even that wasn't a 100% guarantee that something unforseen could happen.
If NASCAR thinks it's perfectly OK to have one car pushing the other car all the way around the race track at Talledega why don't they just chain them together like they do at some of the local Saturday night tracks??
Unfortunately, some fans don't watch racing at these big tracks for the racing and don't think it's a big deal if there are major crashes with injuries or fatalities. Been that way since the Roman coliseum.

PRW said...

Anonymous at 8:22 has it right too.

What you have to understand is that NASCAR exists for one purpose, one purpose only. It's not to give drivers and teams a venue in which to race. It's not to give sponsors a venue in which to sell their soap. It's not to entertain fans in any shape, form or fashion. Although if it doesn't do those things, it certainly can have an impact on the one purpose, there's no denying that.

NASCAR exists for the one purpose of enriching the heirs of William H.G. France Sr. Period. End of discussion.

And the last thing, about what will happen if there's a big one in the stands, most fans don't stop to think about stuff like that, they're only interested in whether they were entertained. But you can take it to the bank. A car goes into the stands at Talladega and kills 30-40 people, there will never be another race at the place. The fans can go there and picket and demonstrate and say "give us our racing," and they would just as well be hollering into the Grand Canyon. That will be the end of it. And by the time the lawsuits are done, it might be the end of NASCAR, or at least ISC.

Anonymous said...

I guess you people forgot that Richard Petty killed a fan in the sixties at Piedmont Drag strip while boycotting Nascar. Great race and congrats to Brad for not weaseling out.

Anonymous said...

Richard spent 1965 competing as a drag racer. His career there was cut short when he crashed his car at a race in Georgia, Injuring 7 people and killing an eight year old boy at the Southeastern Dragway, in Dallas, Georgia.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to knock down the banking or move the fans back.

Just extend the soft wall and catch fence one lane inward all the way around and make the track narrower. It then makes it more of a handling track like Daytona and less four-wide.

And if there's a similar incident to yesterday, you have an extra lane of space between the wall/fence and the spectators.

PRW said...

RE>Richard Petty killing the fan in the 1960s, I guarantee you it won't just be one fan if a car clears the catch fence at Talladega. Plus it's 2009, not 1965. For better or worse, it's a more litigious era, a more safety conscious era and an era in which the acceptable level of risk is much less. If something like that happened now, the team involved would have to write large enough checks to those involved (there were also 7 people hurt in Richard's drag racing crash) to where it would threaten its future existence.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the track is the problem at all. Trying to make everything in life perfectly safe is futile. I race too, and I know the risks and willingly take them every week, my safety is in my hands. The racing at Talladega would probably not be as crazy if Nascar would forget using restrictor plates, and Goodyear would get a larger tire developed for these lame race cars they run now. Racing is dangerous, thats part of the attraction you morons!

Anonymous said...

Racing is an inherently dangerous business. Changing the design of the stands to make an accident less likely to hit the fans with debris is a good start. 175,000 people voted against changing this track so you know it won't happen, even if it was the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Maybe seeing Edwards hit the fence will make some of the idiots at Daytona sit in their seats for the race and not spend the entire race walking the fence. Security has to be upped and keep the people OFF of the fence during any race.

Anonymous said...

Listen people. All of you are right. But remember one thing, it ain't gonna change. UNLESS, like somebody said earlier, one or two of those cars ends up in the grandstand and kills a truckload of people. Then it MIGHT change not for the sake of safety, but probably for money instead.

Earnhardt once said they ought to back up everybody in the grandstands about 50 rows and take the plates off and let em race. That would spread the cars apart and separate the men (lunatics) from the boys. Just remember to pass out the kerosene rags.

PRW said...

Oh, nothing is going to change, so all this talk is just an intellectual exercise. The Frances chop up their showpiece tracks? That will happen when I become the new czar of Russia in a revived Romanov Dynasty (and I'm Scots/English).

But it's immaterial to me if 175 million fans favor keeping the track as it is. This ought not to be a democracy, buying a ticket should not guarantee any fan a role in the sport's rules and administration, and IMHO every rule that's been made or changed in the last few years to "appease the fans" has been detrimental to the sport. I particularly hate green/white/checker finishes and I think it's destined to get somebody killed someday as well.

PRW said...

OK, if they take the plates off and don't screw around with the aero package on these hideous COTs some more to make them basically like blocks of concrete, we're probably talking 235-240 mph at Talladega. You can chop the front sections of the stands off and built a 300-foot high fence and the fans may be OK, but you may have trouble filling the fields because these guys may love to race and they may willingly accept the inherent risk in racing, but I don't see a lot of them, even the most fired up and aggressive ones, volunteering for what would likely be a kamikaze mission.

Michael Baker said...

Pool - you're slippin' - surely you can figure-out a way to make this Junior's fault. - and 'commenterati' - you are slipping too - surely you hate the way Junior reacted to it all - can't you figure some way to comment on what a terrible driver he is.

Of course the main problem is the way they decided to enforce their stupid 'double yellow line' fetish after the 01 beat the 20 last fall at 'dega - and they had to come-up with a way to give the win to Stewrat real fast. I knew this would be the 'next act' at 'dega. So, Pool - you are no longer allowed to write any columns about 'sega or about anything that happens there - since you hate the track and are boycotting it. What about all the other trackes where drivers have died - are they too dangerous for racing also? - or is it just 'dega? - and is it really 'dega - or is it this absolutely ridiculous 'double yellow' line' crap?

Michael Baker

Anonymous said...

Dave Dispain said it well .... do away with the banking and let them race.

That said, Pocono is one of the most BORING tracks out there.

I would prefer to have the run unrestricted V-6 engines, but they would still be bunched up train wrecks waiting to happen.

Folks don't watch Telladaga for racing, they watch it for the WRECKS. Racing does not sell tickets, but blood and gore does. ... and has throughout history. Just look at bull fights and the Roman collosium.

Entertainemant for the masses at it's finest!

Anonymous said...

Why don't we just kill the superspeedways and stick to the cookie cutters. that way everyone will get to live forever.

We should also ban monster truck racing, hockey games, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, and the decathalon with the javilin toss, and shot put events.

Anonymous said...

I still say get rid of the plates. I believe the higher speeds would be safer than the lower speeds with all the cars bunched up. Yes, the cars would go faster, but they wouldn't all be together, so the likelyhood of "the big one" goes way down. The speeds generated by eliminating the plates would still be less than the speed of the IRL cars.

PRW said...

The reality is that the cookie cutters ... 1.5 to 2 miles with 18-20 degree banking ... are the optimum tracks for today's NASCAR cars. It isn't 1969 anymore and never will be again.

IMHO, Michigan has always been the perfect NASCAR track.

And for what it's worth, there has been only one player killed in Major League Baseball in the history of the sport, and that was nearly 90 years ago.

And as far as whether the cars will stay bunched up regardless of what NASCAR does, that hit the nail on the head. People focus on the plates, the rules, etc., and don't stop to think about the other 500-pound gorilla in this "room": The fact that the cars are so equal. The days where you had maybe 8 first-class cars and maybe 8 more that could make some noise on a given day and the rest of the field was junk just chugging around and staying out of the way and trying to make a little money and finishing 30 laps down are also gone and never coming back. Anybody with a checkbook can buy the same technology as anybody else out there, capable of winning right off the shelf, especially now with the COT that the innovation has been taken out for the mechanics and builders. The winning owner yesterday did that. There are of course teams with more funding than others. But there are no struggling independents anymore. Everyone out there has at least seven if not close to eight figures of sponsorship. You can take every driver in the field, not just at Talladega and Daytona, and I can make a legitimate argument that any of them could conceivably have a chance to win a race if he gets the right breaks on a given day. The fact that all of them have sponsorship, and want to keep their sponsorship, means they are going to be going for it all the way unlike the old days where the struggling independents who filled out the fields knew their place and, as I said, stayed out of the way. So ... any suggestions for fixing THAT problem that doesn't involve restraint of trade?

Monkeesfan said...

While the yellow line rule does need to go - one can make a safety argument against the yellow line rule with both this wreck and the Regan Smith brouhaha of last October - I agree it's more of a peripheral issue here.

The real issue is that drivers have to start taking damned responsibility for the crashes.

The whine I always hear about restrictor plate racing is "They have to seperate the cars." In the Edwards melee the top four were spread out by nearly twenty car lengths and the rest of the top fifteen were over twenty car lengths back. Edwards by his own admission chopped off Keselowski and got hooked. Keselowski deserves to be ripped for it and to his credit acknowledged right away his role in the wreck; he also noted in so many words the reality of racing Rusty Wallace noted back in 1991 - "I told (Ernie Irvan) the other day, 'we'll race each other, if you hit me, I'm gonna crash you.'"

The reality is that this kind of racing is by far the best test of machinery and driver that exists in motorsports. "You never want to win them easy," Ernie Irvan said after winning at Richmond in 1996; here it is so difficult that drivers who win here usually do so because they make the moves.

"Why must drivers swerve to block?" etc. You're asking the wrong questions. The right question is "At what point are these driversw going to take responsibility here?"

The drivers are the ones causing these wrecks.

On Sunday I went to Stafford Speedway CT for their Spring Sizzler and the Late Model feature tore up almost as many cars as Talladega did, and there were a couple of somewhat nasty melees in the SK Modified feature. Short track or superspeedway, most of the wrecks are being caused by drivers.

What is crazy is to suddenly act scared about superior racing. What is crazy is to let the drivers dodge responsibility for the wrecks.

It isn't the track. It isn't the cars. It's the drivers. Make them accept responsibility.

Monkeesfan said...

BTW, over the last two decades we saw drivers get killed or seriously injured at Michigan, New Hampshire, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Texas - yet it's the plate tracks that are more dangerous?

Anonymous said...

Simple move the finish line to the trioval like daytona..

Anonymous said...

I know you want to change the track David, I've heard it from you time and again, from times dating way prior to Sunday. Heard it this morning on your Sirius show too...But it just doesn't appear to be in the cards.

The CoTs are about as about as safe as they can make them. The SAFER-coated walls are about as soft as they can make them. The fences are as about as strong as they can make them and still be seen through...The only real answer, accepting all the above as givens, is to move the spectators back. Do away with the lower rows of seats, how many I don't know - maybe 20 rows, maybe more.

We can't take a chance on a freak accident like this claiming the life of a spectator - or driver either. But the drivers *know* they're in danger every time they climb into a car, we should do more to look after the spectators. And yes, I call it a freak accident because Carl's car was on the way back down to the track - to likely smack the SAFER barrier and spin off into the grass, that was until Newman's car hit him and sent him back up into the air.

Thank goodness no one lost their lives's hoping that those were injured can recover 100%. Here's hoping that's the worst wreck we have to witness for quite some time to come.

stevie b said...

As with all of society today, if its your fault blame someone or something else. Edwards blocked once and went for two. He caused the wreck and now its everyone elses fault. If he or any of the other drivers think it's russian roulette then don't drive. It's your life you make the call. Others that complain about the abhorent conditions these (grown?) men are "forced" to race under don't watch. Fan's don't have to pay for that front row seat. Taking responsibility for yourself is a lost concept in our big brother world today. I was at the '64 Indy where McDonald and Sachs burned to to death. That was a true safety problem that was fixed. Stop the blocking and save some cars or we could go for some hope and change for Taledaga and Daytona. Line up 43 VW Beatles and "Let's go racin boy's"

Blondyfor3 said...

At least this was not a boring race like most of them have been lately. The only way this race could have been better was to see the Black #3 out there driving around with Dale Earnhardt Sr in it. Sorry, you didn't get your win Jr.

gg said...

Amen, restrictor plate racing is a joke and they only keep it because it looks good on TV. All they have to do is knock the banking down and the problem is solved. It's a joke when NASCAR claims they are doing all they can.

Anonymous said...

Keep preaching Brother Poole; unfortunately, I don't think anyone is listening.

Anonymous said...

We have become a country full of limp-wristed, bleeding heart girly-men! I've never heard so much mealy-mouthed dribble in all my life. Folks, NASCAR is a sport for men, by men, and with manly consequences. We've got grease, gas, oil, speed, metal, & gears all flying around asphalt at 180+ mph. with 9000+ rpm''s a tough, rough sport. The fans show up (and are not forced) to sit behind cabled metal fencing about 20 feet from these machined to protect them. What does everyone expect? Fans and drivers have been hurt and killed at many tracks around this country. The only real solution is to shut down racing of all types for good. Is that what everyone wants??? Let's all quit being so freakin' limp-wristed. We're the nation that stormed the beaches of Normandy, conquered the Battle of the Bulge, killed over 600,000 of our own in the Civil War, & almost froze to death at Valley Forge, AND WE CAN'T HANDLE A DADGUMMED RESTRICTOR RACETRACK. I'ts almost embarrassing!!!!

RLShiff said...

Mr. Poole, I tend to agree and do agree to an extent with your opinions here, but at the same time I disagree. I have often times heard you speak about the drivers/teams/crew chiefs/etc. knowing what the rules are, what the expectations are, even what the schedule entails when they walk through the gates at Daytona at the beginning of February every year. I definitely agree that some in the media make such a strong point of "advertising" the big one as a draw for restrictor plate racing. But the drivers know the minute they sign a contract to drive in a Sprint cup car that Daytona and Talladega are on the schedule. I totally agree that it is up to Nascar and ISC to remedy the problem. My fear is that their idea of fixing the problem will just add 4 more races comparable to a Michigan or California with little to no action, and even smaller appeal to tune in. Until fans stop watching and showing up, the show will go on at these venues, and let me say to close that I am guilty and not the least bit ashamed to admit I get fired up every time the green flag drops over 43 cars at one of these modern day "Roman Coliseum's!"

Anonymous said...

Racing in and of itself is a dangerous prospect. That having being said in the '80s my guy Elliott was dominating on the 'big' tracks and then there was the Petty and Allison encounters w/ the fence...plates ensued. The 'plate' era solidified the legacy of Dale Earnhardt...for without it he wouldn't of won anything @ 'Dega and Daytona other than Busch races. Let's deal with the fact that this is as Hemmingway said one of the last real sports. MEN race , Men win , Men may wreck with less than wanted results but that's the product of the sport and society we live in. DEAL with it. NascarBrian in Rome NY

Lloyd said...

The biggest issue with restrictor plate racing is that the first 450 miles consists of drivers driving around trying to survive and then they actually race the last 50 miles.

Lets just change restrictor plate races to a 50 lap shootout style race.

Anonymous said...

Nascarbrian you are the man.
You comments are right on!
The only thing that needs to be changed about Dega is to ban David Poole from ever attending another race there.
If HMS had won he wouldn't be crying his liberal garbage.
He like most liberal HMS fans haven't been following the sport long enough to remember the 70s and 80s when racing was all out racing at Talladega.
Poole could crae less about what BNill Elliott,Bobby Allison or Richard Petty did it super
speedways.All he's concerned about is his Liberal agenda to promote anything when HMS wins and report on it negativly when HMS don't.
Have you read your Poll question results Mr.Poole???
The sport will never be what it was as long as we have simple minded,biased spin doctor reporters like David Poole.Thank goodness Poole has no credibility with NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree David. The AMA Superbike Championship quit racing at Tally years ago because it was much too dangereous. I agree that motorcycle racing and NASCAR racing are two different "animals". However the track is too dangerous for profesional series to run on. IRL doesn't use it and they rubbed Charlotte and Texas off their schedule.

IMC needs to take a 2 year hiatus from Tally and use the time to redesign and rebuild the track.

gg said...

I'm really enjoying the comments that question the manhood of anybody that thinks Talladega is anything less than the perfect race track.

Anonymous said...

Ed... I don't think anyone says it's perfect, just no reason to change or close it.

Anonymous said...

Kids, DON'T, I repeat, DON'T sit in the front rows of these superspeedways!

Anonymous said...

NASCAR created the problem, even though David says they didn't....
Last year Regan Smith went below the yellow line to avoid spinning Tony Stewart and lost the Keselowski just held his line... If Nascar had made the right judgement call last year this probably wouldn't have happened...

Racing at Talledega is dangerous but so is racing everywhere and each track is different. Quit complaining and enjoy the races...If you want to stop all accidents, then don't watch NASCAR...THAT IS RACING>>>>ACCIDENTS AND ALL....

Craig said...

All the thoughts about taking the plates off would NOT help things. I have run alternate scenarios (smaller ratios, revised physics) in the Papyrus computer game and NONE of them removed the packs (some of them made things even worse). I believe that with the current competitive nature, they could run antique cars tuned to racing speed and still be stuck in the packs.

The only way to fix things I think is to cut the banking so that it is as flat as Pocono or Indianapolis (12 degrees maximum) - or let some other track have the dates.

Anonymous said...

Just use the chicane at talledage and daytona; it works for the 24 hour race.

Anonymous said...

How about bigger roof flaps ?

Anonymous said...

get a life our go watch golf or tenis THIS IS CARS RACING!!!! this race is why i love nascar nothing needs changing lets go faster the car held up and so did the fence SHUT UP!! and lets go racing

Anonymous said...

Way to go, David. Yet another diatribe about a problem without offering any solutions.


Anonymous said...

we need to go back to racing to the yellow flag,throwing the gas can ,fighting, nascar is geting boring and sunday was finaly good if you dont like it go watch tenis and get rid of that F!!! stupid digger please!!!

Anonymous said...

Insanity? Sprint Cup racing is blood sport entertainment. The profits of the organizers, the sponsors, the team owners, the TV networks and the drivers -- and the jobs of all those who participate in and support the industry -- depend on the existence of the likelihood of high-speed collisions with the spectacle of disintegrating race cars, smoke, fire and debris and the risk of bodily injury and death. Technology has allowed the spectacle to continue without much real risk of death or serious injury. This weekend's accidents show what is sane about the sport, not what is insane about it. In fact, given the advances in technology, only the races at tracks of 1.5 miles or longer are worth watching any longer; the low speeds at the short tracks make them a pointless waste of time. Whether the banging crowd of Sprint Cup is real auto racing, or whether most of the drivers have the skill to navigate rush hour without a collision is beside the point of why folks pay to watch them do what they do.

anonymous 333 said...

I believe it is possible to create a safe two or three stage restraining barrier outside the walls where the stands are that would stop an airborne car without decapitating the driver.

Of course it would require the lower 30 rows or more of seating to be reconfigured into part of the restraining system.

It would be expensive, but not as expensive as a wreck that killed fans and caused the end of stock car racing.

CAM said...

Take about ten degress of banking out of the third and fourth turn and flatten the front strectch a little. Make if where the drivers have to get out of the throttle and you have much better racing at the finish line.

Anonymous said...

This +/- 21 year experiment with using restrictor plates is an obvious failure. It has failed to prevent the very type of accident that it was designed to prevent; it has caused dozens of multi-car accidents, several where injuries occurred, several where cars ended up on their roof, and one where the sport’s biggest star was killed. Run them unrestricted, let them spread out, let the good cars get ahead, and let them race. A 500 mile crapshoot, where the last person to get a huge shove wins, is not a race. If need be, run a smaller c.i., and end this madness before more people die. And I know that me, and several others (even some that I know who work for Sprint Cup teams) have been saying this for at least 10 years now – the incident yesterday was further proof, as if it was needed.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to simulate plate-off racing in your computer game, just pull some tapes pre-1987 and you'll see the good cars separated into small (2-5) car drafts. No big ones.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the injury report looked like from the infield and campgrounds on Saturday night? I would bet far more than 8 injured and one possible broken jaw.

Does it make a difference if the fan is sitting in front of a granstands on national TV or around a campfire swigging moonshine from a mason jar?

Anonymous said...

You must fix the track! Remove the banking from the turns, move the grandstands back and remove the plates!

Brad said...

Simple, put in 4 cylinder engines and flatten the track. If the drives don't like it boycott the race. I know it would tick off sponsors but it’s a better alternative than the death of a driver, fan or track worker.
Forget about the Frances, ISC and NASCAR, the drivers are the ones that put their lives on the line and they should be the ones with the most say when it comes to this issue.
I can't wait to hear the excuses from NASCAR about the impending abortion that will be the race at Indy.
NASCAR keeps heading towards irrelevancy at break-neck speed so long as it keeps putting its head in it own posterior body cavity and ignoring the drivers.
86 the overrated 88

Richard in N.C. said...

Marc, thought your comment at 4:11AM was much better than what you were responding to. Sure does seem to me that there are problems and like Robert Yates said several years ago the place to start is with going to smaller engines as soon as the economy allows - which I think might solve a lot of problems with Cup racing.

tonytothefront14 said...

you whining hypocrites make me puke. 2 weeks ago nascar announced the 10 lap "shootout" was back for the all star race and all the media was so giddy about it was sickening. now why do you think the 10 lap shootout is back? think it could be to make the last ten laps a wreckfest to make it "exciting"? think anyone has a chance of getting killed in last 10 laps at charlotte going faster than they do at talladega? so its ok to celebrate a wreck waiting to happen at charlotte but talladega ust be bulldozed? the hypocrisy is amuzing.

Big E Fan said...

It's not the track. The track has no ability to think. It's the drivers.

Edwards' decision was bad.

I can think of two races at Talladega that were caution free in the last 10 years, so it can happen.

Blocking should be outlawed plain and simple. You block and you park it.

As far as track safety, you can never make a track totally safe. There are too many factors that can combine to produce the unexpected.

Let 'em race, just not block.

G Streuber said...

Oh you poor little whiners. Next year they can all get out there with "Smart Cars" and wind them up and go for a safe Sunday drive. Also, if the driver needs to change lanes, he has to signal, not just with his blinker, but also by sticking his arm out the window. Pit stops could require parallel parking and the drivers will have to fill it up themselves, of course the would have to wear the little plastic mits like the have at gas stations so they don't get any harmful fluids on their hands. You whiners are pathetic! Am I the only one who understands that what these drivers do is dangerous to begin with? Am I also the only one who notices that the catch fence did its job, which by the way isn't put there to keep rednecks and beercans off the track, it's to keep cars in the track. So it comes down to this, kill Talladega, kill your sport and go home. That way you can watch the F1 whiners race their cars.

Anonymous said...

nascar is idiot racing anyway...

formula one... now thats real racing... and they even know how to turn both left and right...

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:45
What do you expect from the worlds biggest liberal.
Poole rants and crys just like the liberals in Washington do.And they don't have any solutions either.Poole is also one of the biggest supporters of the GM bail out scam.So why would you expect an explanation.He does like all his liberal buddies do.Cause a big commotion..then run and hide.He never explains how he comes up with his weekly driver rankings either.

Anonymous said...


Titanium is 10 times stronger than steel and the fences need to be twice as high and deep.

Next time there might be 200 dead fans looking like they been through a meat grinder.

NASCAR would be a goner then for sure.

This was a warning to Daytona headquarters !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

A single engine airplane takes off the runway at 60 mph and a 747 commerical jet takes off at 150 mph.

The only thing holding these cars down from flying off into space are the valances.

Who the hell are these punks on here calling people liberals and limp wrists?
Dont they know the smeller is the feller?

Fagboy sissies always do the talking, real men do the walking.

Anonymous said...

nascar should send drivers who block to pits racing is not blocking. thought there was a rule they said no bump drafting in coners such as sunday allway around track no plenty for that supposed to only on straight way. racing is racing not blocking

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

David, you thesis that the track needs to be changed is essentially correct. However, not in the manner you suggest. Rather, I think Earnhardt Sr. had the simplest and most elegant soluttion to the conundrum of Talladega: Put the grandstands in the infield.

While this sounds nuts at first, just consider that the laws of physics dictate that cars going in a circle will lose control initially to the outside of that circle. Those that do spin to the inside will have ceased any "air time" by the time they reach any spectator area (witness Kenseth's flight on Saturday and other such accidents at 'Dega).

By clearing the fans from the danger area which is the outside of the track, the only ones remaining in danger are the drivers. And as Carl Edwards said, "We sign up for this."

This solution could theoretically make it possible to entirely remove the plates and other restrictions on the cars and let the drivers actually race. Since car preparation would once again take precedence as it does at other tracks, the two-car draft would re-emerge, drivers wouldn't need help to pass, and pack racing would thing of the past.

But, even if the artificiality of restrictor plates is maintained, there would be no need to further restrict the cars, and fans who like this form of "racing" could still enjoy it. They'd just have to be content seeing it on only one half of the track at a time.

Anonymous said...

David, You mentioned blocking. Last night a man called into Dave on "Windtunnel" and said that Nascar should adopt the Indy Car and F1 rule of "NO BLOCKING". It would have eliminated Carl's wreck yesterday, Kyle spinning across Jeff's bumper, and Vicker's blocking Jr. at Daytona, etc. I would be happy to never see another wreck.
Marybeth Walick

Anonymous said...

Solution (if you're concerned): Take out the bottom 15 rows and build another Tower in Turn 1 or Turn 4. You can't even see the entire track from down there anyway. Do the fans really want another Michigan or California on the schedule? Of course what do I care. Sunday was the first LIVE Cup racing I've seen since rain shortened/"we really want to be at home Sunday night" Daytona Less Than 500. It needs to be written in stone that the Daytona 500 will be at least 500 miles. But that's another topic. BULLARD

tonytothefront14 said...

if your sittin in front row at a nascar race your an idiot anyway cause you can only see for about 100 yards. the fence worked stfu about it. try this..AFTER THE FIRST BLOCK DIDNT WORK..TRY RACING TO THE FINISH LINE...YOU JUST MIGHT WIN.


Mr. Poole.

The only races worth watching are those at Daytona, Talladega, Bristol, Martinsville, Richmond, and Darlington. Cars passing cars, which happens at Talladega is exactly what the drivers lament does not happen.

Ask Scott Speed on his take of his Talladega experience, I believe his comments that no other racing experience can compare to driving at Talladega. Motorsport, NASCAR, indy, F-1, monster-trucks, drag racing, go carts, down to the youth series run there at Charlotte are dangerous to the drivers, officials, track crews, racing team members,and to the spectators - ALWAYS HAS BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE. Racing series' and track management always have the inherit responsibility to maximize safety for for all concerned, so yes efforts should me made by all concerned to improve where improvement can be made.

The one other thing that I am certain of, I'm glad that I don;t have to pay to read your ridiculous commentary!

Anonymous said...

Restrictor plate racing isn't racing at all. It's demolition derby. Unfortunately, that's what the "wreck" fans go to see. That said, the yellow line rule caused Edward's wreck. NASCAR not only allows blocking, they encourage it, so Carl was doing what he had to do. Brad Keselowski also did what he had to do.

But everyone is saying that Brad held his line. He didn't. He did what he had to do to avoid being forced under the yellow line. He turned right. Had Brad simply held his line, both cars would have moved down the track and been okay. Brad couldn't do that because of the yellow line rule which I believe is the most stupid rule NASCAR has ever made. As Kenny Schrader said, "If they don't want us to race on it, they shouldn't pave it."

Bill said...

David, although I agree with you on most of your articles I have to totally disagree with you and every other pansy who thinks you need to close Talladega. All I can say is what the late Great Dale Earnhardt said. "If you like restrictor plate racing I'm gonna tie gasoline rags around your ankles so the ants can't crawl up your legs and eat your candy asses." so if you really want to close Talladega re-read above quote.

Rob said...

Anonymous said at 11:48 am on 4/27: "The 'plate' era solidified the legacy of Dale Earnhardt...for without it he wouldn't of won anything @ 'Dega and Daytona other than Busch races."

Ok, you really should do some research if you're going to make statements like this. 1983 Talladega 500, no restrictor plates, Sr. the winner. I was there.

And Carl Edwards should know at least enough about NASCAR history to not say something stupid like "it's something we'll do...until somebody gets killed, and then we'll change it." I know Carl is young, but surely he remembers the 2001 Daytona 500?

Anonymous said...

How old were you Rob?6 months old?

Phathead said...

RIP David

Unknown said...

You will be missed

DonDahlmann said...

RIP David. That is so sad...I learned a lot from your work. Please accept my most sincere condolences.

Anonymous said...

How dare we ask race car drivers to drive fast, and put them in dangerous situations. Why not start slowing open wheel cars down to under 170, and let's put a cage around the top, and cover up those wheels, God knows that's dangerous.

Personally, I think if the drivers would learn the race track and how to race it before being let loose out there, that would help the safety tremendously. But there is nothing that can be done to make a racer not go fast and take chances.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or haven't there been more deaths at NEW HAMPSHIRE INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY than at both restrictor plate tracks in the past 15 years?

♥♥♥♥♥ Jennifer™® ♥♥♥♥♥ said...

your blog is feel good

Walter said...


I hope you don't feel to bad about the unfortunate timing of your comment. I must admit I have taken pause after learning of David's passing after having read your comment. I am overweight myself and my eyes have been opened.

My sympathies go out to David's family and friends. Rest in peace David.

Monkeesfan said...

Ed, get real. Restrictor plate racing is so much better than anything else it's not funny. Grow up.

Monkeesfan said...

marc, as usual you are a fool. You mention the 1955 tragedy without realizing it isn't relavent to this discussion or any other any more than remembering David Walther's 1973 tumble into the fencing at Indianapolis. The fan who suffered a broken jaw wasn't much more injured than the two fans hit in the face with debris at Thompson Speedway I saw several years ago. Moreover, that person has been released from the hospital.

The basic problem is that the lack of throttle response is not relavent to anything because throttle response is not as important as it is made out to be. The cars have all the throttle response they want on other tracks - yet far from being safer, they crash harder and the racing is terrible.

The whole argument about throttle response should have been disabused by the experience of the Trucks, which began racing at Daytona without restrictor plates, had ample throttle response, had seperation of the packs - and the result was the worst crashing in the series' history and the destruction of over 100 feet of fencing. The Trucks may not outright run restrictor plates, but all their throttle response is long gone between smaller carburators and narrowed carb sleeves and even with all that they will at some point get restrictor plates because nothing else can keep the speeds down.

There is no such thing as the low end torque argument you make - the simple fact is the draft is what makes passing, not throttle response. Throttle response means nothing, period.

The fact is the restrictor plates are the only thing that keep the speeds down. There is no alternative to them and it's about time people embrace them as the net positive they are to the sport.

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i agree with david 100%,think about a car and watch it happen in your head like a replay going into and over the fence and coming down on top of the grandstand bleachers and landing on top of hundreds of people and then its not going to stop there the car will continue to slide for quite a long ways with nascar fans trying to get out of the way as a almost 4000 pound car of metal,steel and glass slides and rips away everything in its way,well you get the picture,nascar would never be nascar anymore as they get the hell sued out of them and they would lose that lawsuite i'am sure.i love nascar and i don't want to see people killed

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #125, if you're worried about someone getting killed at a NASCAR race you picked the wrong track to worry about. The sport has seen driver deaths and spectator injuries the last two decades at Michigan, Atlanta, Charlotte, Homestead, New Hampshire, and Texas - not at Talladega. Daytona has seen several driver deaths, all in single or two-car crashes universal to all racing. Talladega is much safer than these other places.

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