I was up all night Saturday reading through arguments and discussions while at the same time having my own with a few respectful fans. The topic was Carl Edwards getting into Brad Keselowski at the NNS Gateway race. Throughout the night I felt like I was the only person who was standing on the middle ground in all of this.
My opinion is simple. First of all, I think we need to leave the past in the past. This wasn’t Atlanta, nor did it have anything to do with Atlanta, and that was a main argument point I saw on Twitter.com. Some fans think that this was payback again, but why bring a past race into it? It’s not that; it was the fact of Brad bumping Carl in the turns and taking the lead from him.
My second point is that no, I don’t necessarily condone wrecking someone last minute for a win, but isn’t that racing? You do what you have to do for a win - isn’t that what NASCAR is condoning by letting the racers “have at it?” What’s the point of saying “let let them be aggressive and get into each other” if when they do it, everyone is going to demand that NASCAR park or fine them? Yes, Carl could’ve bumped Brad, but no one knows what someone will do for a win. He wanted it and he got it. NASCAR let it slide, so fair must be fair in this case.
Now onto my third point, I find it absolutely ridiculous that NASCAR’s fan base insists on dividing themselves whenever someone wrecks another. Who cares about “teams” - when did NASCAR suddenly become The Twilight Saga? Why can’t we group together and have an intelligent conversation? I think we need to quit arguing, picking sides and thinking about what ifs and think about what did happen. Brad is alive and uninjured, and both drivers said positive things in their interviews.
I want to end this with two questions for you all to think about: 1) Would this topic be so controversial if fans would let go of the past, and 2) If Brad can have respect for good racing, why can’t the fans?
The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
Photo: Carl Edwards poses with his winning car, which shows damage from a last-lap incident with Brad Keselowski, and trophy in victory lane at Gateway International Raceway. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)