TOP STORY NO. 6: TALLADEGA TURNS INTO THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE

Growing up, I was horrified by the Bermuda Triangle, to the point where I didn’t want to travel there for fear of getting swallowed by some sea monster. The myth of the Bermuda Triangle might be diminished, but it appears to have a wicked step-cousin that is growing out of control. Racing fans call this evil Talladega, our No. 6 top story of 2009.

What happened?
Both races at the track were a mess. I’ll let the video speak for Brad Keselowski’s first win at the expense of Carl Edwards.

 
In the fall, the NASCAR Mafia changed the rules at the driver’s meeting, suggesting severe penalties for those guilty of bump drafting. The drivers responded with single-file racing, creating a level of boredom Ben Affleck movies can only be jealous of. After a glorified three-hour caution, the teams finally busted out and caused another big mess.
 


Where are we now?

After the second race, the blogosphere flipped out. Ryan Newman, one of the smarter drivers on tour, went off. Months later, we’re not a single step closer to resolution that would solve any of the concerns addressed by so many different groups. Apparently, this wasn’t serious.


Why should you care?

On a much smaller level, I maintain it’s unfair for NASCAR to change rules in mid-season, the type of amateur hour move that makes racing look more like the WWE than the NFL. On a much more interesting level, it was refreshing to see drivers essentially not try for part of the race. Drivers don’t have a union, but they can unify. On the most important level of all, fans and drivers were lucky to not die at the track this season. And while racing is inherently dangerous, going into the Bermuda Triangle in water wings is a recipe for disaster. Talladega as currently constructed is getting awfully close to deadly. The fans have expressed frustration. The drivers have expressed frustration. The media have expressed frustration. Is anyone listening?

Related links:
Top story No. 7: Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets clobbered.
Top story No. 8: Tony Stewart has a Whopper of a season
Top story No. 9: RCR gets loopy
Top story No. 10: The return of Mark Martin
Top story No. 11: Kyle Busch sucks, rocks
Top story No. 12: NASCAR Hall of Fame
Top story No. 13: David Poole’s death
Top story No. 14: Double-file restarts
Top story No. 15: As the Danica turns