By Joe Dunn
I though about starting this story with all the background info, but if you’re reading this you already know most of it. Brad wrecks Carl, Brad wrecks Denny, Denny wrecks Brad and Carl wrecks Brad. Add in a few other drivers and a few more incidents and you have the story leading up to Sunday.
Everyone has their opinions and everyone has their suggestions but in the end it is the higher ups at NASCAR to make the call and they won’t announce that, if anything for a few days. Speaking of opinions, here are a few from folks you may or may not know.
Michael Waltrip, “Denny Hamlin and Carl both spun Brad on the straight(away). The results were quite different, but the intent(ion) was the same.” Kenny Bruce from Scene Daily.com “NASCAR needs to ignore the severity and rule on the act, Was parking Carl sufficient?” Kyle Petty had a much different view and opinion. “That was a blatant, flagrant foul. He (Carl) ought to be parked. (the) Ball is in NASCAR’s court, we are going to see if they’ve got a pair.” “This is a black-eye on NASCAR, He (Carl) shouldn’t show up at Bristol.”
After the incident, Carl was Black Fagged, sent to the garage and had to report to the NASCAR Office. His stay in the office was short, after which he headed straight for the gate, not wanting to answer too many questions. Post race comments by NASCAR came in the form of a short press conference by Vice-President of Competition Robin Pemberton. His response to what NASCAR’s take on the situation was pretty clear, well clear as mud that is. “It looked like it could have been a payback from the No.99 on the No. 12. We talked with Carl after the race and we have an understanding about it and we will talk internally again as a group Monday or Tuesday of this week and make a decision on if there will be any other actions that we will take.” When asked what options they have, he responded, “I’m not going to speculate at this time. We parked the 99, we reacted to what happened on the race track and we’ll go back and discuss it further.”
Carl posted his explanation for the incident on his Facebook page, here is what he said, “My options: Considering that Brad wrecks me with no regard for anyone’s safety or hard work, should I: A-Keep letting him wreck me? B-Confront him after the race? C-Wait til bristol and collect other cars? or D-Take care of it now? I want to be clear that I was surprised at his flight and very relieved when he walked away. Every person has to decide what code they want to live by and hopefully this explains mine.”
After being released from the infield care center, Brad’s comment was , “Yeah, I’m OK….” and later “He cut down on me on a restart and I lifted. I couldn’t lift fast enough for him. I lifted for him to let him in, but I was there. I don’t know what more you can do…car is low…that’s what they say. So I was underneath him, tried to cut him a break. It was too late though, he turned down. I apologized to him but there was nothing that I could do in that situation. To come back and intentionally wreck someone, that’s not cool. You could have killed someone in the grandstands. I know that it’s a little ironic that it’s got me saying that, but at least I didn’t do it intentionally when it happened.”
So there are a bunch of opinions, and of course I have one too. Brad made a real name for himself last year in the Nationwide Series as a very rough driver. He initiated a lot of contact with other drivers, most the Cup regulars running in the lower series. I thought it was pretty evident that he was sending a message to the big boys. He made that intention pretty clear to Denny Hamlin at the fall race at Phoenix. After that race, NASCAR met with both drivers to supposedly ‘read them the riot act”, but Hamlin came right and said that he would wreck Keselowski at Homestead, and he did just that. The follow up to that by NASCAR was silence. That sent a message to Brad and the rest of the drivers that it was up to them to settle it on the track. And on the track is where NASCAR wants them settled. If your not sure about that, ask Jimmy Spencer, who was actually suspended by NASCAR for leaning in the window and slapping Kurt Busch’s helmet after Kurt announced on the radio that we was going to wreck Spencer, just moments before he did it at Michigan. Kurt received no sanctions for the incident.
My call on this, NASCAR already took the action they are going to take. Brad will skip by again, but maybe Carl made a point with him. I have heard a few fans comparing Brad to Dale Earnhardt Sr. which in my opinion is like comparing a poodle to a pit bull, no way Jose!
OK, that’s all the takes I have on til NASCAR makes their call, if they make one at all. Tell us your opinion by commenting below.