NASCAR Kobalt Tools 500 Wrap up

Kurt Busch wins but Carl Edwards' actions are the story of the day

3/7/10 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

As expected, although Dale Earnhardt Jr led the field to the green flag, Kyle Busch put pedal to metal and jumped immediately out in front to lead lap number 1.  Travis Kwapl was the early fastest mover, surging through the field immediately and gaining 13 position, but when Robby Gordon cut down a tire and hit the wall hard on lap 4, the momentum slowed.  Green flew again on lap 9, and Kasey Kahne, the favorite of the NASCAR Raceday crew, moved around Jr to take second.

Fortunately for Jimmie Johnson fans (and unfortunately for everyone else) he started moving through the field and reported to Chad Knaus that his car was gooooood.  Dale Jr's car was reportedly tight, having been set up for the bright sunshine of yesterday's practice.  Lap 14 and Kasey blew by Kyle like he was standing still.   Juan Pablo Montoya soon followed, even while Clint Bowyer pitted for a flat tire.

As the race settled in for the inevitable mid race run, there were incidents involving Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, another with Clint Bowyer hitting the wall, and another with David Ragan.

Tony Stewart, who had started from the back due to an engine change, had moved steadily through the field and with the race approaching a third of the way done, had moved into the top 10. 

The elder Busch brother, Kurt, had taken over the lead with only Juan Pablo Montoya close to giving him any kind of a challenge when pole sitter, Dale Earnhardt Jr felt like he had a loose wheel and pitted for four fresh tires.  Only a lap after he pitted, his teammate Mark Martin lost his right rear tire, but managed to save the car.  Dale Jr got back on the lead lap by virtue of the "wave around" and the field went back to green, again with Kurt Busch showing his strength.  Other cars showing strength at this point in the race were AJ Allmendinger, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, David Reutimann and, of course, Jimmie Johnson. 

The sixth caution of the day flew when Joey Logano cut down a right front tire.  As often happens, the explosion of the tire as Joey continued around the track to get to pit road caused a ton of damage.  One had to wonder if the "loosening" of the penalties for reacting and showing emotion would include the drivers showing disdain or disappointment in the tires.  Being as Atlanta is such an abrasive track, the tires disintegrate as they run around the track, however, with seven drivers having tire issues before the middle of the race, one had to wonder what the post race interviews would bring.

Jeff Gordon was another of the cars with tire issues and with the restart near the halfway mark, he was back in 32nd position, battling his teammate, Earhnhardt Jr.

Denny Hamlin had taken the lead off the restart, but Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth were all so strong that any one of them looked like they could take the lead at any time.  Montoya, however, made a kind of sling shot move to take second from Kurt Busch, then pulled a similar move to take the lead.  Kasey followed Montoya to take second and only a couple of laps later, moved into the top spot.

The one driver who could be counted on to say what he thinks about the tires is Tony Stewart.  When he dropped off the track while running in 6th place, thinking he had a left tire issue, we knew in our guts that someone would definitely be voicing his opinion.  To his credit, Tony took some of the responsibility, but Larry McReynolds opined that the tire problems seemed to be unique to the Hendrick Motor Sports cars, with which Tony is affiliated.  Jimmie Johnson also reported vibrated issues, but elected not to pit.

As the cars made green flags stops and cycled through with 112 laps to go, Bill Elliott moved into the top 2, giving the announcers the opportunity to highlight he and some of his incredible finishes at Atlanta.   Jeff Burton also moved into the lead to grab 5 bonus points, but lost his momentum when caught speeding on pit road.

The 7th caution, for debris on the track allowed the drivers to get on the same pitting sequence.  The same cars who were dominant all day, however, continued to be dominant.  The one addition to the top five with less than 50 laps to go was Brad Keselowski.  Brad had made contact with Carl very early in the race, and subsequently got into the wall, but it hadn't seemed to bother his car at all.  He had joined his teammate, Kurt Busch in the top 5.  Unfortunately, Kasey Kahne remained strong, showing no sign of any weakness.

Denny Hamlin blew a tire with less than 40 laps remaining, bringing out the 8th caution of the day, and when they went back to green, Elliott Sadler and Max Papis hit the wall when Elliott got hit from behind.  The caution put Mark Martin back on the lead lap.

The 48 crew had found some inner wall tire wear on the right front tire and brought Jimmie back down pit road to check it out.  He'd gotten into Ryan Newman a few laps earlier resulting in some right front damage.

With 27 laps to go, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch were fighting for top spot as they took the green flag.  Kurt won the spot, but Matt had said earlier that his car needed the long green flag run to come to him.  JPM settled into third, followed by Kasey and Brad.  Remember when I said AJ Allmendinger had been flirting with the top ten earlier in the race?  Well, he was running in 6th position at this point in the race.

Further back, in the teens, the dicing between cars intensified, with Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and both of the TRG cars, Brian Vickers and Scott Speed involved.  Harvick moved ahead, hovering just outside the top ten, in 11th.

With ten to go, Kurt was still in the lead, but Montoya was lessening the difference slightly, all while Kasey was lessening the difference on him.  Martin Truex Jr was also up flirting with the top ten for Michael Waltrip Racing.

JPM was making incredible gains on Kurt Busch when suddenly Carl Edwards, perhaps in retaliation for the earlier contact today, or perhaps for the contact last year in Talladega, Carl's hands appear to make a deliberate turn towards Brad.  The replay done is slow motion clearly shows the move by Edwards and Brad takes the kind of scary ride no fan ever wants to see any driver take.  Brad climbs from the car, but clearly looks dazed when waiting to make his way to the ambulance.



*with apologies for the quality of the video

Carl Edwards was ordered to park the car and make his way to the NASCAR hauler.  At the time of the wreck he was 156 laps down and had no reason to be racing with a car running in 6th place.  My sincere hope is that Carl will be parked for an additional race.

The restart had some cars who hadn't pitted. Unfortunately, they weren't able to get started as quickly as the cars who had been dominant all day and the resulting wreck disabled many of the front runners, including Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, and David Gilliland.

Pit stops ensued, in order for drivers to make sure they had not picked up debris on the track from the wrecking cars, and they made the second attempt to finish the race.  This time, even though there were some problems getting restarted, Kurt Busch led them all the way to the checkers, taking the win for Penske Racing.  Once again, he did his backwards victory lap.

While congratulations are certainly in order for Kurt, for me the story this year has been the number of non dominant drivers from last year finding success this year.  The Atlanta race saw Paul Menard, AJ Allmendinger, Scott Speed and Marcos Ambrose all finishing in the top 15.  And speaking of top 15, although it wasn't a dominating finish for Jr., he did manage 15th after being two laps down.  Further, Kevin Harvick remains the points leader with his 9th place finish, staying ahead of Jimmie Johnson who finished 12th. 

And of course, we will all be watching and listening on Tuesday when NASCAR announces penalties for the week.  Surely Carl Edwards will be seeing additional penalties, beside being parked with 4 laps remaining in the race.  In this case, the video camera evidence, showing his hands deliberately turning his car into Keselowski should be evidence enough that the man is a danger to himself and others on the track.  I only thank NASCAR for their safety efforts that prevented any injuries to either the drivers involved or the fans in the stands.
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3/9/10   |   Blueyed_AZ_Fan   |   5 respect

I can understand why so many people are upset about Carl Edwards but the truth of the matter is, all the drivers do this. In this particular case, it was caught on camera and caused Brad's car to flip. Racing is very competitive and if it were not, the sport would be VERY boring. I agree that NASCAR should punish Carl but I don't think he is a bad driver or a bad person. He was only caught up in the moment.

3/8/10   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

JenX63 wrote:
My bad....should of read more closely.....

No biggie, just clarifying

3/8/10   |   nortonsfury   |   130 respect

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Dale Earnhardt's nickname the Intimidator come from things like this? 

3/8/10   |   JenX63   |   32634 respect

Debi_L wrote:
He was responding to eric_walker_05 who was referring to the crash in Talladega

My bad....should of read more closely.....

3/8/10   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Brad did exactly what he had to to not be pushed under the yellow..ummmmm Captain Chaos, no yellow line rule at Atlanta....

He was responding to eric_walker_05 who was referring to the crash in Talladega

3/8/10   |   JenX63   |   32634 respect

Brad did exactly what he had to to not be pushed under the yellow..ummmmm Captain Chaos, no yellow line rule at Atlanta....

3/8/10   |   JenX63   |   32634 respect

Joe_L wrote:
I'm sure just about everyone, but there is a big difference in wanting to and actually doing it! NASCAR needs to put a stop to the intentional sh!@ before it ends up taking a life. If they make an example out of Carl or whoever else may do it next,maybe it will send a message to everyone else.

Then Nascar needs to shut up and quit changing the rules saying its ok for the  drivers to "handle their own business"....

3/8/10   |   JenX63   |   32634 respect

(Edited by JenX63)

Well, here I go...SHAME ON NASCAR!!!!....put the word out that the boys can play rough, and when it happens they want to say, OH wait a minute, no that's not what we meant....BS.....Nascar needs to make up its mind. Brad knew Carl was gunning for him and has been since last year at Dega....Nascar should of left the cars alone, and then maybe Brad would not have gone flying like he did. I am glad he isn't hurt, but if your gonna pull the kitty's tail, expect to get smacked....Just because no one was expecting the Carl/Brad feud, doesn't mean Carl should get slapped with fines and penalities nor should his car owner. Did Carl intentionally wreck Brad...Oh Hell Yes he did.....was Brad surprised?..well, if he was...he's ignorant....Nascar, needs to make a rule and shut up already.....I am glad Brad is OK...but you know, if you want to drive with the big boys then you better be able to handle yourself....
Oh geesh for got...CONGRATUALTIONS to KURT...was nice to see him in victory lane...and was really nice to see some new faces running up front....Kasey, looked like he was enjoying himself for a change...

3/8/10   |   Joe_L   |   12372 respect

Alpha_Dawg wrote:
how many of you wanted to do the same thing to someone else driving down the interstate?!

I'm sure just about everyone, but there is a big difference in wanting to and actually doing it! NASCAR needs to put a stop to the intentional sh!@ before it ends up taking a life. If they make an example out of Carl or whoever else may do it next,maybe it will send a message to everyone else.

3/8/10   |   Alpha_Dawg   |   1258 respect

how many of you wanted to do the same thing to someone else driving down the interstate?!

3/8/10   |   CRAZY_LADY   |   355 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Ha Ha Chocolate man, we aren't that dumb, we know next week is a week off

lol lol

3/8/10   |   Lizzo   |   324 respect

eric_walker_05 wrote:
Its racing people. Edwards did what he did and in no way tried to flip him as he stated, prly just wanted to slide him through the infield. Seems to me like the rookie needs to be able to take a lil of what he "tries" to give all the time. The wreck was pretty nasty, but if he had just slid through the grass would anyone really even be talking about it right now...no. And watch the slow motion replay of Talladega, Brad clearly cuts UP into Carl.

Talladega was last year, and as far as racing goes, Edwards was 156 laps down and deliberatly took out a top 10 car. WTF? That is NOT racing. If they were racing for positon and it got a little dicey, that's one thing, but to take somebody out and risk injury to driver and fans alike is unacceptable.

3/8/10   |   Captain_Chaos   |   287 respect

eric_walker_05 wrote:
Its racing people. Edwards did what he did and in no way tried to flip him as he stated, prly just wanted to slide him through the infield. Seems to me like the rookie needs to be able to take a lil of what he "tries" to give all the time. The wreck was pretty nasty, but if he had just slid through the grass would anyone really even be talking about it right now...no. And watch the slow motion replay of Talladega, Brad clearly cuts UP into Carl.

Brad did exactly what he had to to not be pushed under the yellow - Carls spotters told him that Brad was there. Carl pushed the issue to "force" the kid to back off, and props to him for not being bullied out of the way. Brad help his line - Carl wrecked himself. the problem, is that it wasn't so much the wreck itself that was the problem, its that Carl blatently caused it - AFTER criticizing NASCAR after Dega about them going to get someone killed.

its like Jeff Gordon at Daytona causing a wreck by bump drafting in a corner, after repeatedly criticizing other drivers for doing it and accusing them of being reckless and causing problems. he goes out and does exactly what he ran his mouth against.

drivers need to either practice what they preach, or STFU and stop criticizing NASCAR.

3/8/10   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

eric_walker_05 wrote:
Its racing people. Edwards did what he did and in no way tried to flip him as he stated, prly just wanted to slide him through the infield. Seems to me like the rookie needs to be able to take a lil of what he "tries" to give all the time. The wreck was pretty nasty, but if he had just slid through the grass would anyone really even be talking about it right now...no. And watch the slow motion replay of Talladega, Brad clearly cuts UP into Carl.

Brad moves up so his car is not below the yellow line, which is a no improvement zone, as declared by NASCAR.  Had he stayed below the yellow line where Carl was forcing him, his progress would have been disallowed.  He was holding HIS line at the bottom of the track.  i've listened to all of the experts on SIRIUS discuss the Talladega race over and over again, and every single one of them agrees the wreck there was all on Carl.  Brad did absolutely nothing wrong.

3/8/10   |   eric_walker_05

Its racing people. Edwards did what he did and in no way tried to flip him as he stated, prly just wanted to slide him through the infield. Seems to me like the rookie needs to be able to take a lil of what he "tries" to give all the time. The wreck was pretty nasty, but if he had just slid through the grass would anyone really even be talking about it right now...no. And watch the slow motion replay of Talladega, Brad clearly cuts UP into Carl.

3/8/10   |   nortonsfury   |   130 respect

While I in no way support what Edwards did yesterday it's real hard to be so critical of something that has been going on in NASCAR since it's birth.  Drivers retalitate against each other.  Nothing NASCAR can do will ever change that.  Drivers get angry at one another, they don't like each other, they wreck each other.  Its a fact of life.  Blocking is part of all races.  One can not try to block to much.  These guys stay bitter for a long time.  Its hard to get over a guy causing you to flip in the air at 250 miles per hour. 

3/8/10   |   Captain_Chaos   |   287 respect

heatmisl wrote:
 Let's be fair now. Did keselowski sit out an extra race last year? He has been the worst at that since joining the top tier.

no he didnt get sat last year after Dega - cause that wreck was all on Carl. Keslowski was there, and Carl tried to block one to many times and spun himself. its no different than what happened to Kyle at Daytona when he tried to block Tony, and Tony was already inside of him.

as for yesterday, Carl lost all respect that I had for him. I am not a Brad Kesslowski fan in any stretch of the imagination, but what Carl Edwards did was vastly uncalled for. the car was a few scant inches from hitting the fence, where who knows what could have happened.

when the spoiler is put on, the car should be harder to go airborn. that does not, however, excuse being a bully, Douchebag and an idiot - which is what carl edwards proved he was yesterday.

3/8/10   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

(Edited by MrNFL)

Just listen to Edwards' interview later on.  That wreck was as blatant as can be. 

3/8/10   |   kantwistaye   |   4211 respect

 Suspend Carl for all the races at Bristol and let him know if he does anything questionable for the rest of the year he'll get a 2 race suspension and it will just build from there. Also, suspend him multiple Nationwide races. Make sure he has no chance of winning that title.  He's a disgusting human being. That's all.

3/8/10   |   heatmisl   |   25 respect

 Let's be fair now. Did keselowski sit out an extra race last year? He has been the worst at that since joining the top tier.

3/7/10   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

Lizzo wrote:
I'm not sure what was going through Carl's head, but road rage springs to mind. He knew the consequences of what he was doing and did it anyway. Really disturbing and too dangerous to be called "just racin". And no, Roush should nor be penalized. He should park Edwards another week and make him watch the sub race!

OOR so

3/7/10   |   Lizzo   |   324 respect

I'm not sure what was going through Carl's head, but road rage springs to mind. He knew the consequences of what he was doing and did it anyway. Really disturbing and too dangerous to be called "just racin". And no, Roush should nor be penalized. He should park Edwards another week and make him watch the sub race!

3/7/10   |   gymgirl33   |   1 respect

jessiecraighead wrote:
wow people calm down gosh

im in Florida its impossible to be bored here

3/7/10   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

If Carl was that pissed about what happened he should have settled the score with Brad after the race  the old fashion with the firsts.

3/7/10   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

SaintDrew wrote:
Well if Nascar doesn't set an example now, they will never have the balls to do anything. They cannot do any of that 'probabtion' BS, and certainly docking points and/or money doesn't mean crap...Jack Roush has plenty of money.  Carl Edwards and 99 team should be forced to sit out at least one race.

I don't think Jack Roush should be paying ANY Fine, this is all on Edwards.  HE and HE alone should pay a HUGE fine and HE should have to sit out = if Jack wants to put someone else in the car, he should be able to do so
I'm not a Jack Roush fan at all, but Carl let his team down and his team shouldn't have to pay for his stupidity.  this is all on Carl, no one else.

3/7/10   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

wrote:
I say they should park him next week and let him Race in Bristol.......

Ha Ha Chocolate man, we aren't that dumb, we know next week is a week off

3/7/10   |   SaintDrew   |   31 respect

Well if Nascar doesn't set an example now, they will never have the balls to do anything. They cannot do any of that 'probabtion' BS, and certainly docking points and/or money doesn't mean crap...Jack Roush has plenty of money.  Carl Edwards and 99 team should be forced to sit out at least one race.

3/7/10   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

BluDevil wrote:
Heh... I only stopped into this article because it mentioned carl edwards and I just saw him on raw recently and thought he was really good. Funny that he was on wrestling and is now purposefully wrecking people.

Oh good, maybe he has a new career in wrestling!

BTW I used to watch wrestling a LOT, and if Carl were there, I'd watch it again....so I could BOOOOO him every time he stepped into the ring.

3/7/10   |   Joe_L   |   12372 respect

roprnt wrote:
Calm down? You must be joking?? Perhaps you didn't see the race??? Edwards interview before his spanking was arrogant at best. The little girl said" Oh I didn't mean to flip him over" The little girl is just that. Not a lot of talent and a lot of mouth!!! I can't wait until the FOX NASCAR season is over and these IDIOTS are silenced. They SUCK!!! So does Carl.

What? Why did you repeat me? As for Carl Edwards he's a Douchebag and NASCAR needs to make a example out of him.

3/7/10   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

Heh... I only stopped into this article because it mentioned carl edwards and I just saw him on raw recently and thought he was really good. Funny that he was on wrestling and is now purposefully wrecking people.

3/7/10   |   roprnt

Joe_L wrote:
Calm down, did you see the race or just posting to be posting?
Edwards said in his interview, after NASCAR parked him that everyone know that him and Brad have tension between them. Also I don't see letting this slide, next time I could cost someone there life. I know all drivers take that chance every time they get in the car, intentionally wrecking another diver isn't helping that equation. Calm down ..... you must be joking!

Calm down? You must be joking?? Perhaps you didn't see the race??? Edwards interview before his spanking was arrogant at best. The little girl said" Oh I didn't mean to flip him over" The little girl is just that. Not a lot of talent and a lot of mouth!!! I can't wait until the FOX NASCAR season is over and these IDIOTS are silenced. They SUCK!!! So does Carl.

3/7/10   |   Joe_L   |   12372 respect

Debi_L wrote:
dammit!! OOR so

That's ok I'm out also and into you like three now so. and just in case.

3/7/10   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

Joe_L wrote:
That's exactly right it can't, I hate to put it this way but NASCAR needs to make a example of Carl NOW. Next time it could be someones life driver, pit crew or a spectator.

dammit!! OOR so

3/7/10   |   Joe_L   |   12372 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Dick Bergren asked him flat out if he deliberately wrecked Brad.  He sidestepped the issue and answered it by saying the two have a history.  Ummmm who cares about a damn history? A nudge is not what Carl did, he turned directly and deliberately into Brad, trying to wreck him and he succeeded.  I'm with you, this can't be ignored.

That's exactly right it can't, I hate to put it this way but NASCAR needs to make a example of Carl NOW. Next time it could be someones life driver, pit crew or a spectator.

3/7/10   |   rhracer   |   987 respect

Joe_L wrote:
NASCAR needs to park Carl for the next race!

I agree!! This was uncalled for. I believe in paybacks but this was time nor the place, wait until Bristol or Martinsville

3/7/10   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

Joe_L wrote:
Calm down, did you see the race or just posting to be posting?
Edwards said in his interview, after NASCAR parked him that everyone know that him and Brad have tension between them. Also I don't see letting this slide, next time I could cost someone there life. I know all drivers take that chance every time they get in the car, intentionally wrecking another diver isn't helping that equation. Calm down ..... you must be joking!

Dick Bergren asked him flat out if he deliberately wrecked Brad.  He sidestepped the issue and answered it by saying the two have a history.  Ummmm who cares about a damn history? A nudge is not what Carl did, he turned directly and deliberately into Brad, trying to wreck him and he succeeded.  I'm with you, this can't be ignored.

3/7/10   |   roprnt

DW and the FOX BOYS are IDIOTS!! Lickety Lickets BOYS!! Yuck. DW talking about Edwards looking at the earlier incident and wanting him to believe it wasn't his fault?? Just like last year at Dega. Edwards seem to think no one is allowed to pass him. If NASCAR does the right thing it should stop the sandbox mentality. If not, expect to see more empty seats. Oh, does anyone know when Edwards is turning 5?? I'd like to send him a gift that should be very memorable!!

3/7/10   |   Joe_L   |   12372 respect

jessiecraighead wrote:
wow people calm down gosh

Calm down, did you see the race or just posting to be posting?
Edwards said in his interview, after NASCAR parked him that everyone know that him and Brad have tension between them. Also I don't see letting this slide, next time I could cost someone there life. I know all drivers take that chance every time they get in the car, intentionally wrecking another diver isn't helping that equation. Calm down ..... you must be joking!

3/7/10   |   jessiecraighead

wow people calm down gosh

3/7/10   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

Joe_L wrote:
NASCAR needs to park Carl for the next race!

At the very least.  His actions were deplorable and deliberate - that's what disgusts me the most.  Grow up, get over it.  Edwards couldn't do that and is still holding a grudge from last year.    I remember in the '90's there were people who named their fanship ABG (Anyone But Gordon) and now I am an ABE fan - Anyone But Edwards. 

3/7/10   |   cuddles127017   |   8133 respect

Yes he intentionally wrecked him. He had tried to earlier and missed.  Brad should have got out of his way, Denny warned him last year that plenty were out to get him.  Carl & Brad two peas in a pod???

3/7/10   |   Joe_L   |   12372 respect

NASCAR needs to park Carl for the next race!