The NASCAR Sprint Cup series returned to restrictor plate racing on Sunday at Talladega, and the style of racing received mixed reviews from drivers.
After Carl Edwards crashed his car in the Aaron's 499 he told the FOX Sports reporter that his accident was not a result of the racing style that NASCAR’s rule changes resulted in on Sunday. Edwards wanted to leave the racing on the restrictor plate racetracks the way it is.
Not every driver shared the views of Edwards. One driver who did not like the racing at Talladega was Tony Stewart. Stewart expressed his opinion the only way Smoke can—with sarcasm.
Stewart was upset by two aspects of the racing on Sunday. He did not like the fact that fans have been advocating for more aggressive driving and more wrecks.
As an owner, when a car is wrecked, the money comes out of Stewart’s pocket. It is obvious why he would not like torn-up racecars.
Stewart also did not like the rule changes NASCAR had in place for Talladega.
NASCAR made rule changes to hinder the amount of air that got into the engines of the cars. The change was made to help avoid the two-car tandem racing. This caused many cars to overheat in the race on Sunday.
Jeff Gluck of SB Nation reported that Stewart made some sarcastic comments at a post-race interview. When asked about the racing, Stewart said:
"The racing was awesome. It's fun to be able to race and have to watch the (overheating) gauges at the same time. It just adds that much more. Being able to make yourself run on the apron and everything to try to get clean air, it makes it fun."
I'm just sorry we couldn't crash more cars today. We didn't fill the quota for Talladega and NASCAR.
Honestly, if we haven't crashed at least 50 percent of the field by the end of the race, we need to extend the race until we crash at least 50 percent of the cars. It's not fair to these fans to see any more wrecks than that, any more torn-up cars. I mean, we still had over half the cars running at the end, and it shouldn't be that way.
That's what the fans want. They want to see that excitement. I feel bad that as drivers, we couldn't do a better job of crashing enough cars for them today.
I'm upset that we didn't crash more cars. That's what we're here for. I feel bad if I don't spend at least $150,000 in torn-up race cars going back to the shop. We've definitely got to do a better job at that.
I don't know if that's what they're looking for, but I feel like that's the show we deserve to give them. That's what's made Talladega, Talladega."
Stewart obviously does not want more race cars torn up in the race and he certainly does not want to be involved in more wrecks.
Stewart was then asked what could be done to make the racing better for the fans. Stewart said:
"I think we ought to make it a Figure Eight (race). I mean, if we could make it a Figure Eight, it would be perfect. It would absolutely be perfect here. It'd be better than what we've got.
Or we could stop at halfway, take a break, then turn around and go backward. Then, with 10 to go, we could split the field and half of them could go in the regular direction and half could go backward.”
Stewart has been disciplined by NASCAR before for post-race comments. Will NASCAR do anything to Stewart for his post-race rant? I certainly hope not!
Stewart is one of the only drivers in NASCAR who speaks his mind. If NASCAR wants their sport to become more exciting they need to let their drivers be who they are.
Kyle Busch was suspended last year for his actions on the racetrack. It is obvious that Busch changed his driving style to meet NASCAR's standards. Rowdy Busch disappeared and fans complained about boring races.
I think sarcasm can be genius if used correctly. Stewart’s comments after the race were not only hilarious, but they had some hidden truth in them as well.
If NASCAR is going to get back to exciting racing, they need a villain or two. Stewart and Busch are just the drivers to fit the bill.
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