User-agent: * Allow: / CH on Track: May 2013


Monday, May 6, 2013

Ryan Newman speaks his peace at Talladega; is he right?

Who can blame Ryan Newman for being upset when a car once again lands on top of his race car after doing barrel rolls in the last laps of the race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway? 

In a crazy closing laps crash caused by Ricky Stenhouse misjudging the distance to take his car four-wide, numerous cars were sent spinning, Kurt Busch's car flipped over and landed on top of Newman's car. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the melee.

"They can build safer race cars, they can build safer walls. But they can't get their heads out of their asses far enough to keep them on the race track, and that's pretty disappointing. I wanted to make sure I get that point across. Y'all can figure out who 'they' is," Newman said. 

"That's no way to end a race. Our car was much better than that. That's just poor judgment in restarting the race, poor judgment ... I mean, you got what you wanted but poor judgment and running in the dark and running in the rain. That's it, thank you," Newman said.

NASCAR will likely not take kindly to Newman's remarks following the race at Talladega. They will probably attribute his statement to his anger over a poor finish that resulted in Newman's top 5 potential turning into a 32nd place finish. Undoubtedly there is that, but that is only part of it. Newman has long been frustrated about NASCAR's inability to keep the cars from getting airborne. Indeed there have been numerous instances of racecars flying into other cars and even with parts flying into the stands injuring fans. There seems to be no real solution in sight--just bandaid fixes. 

NASCAR has a history of penalizing and fining drivers that make remarks they deem to be disparaging. They have been wrong in the past and they will likely be wrong again if they penalize Newman for speaking the truth. 

Perhaps it is time for NASCAR to stop worrying so much about appearances, stop thinking about racing as just another stunt show, and start getting concerned with the safety and the future of racing in general. 

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