Sunday, July 18, 2010

When A Line Is Crossed


Saturday's Nationwide race was filled with great racing all night long. It was clear that Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards had two great cars. The last lap was going to be great, you already knew. But I don’t think anyone was prepared for what would happen.

The final laps were in play. Entering the first two turns Brad’s car got loose and slid into the side of Carl, causing both to almost wreck. Brad and Carl have some rivalry when it comes to bumping one another. Brad’s unintentional bump would make Carl mad.

As Brad and Carl neared the final set of turns, Brad’s car became loose again. As Brad gained control of his car once again, Carl then turned left and rammed into Brad. Brad then went into the wall, causing a crash behind him.

Many say Carl had every right to do this, while many say Carl did a bad thing and should be fined. My feelings on this run deep. At first I said OK, maybe that was an accident. I watched the replays and studied it closely. As I watched, it was clear to me Carl turned left into Brad. But I still didn’t want to push any judgment on Carl; it wasn’t until Victory Lane that I knew it was done intentionally.

"I just couldn't let him take the win from me," Edwards said as he was being interviewed in Victory Lane, a clear sign that he did wreck Brad on purpose. Carl then went to say it was payback from the earlier bump in the race.

"We had a great restart. My guys built me a great car. We came to the checkered flag, and I hate to see stuff tore up, but we came here to win and he took it from us there in Turn 1.” Was it really right of Carl Edwards to do? No.

No, Carl Edwards crossed the line. There’s "boys have at it" and then there’s just wrecking someone. What Carl Edwards did was uncalled for. You may be thinking why and getting ready to throw stones at me, but here are my reasons.

Carl Edwards wanted the win; Carl knew Brad was going to win. Even Carl said he couldn’t let Brad take the win. I’m not saying Carl is a bad guy or bad racer; however, what he did was wrong. It’s one thing to bump someone, aka the "bump and run," but what Carl did was turn hard left into Brad and wreck him.

I am a huge Brad Keselowski fan, I won’t lie to you. So yes, I stand behind my driver on this. Brad has done some things in the past I wasn’t too happy about, but he has overcome them. Brad has become more mature in the past months of racing. He is more patient with his racing; he doesn’t need to run over people. Meanwhile, Carl, it seems, is showing his true colors. Atlanta was the first straw for me with Carl, but I overcame it because I hate holding grudges.

In all honesty, and I know the stones will come flying at me, I think Carl should be fined. He needs to realize that doing stuff like this is only going to hurt some or dare I say it, kill someone. This is the second time he has done it, and what’s worse is not only was Brad involved, but so were other Nationwide drivers who just wanted a good finish. I’m all for what goes around comes around, but Brad hasn’t touched Carl since the Atlanta race. In all honesty, Brad should be the one getting payback at Carl, but Brad hasn’t.

Seeing that was a shock, to say the least. Seeing Brad once again get wrecked by Carl is something I didn’t want to see, not in that way. I know it's racing, and I know with racing comes these accidents. Accidents in racing are scary as it is, but they are even scarier when they are done intentionally
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Brad was later interviewed and wouldn’t you know, he was happy. He felt like it was fun racing; however, Brad did feel that Carl intentionally did wreck him.

"He turned left into me and wrecked me on purpose. I gave him the lane, and he still wrecked me," Brad said, and he did give Carl more than enough room. There was no reason for there to be any contact between the two.

I know I am going to make a lot of people mad at me for this. I know a lot of people won’t agree with me, but it’s my opinion for one, and I know what I saw during that race. If the roles were reversed and Brad had done to Carl what Carl did to Brad, I wouldn’t be very happy with Brad - I would feel what I feel right now.

I know NASCAR won’t fine Carl for this, but in a way I hope they do. Maybe it will open Carl’s eyes and he will see that wrecking people like he does to Brad is wrong and very uncalled for.

I hope someone sees my point of view and understands how I feel on this whole thing. Truly what Carl did was wrong, and Brad walked away again unharmed, but next time Brad or someone else may not be OK. I hope who all read this understand that they don’t have to agree with me.

Racing is racing, and in racing there is wrecking and crashes. However, there are some crashes that could be avoided - and Saturday's crash was one of them.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

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Photo: Coming to the checkered flag, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski tangle in the battle for the victory during Saturday's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250. (Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images)

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