Edwards temper the biggest problem on NASCAR’s plate

           March 2010                                                             Dale Wilkerson

Four weeks into the 2010 season, NASCAR has a few problems to address.

                No, one of those is not the pot hole at Daytona, it has been fixed.

                Jimmy Johnson winning two of the first four, well everybody else just needs to get faster or buy some kryptonite.

                Fixing the IRL schedule to where it works around Danica. Well the IRL does run some companion event weekends with the Camping World Truck Series. I think a few truck races would help both Danica and the truck schedule.

                Doing something to sell more tickets for the Sprint Cup race at Fontana is still a big problem. So how could it be addressed? Well, they could put Danica in a cup ride, add a lot of banking, have the teams install restrictor plates and maybe give season ticket holders passes to Disneyland.

                Inspecting the cars that some call the start and park guys to make sure they really have handling problems has become a new problem for NASCAR inspectors. Maybe expanding the field from 36 to 43 in the truck series would convince so of these teams to run at a different level of NASCAR.

                These are a few of the problems faced by NASCAR but perhaps the two biggest problems could be the schedule and the Carl Edwards vs Brad Keselowski flare up the resulted in Bad Brad going air-borne, dangerously close to the front-stretch fence Sunday during the running of the Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

                First the schedule, other than the pot-hole problem, this year’s running of the Daytona 500 was a great race. Numerous lead changes, the thrill of the late race restarts, and a surprise winner. The ratings on TV were high, tickets sales soared; fans in the southeast were fired up, so let’s go to Fontana.  

                The momentum gained from Daytona was wasted.  I the old days, the schedule would hit Richmond, Rockingham and then Atlanta. The empty house at California drained a lot of wind from the sails of the 2010 season.

                All reports indicated that Las Vegas did sell out again, and you could only see a few empty seats. The racing for the lead could have been better, but Jeff Gordon had the field covered, well until that last pit stop anyway. Sometimes a team just hits on a set up and they stick up the show. No fault of the Las Vegas Speedway, they sold their tickets, they did their part.

                So the tour rolled into Atlanta Sunday and put on a great race. Lots of guys took turns leading and several cars looked to have a chance at the win. The race is almost over, and instead of the story being about Kurt Busch and Juan Montoya battling side-by-side in one of those famous Atlanta photo-finishes, a dark cloud is hanging over this race due to one driver having a temper tantrum.

                So of you are saying Keselowski started it because of the early contact that sent Edwards and Joey Logano into the wall. Well, Brad has caused several problems, but he held his line. Yes he could have let off, but at the same time Edwards could have held his line and the contact would not have happened.  

                Heated tempers happen on a race track, but when you go to the garage and have 150 laps to think about something, then go out and wreck a driver on the front stretch, well you are asking for it.

                Only a few years ago, Kevin Harvick went over the edge in a truck race at Martinsville. When he was told to report to the NASCAR hauler after the race, he drove his truck straight there, he climb out defiantly but left very humbled. NASCAR liked the fact that Harvick parked outside their door so much, they sent him home and did not let him compete in the cup race the next day.

                Lots of opinions are being bounced around by talk shows, fans, crew-members, etc as to what fate awaits Edwards in the coming days.

                Every driver gets mad on track, but it best not to retaliate, just out run the guy the next week if you are that mad at him.

                Edwards had a lot of time to think about what he was going to do before going back out on track at Atlanta, now he may end up with a lot of time to think about just what he did.