Posted on: April 26, 2009 6:45 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2009 9:12 pm

NASCAR rules force drivers to play dangerous game

Thrilling. Amazing. Unbelievable.

There are many different ways to describe Sunday's race at Talladega (be sure to read all about it here).

  • Read driver reaction: Keselowski | Edwards | Roush | Earnhardt/Newman
  • How about these?

    Insane. Ridiculous. Stupid. Dangerous.

    I'm curious as to what NASCAR's reaction will be to what happened this weekend at Talladega, most notably the last-lap wreck on Sunday.

    What ensued on the final lap all dates back to last October's penalty on Regan Smith, when he overtook Tony Stewart below the yellow line to beat him to the checkered flag at Talladega. NASCAR penalized him, giving Stewart the victory.

    Almost every driver not named Stewart thought the ruling was bogus and basically predicted Sunday's events. With NASCAR ruling with such a heavy hand, many drivers said if they were put in that position they would stick to their ground and if it led to a wreck, so be it. NASCAR was forcing their hands.

    And so it was Sunday.

    Keselowski said there was no way he was going below the yellow line and so when Edwards tried to block his momentum, he didn't back off or swerve, he just continued with his head of steam and the rest was history. What's more, Edwards didn't blame him.

    Imagine if Edwards' car had broken through the fencing and into the stands. Yes, the fence is built to withstand such a catastrophe, but there are no guarantees, and it's certainly nothing a track truly wants to see tested during a live event. As it was, there was debris that struck fans in the stands.

    That's what restrictor plates and NASCAR iron fist has wrought. Not only is NASCAR putting the drivers' safety at risk, but now the fans.

    Category: Auto Racing
    Tags: NASCAR, Talladega
    Posted on: October 8, 2008 11:03 am

    One final thought on Talladega

    In a nutshell, NASCAR leaves too many "rules" open to interpretation.

    After Sunday's race, officials made it sound like the yellow line rule was written in concrete. "Pass below the yellow line," they said, "and a driver will be penalized."

    Of course, there are plenty of examples where it wasn't concrete. So what gives?

    I'm on board with those who think that if the roles were reversed and it was Regan Smith in the lead and Tony Stewart ducking low, officials would have then said Stewart was forced down and given him the victory.

    It's an easy rule to fix to make it so that are no future controversies.

    Either ...

    A. Eliminate the yellow line rule. It's a bogus rule anyway. At every other track there is no such thing as out of bounds. Why do it at Talladega and Daytona? It has done nothing to curb the accident rates at the two tracks


    B. Make it so there is no passing below the yellow line PERIOD. It doesn't matter whether you're forced down or not. You cannot pass. Consider it a second wall. Forget saying a driver could be penalized for forcing another below the yellow line if you never really intend to make that call.

    I'd prefer A over B.

    NASCAR is a sport where judgement calls really shouldn't have to be made. I see one driver cross the finish line ahead of the other, the first guy should be the winner. It should be as simple as that.

    Category: Auto Racing
    Tags: NASCAR, Talladega
    The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com