Okay I?ll cover the racing action before I get into the whole Edwards ordeal. Kurt Busch found victory lane after the dust settled and it seems one thing is clear. Both the 9 car of Kahne and the 2 car of Busch have that place figured out. Montoya looked good as well as Kenseth but when the 9 and 2 were on they were untouchable it seemed. The race itself showed once again why Atlanta is so good; multiple racing lines, green flag racing, and seemingly a fight for the lead at the end (with or without a GWC finish). Even with the green flag racing, due to the rules NASCAR has in place, 27 cars still managed lead lap finishes. I do not really have much to say to change the current rules in place so I won?t critique the system too much but I think in order to win you have to be good the whole race and not the last quarter of the race. Another reoccurring theme that seemed to pop-up this race was tire issues. For the most part this seemed to be limited within organizations such as HMS and SHR with a few exceptions. I have no fear that Goodyear will make some small adjustments to the tire but anything too drastic will be a poor decision since it seemed like more than half the organizations at the track did not suffer from any issues whatsoever.
Excellent runs by RPM where they came in 4th, 5th, and 6th. Kahne was one of the best all day, Allmendinger was a Top 10 car for most of the day and even though Menard used strategy to get to his position he was still a 10th-15th place car for much of the day. Scott Speed quietly came in 10th and both him in Menard are sitting in Chase positions with 22 races to go until the Chase.
Quickly touching the Truck series, Harvick won and I cannot say I am surprised. When Kevin and Kyle run the Truck series if one of them does not win I will be in shock. Rough starts to the season for the two guys who finished 1-2 in the points last year Hornaday and Crafton who both found the wall early on in the event. Shout out of the races this weekend go out to A.J. Allmendinger who had a Top 10 car for much of the day and to Brad Sweet who brought the truck home in 12th in just his 3rd start in the series.
Okay, so we all know the talk of the garage, message boards, and water-coolers from this weekend regards to the 12 and 99. Here is the way I see it. Carl wrecked himself on the restart, Brad held his line and you cannot anticipate Carl coming all the way down on you when you were underneath him for awhile. I have never been a fan of Brad since he got his shot in the 88 in the Nationwide and developed his attitude, but he was 100% in the right in everything that took place. Now what happened on Lap 322 is absolutely a joke. Carl took 3 shots at Brad after he came back on the track and when he finally did so he changed the whole ending of the race because of it. Not only did he intentionally wreck the 12 but in doing so he intentionally brought out a caution. In doing so it could be argued that he is the reason for the restart crash that took out around six cars as well. When Carl writes on Facebook about his options and not wanting to do it at Bristol to collect other cars, well he collected other cars at Atlanta. He but Brad?s health in danger, meaning to destroy the car or not he spun him at 195 and that?s my issue, just spin him off 4 and send him through the grass or in a future event. I used to pull for Edwards after I had met and talked with him for a few minutes several years ago up in New Hampshire but now I would rather see Johnson win 5 in a row if it came down to the 99 and the 48.
So through all this NASCAR dropped the ball big time. I am not saying a suspension was necessary but a 3-race probation is a joke. When they said they wanted the gloves to come off, I highly doubted they intended for a car 156 laps down to take out a Top 10 car with 3 to go, I think it was intended to encourage the driver to not be afraid to use the bumper when it was coming down to the checkered for the win. I do not know what would have made me happy penalty-wise for the situation but let?s take a look at some other infractions and what came out of them.
2008: Edwards and Kyle Busch 6 weeks probation for bumping each other after the checkered
2007: Tony Stewart accidently let a curse slip by on National TV and got $25K fine and 25 points
2007: Kurt Busch hit a car on pit road after the race and got $100K fine, 100 pts, and probation for over 6 months
2007: Harvick and McMurray got 5 months probation and $25K each for bumping each other under caution
2006: Robby Gordon?s roll bar padding ended up on the track at Atlanta causing a caution and got a short probation, 50 points deducted and a $15K fine
2006: Kyle Busch through something at a competitor?s car after being wrecked and got over 6 months probation, 50 point fine and had to pay NASCAR $25K
The point I am trying to make is that bumping each other under caution has gotten people fined and put on probation, intentionally causing a caution has got points taken away, a fine and probation, and throwing something at a competitor?s car has gotten the same. Edwards, you could argue, did all three of these things basically but instead of throwing a helmet or something at a car Edwards threw is front bumper. There should have been points, money and a longer probation period for this incident when all was said and done. Or at least that is the way I see it.
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