When safety is at the forefront of conversation in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Carl Edwards stirred the pot with how drivers navigate through accidents, speeding by cars at full speed on restrictor plate tracks.
On the final lap of the Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday Edwards was spun out running in the top 10, sliding sideways for what seemed like an eternity while the field sped by to race for the finish with NASCAR officials deciding not to throw a caution. The JGR driver was unharmed as cars whipped by, but that didn’t hinder the concern he had about the possibility of getting hit and maybe injured.
“NASCAR does such a good job of making these cars safe and these tracks safe but the biggest cause of injury is going to be one of us not checking up when a guy is sideways,” said Edwards. “I had my door facing the field and (Justin Allgaier) comes by at like 160 mph and that’s not the way I want to these guys to race around me.”
The veteran says he plans on talking with his fellow drivers over the course of the next few days due to the fact that he has seen this become consistent over the past several seasons. At the start of the season in the Daytona 500, a similar incident occurred when Jeff Gordon spun on the last lap while several drivers raced by him at full speed until NASCAR officials decided to throw the caution.
“People will say it’s my job to stay in the throttle and go race but we’re all human beings out here, and when a guy is wrecking you can’t just lay into his door,” Edwards said. “That’s pretty dangerous.”
Image: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images