Carl Edwards blamed NASCAR for his spectacular final-lap wreck at Talladega. "I guess we’ll do this until someone gets killed and then we’ll change it," he said. "That’s the way it is. We do our best. We’re put in this box by NASCAR and we have to race this way. If you look at how the final four cars were finishing, you had to be pushing the guy in front of you."
Clearly, Edwards is no fan of the yellow line rule, under which cars are not allowed to pass at Talladega.
"I think that you can’t necessarily blame what happened at the finish of the race on the yellow line rule. Guys have been running over each other for years. So I mean guys get into each other way before we had yellow line rules.
"But I like the rule, and I would hate to think that I had to block people on the apron and every which way to try to win the race on the last lap; if that rule wasn’t in place, you wouldn’t know where to go to try to protect your position."
Why not eliminate the yellow line rule on the last lap? (Which is exactly what SI’s Lars Anderson has suggested.)
Winner Brad Keselowski said, "If the yellow line was not there, I would have gone underneath it, yeah, for sure, but he probably would have blocked even lower and it would probably have been the same thing. So, who knows? I would probably have blocked to the grass. If I could have gone to the grass to win, he would have gone to pit road to block me. That’s just what racing is, that’s what we do.”
NASCAR already has limited how fast and where the cars can go. Short of slowing the cars and shrinking the track even more, NASCAR’s responsibility is to protect fans as best it can, with state of the art walls and catch fences, and to educate fans about the dangers of sitting just a few feet from 3,400-pound cars moving at 190 mph.