Wednesday, March 10, 2010

NASCAR wrecks

I happened to see the weekend wreck on Sunday; I am, at best, a casual fan of NASCAR I hold nothing particular against it, but I am far from a die-hard fan. As a kid I solely watched auto racing for the wrecks hey, I am a male. Watching the high-speed wrecks and then seeing - more often than not - the drivers walking away from the crashes is entertaining. In the old days, driving hard was part of the game

Yeah, Carl Edwards intentionally clipped Brad Keselowski's car; anyone who thinks otherwise either didn't see the wreck, or the replays, or heard Edwards' interview after the incident. For those who missed it, see it here:

The references to Talladega wreck, when Keselowski clipped Edwards, was a far more dangerous wreck for the fans than this weeks wreck:


Now I am not a mechanical engineer, but when the roof and trunk flaps deploy in the instances where cars are driving backwards, why can't the spoiler-like wing similarly fold back (towards the read windshield) to prevent the natural shape of the airfoil from providing lift?

Brad Keselowski's complaint that the fan could be injured made me laugh. I've only attended one race at Pocono Speedway, and I sat along the front stretch, about 10 rows back. I knew the risk of being so close - everyone does. The catch fences are there for a reason, but no one can be 100% protected anymore than a baseball fan in the mezzanine section of a ball park can be protected from a foul ball.

So the calls to NASCAR officials to punish Edwards were all wrong; the complaints that his 3 race probation is also wrong. Sure, Edwards turned Keselowski on purpose no question. But this is a race, and it's brutal. This is what fans want to see, and the pundits and media making a big deal over it are doing so out of bias. Bias against NASCAR, bias against middle America, or whatever, there's always been a dislike of NASCAR - possibly because of the real/implied endorsement of Republican causes.

Want proof my theory? Check out this story:
Chandler, Ariz. - A fan has died after being hit by a tire from a crashing dragster at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.
The woman was watching a first-round run Sunday at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler when Antron Brown's Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster went out of control on the strip and its left rear tire and wheel came off.
Alia Maisonet, a spokeswoman for the Gila River Indian Community, says the woman was airlifted to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment and later died. Gila River emergency responders were among the first to respond to the scene.

If there was such an outcry over how Edwards may have harmed spectators by causing Keselowski's wreck, where are the complaints when a fan actually dies during a motor race?

Racing is inherently dangerous, and that's part of the attraction. Saftey has come a long way, but the risks will never be averted. Check out this clip of what's described as the worst wreck in NASCAR history:


Even 50 years ago, no one seriously hurt. That's the stuff that makes racing so much fun!


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