Sunday, March 7, 2010

Accidentally on Purpose

How do you defend the indefensible? 

I spent a lot of time on Twitter reading and posting comments about the now infamous Edwards/Keselowski on track disagreement. Fans on both sides offered different perspectives on the incident. It is no secret that I am a die hard fan of Carl Edwards and I will admit to getting caught up in the "BK must die" hysteria. 

However, now that the adrenaline has worn off I am prepared to offer a calmer opinion. I go on record saying, "Carl you screwed up!" Carl was 151 laps down when he returned to the track after an earlier on track incident with Brad Keselowski. At this point Carl was turning laps to gain as many points as possible so as not to lose too many spots in the points. Why then, Mr. Edwards, did you feel it was necessary to turn Brad Keselowski with  5 laps to go? 

It has been hypothesized that this was a retaliation for the incident earlier on the track. Your responses in the post black flag interview alluded to that fact as well. Therefore, shame on you! Your fans have been able to take pride in the fact that you are a "clean" racer and you own up to your mistakes. Often it has be credited to you that in tense situations you don't let your emotions get the better of you. 

How then do you defend the indefensible?  

1 comment:

  1. I have to give Carl props for _not_ defending himself in this. He has been honest at a time when many would not. He is owning up to the fact that he intended to spin Brad. He did it, he admits to doing it, and he explained why he did it. He has never said it was the _right_ thing to do; he simply said that he felt it was the thing to do.

    It wasn't the thing to do, but at least he's admitted why he decided to do it.

    Of course, he shouldn't have done it for the very reason of what happened next. He's not the first driver to spin someone and this wasn't the worst payback wreck in NASCAR history (Dale Sr. on Wallace comes to mind), but most of the time when two cars get into each other what happened in Atlanta _doesn't_ happen. Most of the time the person spins into the grass or ricochets off the wall. Most of the time they simply lose position, not their grip on the earth.

    In the moments leading up to the wreck, it probably seemed like the least-worst place to commit a bad act. Few drivers were nearby so the only people who would have been involved were Brad and Carl. In those moments, the thought that Brad might go airborne could not have been in Carl's mind. He must've been more shocked than anyone, save perhaps Brad.

    The freakish nature of the results of wreck cannot form our opinion of this incident. Carl spun someone just like countless NASCAR drivers have done before and countless will in races to come. What we have to do now is decide how we view all of these spins. Was what Carl did any worse or better than what happened between Montoya and Stewart at Homestead just because the horror-level of the aftermath was different?

    We either chalk the aftermath up to unusual circumstances and give Carl the standard wrist-slap or we set a new standard and treat every other intentional wrecker based on what we now know _can_ happen when you behave like that.

    We know we'll have a chance to test whatever standard is set. What are the odds Carl makes it through his next start or next possible top-ten finish if he's anywhere near a Penske car?