I think Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s comments after yesterday’s race at Talladega were right-on:
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE THAT RACE IT WAS JUST CRAZY AT THE END?
“If this is what we did every week I wouldn’t be doing it I will just put it to you like that. If this is how we raced every week I would find another job.”
WHAT WAS THAT LAST LAP LIKE? NORMALLY YOU GUYS ARE THREE-WIDE BUT THIS TIME YOU WERE FOUR AND FIVE WIDE?
“That is what the package is doing. It’s really not racing. I don’t know it’s a little disappointing how that all went down. That cost a lot of money right there. If this is how we are going to race and that is how we are going to continue to race and nothing is going to change I think NASCAR should build the cars. It would save us a lot of money.”
YOU’VE RACED A LOT OF CRAZY TALLADEGA’S WHAT MAKES THIS ONE DIFFERENT? YOU USED TO LOVE RACING HERE:
“You just can’t get away from each other that good. It’s obvious you saw the race we tore up… How many cars were in that wreck?
MEDIA: “Probably 30. It was the whole field practically.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: “Then that is okay with everybody? That it is like that?”
MEDIA: “I know it sucks for you guys but for the fans it’s awesome to watch.”
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: “Really? It’s not safe. Wrecking like that is ridiculous. It’s bloodthirsty if that is what people want. It’s ridiculous.”
WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE?
“The way we are going ain’t the right direction. There are plenty of engineers out there I’m just a driver. There are plenty of smart people out there that can figure something out where when one guy gets in trouble we don’t have 30 cars tore up at the expense of it. I mean it’s awesome in a word and everybody can get on the chip about it and get excited about all that which just happened, but for the longevity of the sport that ain’t healthy. I don’t care what anybody says for the good of the sport I mean it’s good for the here and now and it will get people talking today, but for the long run that is not going to help the sport the way that race ended and the way the racing is. It’s not going to be productive for years to come. I don’t even want to go to Daytona or Talladega next year, but I ain’t got much choice.”
DID YOU SENSE THAT THAT WAS COMING TOWARDS THE END?
“I knew somebody was going to wreck. There has been a last lap wreck in like 90 percent of these things for the last four years with this car. We can’t get away from each other with the bumpers lining up and everybody pushing all the time and spinning each other out. I mean that’s no good. It’s not working. Somebody needs to change it.”
I think, in general, people like seeing the crashes at Talladega because they are so big and so different than at any other track, but obviously you never want anyone to get hurt and you’re not sitting there hoping for one to happen, but when it does it’s, “Yay! Entertainment!”
But this “big one” wasn’t at all interesting to me. It illustrated the pointless-ness of Talladega. How it would of been easier to just flip a coin to see who will win the race instead of actually racing. It was just an annoying obstacle. It wasn’t thrilling. It ruined the race, in my opinion, because it ruined a lot of people’s day in a way that wasn’t because of their direct actions, well except for Tony Stewart, who started it, but I’m not blaming him. It is what it is, that’s what happens at Talladega. But instead of looking at the “big one” as this sort of cool feature of the track I just saw it as this irritant that lead to a finish that didn’t feel valid. The drivers aren’t really driving, they’re sort of riding around hoping they’re not the ones who end up with the fuzzy lollipop at the end of the day.
In other news…
— Kurt Busch continues to be the biggest tool in the garage. He ran out of gas on the track and then proceeded to drive off with equipment on top of his car and safety peeps standing next to & touching his car, without his helmet on, to which NASCAR rightly parked him for the rest of the race. His comments about all of this were stupid. He constantly plays the victim card while at the same time saying that he’s not. He said that his competitive desire gets “misconstrued all the time” which is a load of horseshit. It’s his stupid behavior and bad attitude that come across very vividly that is his problem. Ugh. When will he see it?? A lot of guys have done stupid stuff, but when it happens as often as it does to him you might want to start looking at the common denominator in those situations and it happens to be HIM.
— My heart broke for Jamie McMurray when he spun out while running up front. He had a real shot at winning that race and it’s too bad. I know that team — hell, that ORGANIZATION — really needed something awesome to happen. It’s too bad.
— I have a question. Does Carl Edwards still race in the Sprint Cup Series? I haven’t seen or heard from him in, like, forever. It’s crazy.