Carl Edwards had plenty to say about the upcoming Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and although it was said in a much different environment - a formal media availability rather than outside the infield care center - it became obvious the message is one we've heard before.
Back in the spring, after taking another wild wide in a bad-looking crash in a race at Talladega, Ryan Newman emerged from the infield care center and unloaded on the racing there.
He said restrictor-plate races shouldn’t be points races, and that racing at Talladega "was something different besides racing.” He claimed Talladega and races like it were more marketing tools than competitions.
On Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Edwards was asked pointedly, "Should there be races like Talladega?"
This was Edwards complete answer: "Points should not be awarded at Talladega. In a fair competition they shouldn’t be because it’s so random. It’s just a treacherous race. Now, since there are points awarded, it adds a whole other level of stress to the race. You drive around and if you’re doing really well in the points, every lap your heart is pounding and you’re just trying to predict any wrecks that might happen and the best way to avoid them. I guess in a guy’s position like myself, the reasons that I don’t like it when I’m running well in the points are the same reasons that I look forward to it now.”
There is one significant difference in the two responses: Newman received an unpublicized, hefty fine from NASCAR for making comments that "materially damage the sport." As of this morning, Edwards - as far as we know - has not.
I look forward to learning how NASCAR officials plan to make the distinction between the two.