RSS
Carl Edwards’ Talladega crash
Another NASCAR crash renews the debate over whether a safety measure makes races riskier
C

arl Edwards’ crash with one lap to go at the Talladega Superspeedway was “frightening, breathtaking, stunning,” and spectacular, said Terry Blount in ESPN.com. Seven spectators were injured—none severely—by flying debris when Edwards’ airborne car slammed into a safety fence. "Talladega is a double-edged sword of danger and excitement.” (Watch Carl Edwards’ Talladega crash)

Drivers blame a safety measure—restrictor plates—for increasing the likelihood of racetrack crashes, said the AP’s Jenna Fryer in Sports Illustrated. Restrictor plates reduce the flow of air into racecar engines to slow them down, and they are used at Daytona and Talladega “to combat the high speeds at NASCAR's two fastest tracks.” But this can “keep the field bunched tightly together, and one wrong move by a driver can cause a massive accident.”

"Talledega is famous for the 'Big One,'" said Dashiell Bennett in Deadspin. They count on massive multi-car pileups, in fact. "Fans love it (when no one gets hurt)." And it's hard to say whether a restrictor-plate-aided pileup is any more dangerous than, say, the "tire blowouts at 250 mph" with unrestricted racing at Talladega.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week