Apparently, this weekend existed just so we could post some non-regular content around here. This time, we’re talking NASCAR and Carl Edwards. By now, you’ve probably seen footage of the final lap crash that could have been so much worse, but thanks to the retaining fences, spectators in grandstand only suffered minor injuries. While the fence did in fact hold, Edwards’ car was dangerously close to clearing the barricade, something the driver is well aware of:
“I’m glad the car didn’t go up in the grandstands and hurt somebody,” Edwards said. “I saw some fencing at one point and that made me a little bit nervous. I don’t know if I could live with myself if I ended up in the grandstands.”
Thankfully, Edwards doesn’t have to face such a horrible reality. That doesn’t mean, however, the awesomely-terrifying wreck hasn’t spawned talk of rule changes to prevent this kind of racing chaos — something that wasn’t restricted to the Edwards wreck:
On Lap 7, contact between Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon turned into a wreck involving 14 cars, knocking four out of the race and badly damaging five. Gordon finished 37th and lost the points lead to Kurt Busch.
A 10-car wreck later collected, among others, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya and Jimmie Johnson. During that caution, Earnhardt, running second, and Newman, running first, concocted a scheme to leave the field behind.
Are changes to the restrictor-plate necessary to prevent these kind of field-clearing wrecks? According to many drivers, the answer is yes.