I Predict a Taller Fence at Talladega



Twenty-two years ago Bobby Allison almost went through the fence at Talladega Superspeedway and a rookie, his son Davey, later went on to win his first race. History has a way of repeating itself as rookie Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag today while Carl Edwards was thrashing the catch fence along the main grandstand behind him.

Fortunately the fence held up, but looking at the replay it isn't hard to imagine that if Edwards' car had been a little closer when it went airborne, or a little higher, or at a little different angle, things could have been much worse.

Even still, the speedway is reporting that eight spectators were injured -- not seriously -- by flying debris.

How will NASCAR respond? The video will certainly be played over and over again on the news networks and the spectator injuries are not going to go over well. I think we'll see a couple feet added to the height of that catch fence before the fall race. Same at Daytona. Both of the fences are pretty lame compared to other tracks. I suspect NASCAR will tighten the restrictor plates in time for the July race at Daytona, like that will somehow help.

So what happened?

Well... The first point is that NASCAR created an "out of bounds" line and for years drivers have been taking advantage of it by cutting off the challenging car, forcing the driver below the yellow line. This all came to a head at last fall's race when Regan Smith tried to pass Tony Stewart, was forced below the line at the checkers and then was penalized for it and ultimately lost the race. So this year, Keselowski held his line and when Edwards tried to cut him off he ended up in the fence.

The second thing is that, in my opinion, the drivers have become a little too comfortable out there with reckless driving. Between the COT and the pillow walls they think they're invincible now and drive like nuts. That's cool and all but when spectators are put into play, I'm not sure it's the best way to race.

I think the wreck will sober Carl Edwards up a bit... at least for awhile.

Here's the finish with Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip for Fox.

"Shades of Ricky Bobby..." lol... even the bad wrecks are a big joke at Fox.

This Glenn Smith / AP Photo shows just how high Edwards got and how flimsy that fence looks.

Categories : NASCAR, News, Opinion, Videos



I don’t think the comment comparing Carl Edwards running across the finish line to Ricky Bobby was in any way a “joke” about the seriousness of the crash and that spectacular wrecks that injure fans are laughed at by Fox. In fact, Mike Joy made a point to say he didn’t see any debris hit the fans. Obviously he didn’t see the seven injured fans get hurt but Fox does a great job with their race coverage and they treat these wrecks as delicately as they should be.



Yeah I didn’t get the Ricky Bobby reference at first but now I know what he was talking about.

I do think there’s a tendency to whitewash these things though in the modern TV coverage. I guess drivers walk away so often from these bad crashes that it’s become expected now.

Leave a Comment