Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the ‘Dega dilemma: ‘There’s no real fix’
There is no way to "fix" Talladega Superspeedway and eliminate the huge, multi-car crashes that occur at the fast 2.66-mile oval.
At least not without potentially making the action a whole lot less exciting.
And that isn’t a random opinion, it comes straight from an expert source.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., the most successful restrictor-plate racer of this generation, said Tuesday morning that there is no way to get rid of the crashes and drama at Talladega without getting rid of the great racing, too.
Appearing on SIRIUS/XM NASCAR radio, Earnhardt was clear about how he regarded the situation.
"There’s no real fix. There isn’t a fix," Earnhardt said. "The cars are going to draft, they’re going to stay close together."
And if you mess with what’s so far been a successful rules package at Talladega and Daytona International Speedway, the two restrictor-plate tracks on the NASCAR circuit, the result could be racing that’s nowhere near as good as what it is now.
"There’s a lot of different things that you can try, but you gotta be willing for those things not to work — the fans and the sport," Earnhardt told SIRIUS/XM. "If you’re wanting to go try something, you got to be willing for it to not work and if the race is a snooze-fest, you’ve got to accept that and own it.
"You either do that or leave it like it is and look back on the track record with this package â it’s been pretty decent and it’s had some pretty good races."
Sunday’s race at Talladega, which was won by Brad Keselowski, saw eight crashes, with 35 of the 40 drivers in the race involved in one or more incident. Chris Buescher and Matt Kenseth both flipped and Kevin Harvick also went airborne, although he did not go upside down.
Earnhardt, who leads active drivers with six Talladega victories, finished 40th, after wrecking twice and having his steering wheel come off in his hands. He said it’s on the drivers to try and avoid mayhem.
"We don’t want to wreck," said Earnhardt. "We don’t want to be in races where we’re wrecking all the time, but the drivers carry a lot of responsibility for that. We realize that as drivers, we control a lot of the issues that happen out on the race track."