Carl Edwards upset with fellow drivers for failing to slow during spin
Things were shaping up well for Carl Edwards at the end of Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, but it all went awry on the final lap.
And while he was not pleased about that, what really upset him was that he didn't believe his fellow competitors slowed their cars behind him once they saw him sideways in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Just as the field finally broke the single-file freight train and diced it up for the win, Edwards was turned in Turn 1, sending his car sliding across the track, down on the apron and back up the banking.
Finishing the day 32nd, Edwards was more upset with his competition than the poor finish.
"I was really frustrated that you could spin out for a quarter-mile over there and there's still people going by wide open," Edwards said. "NASCAR does a great job making these cars safe and these tracks safe that the biggest cause of injury is going to be one of us not checking up when there's a guy sideways.
"I've got my door sideways to the field and the 51 car (Justin Allgaier), I think it was, went by 160 miles an hour, 180 miles an hour," he said. "That's not the way I try to race."
After Sunday's incident, he said he plans to talk to his fellow competitors about the issue.
"We're all out here and we're human beings. When you've got a guy wrecking, you can't just lay into his door," Edwards said. "It's pretty dangerous. I can do all this complaining and nobody ran into me, but whew, it's tough."
Edwards said when the field started wrecking on the final lap of the season-opening Daytona 500 he got off the throttle and lost a lot of positions just to ensure he did not hit another car.
"Generally when someone's spinning in front of you, you slow down a little bit so if you do hit them you don't break their legs or hurt them," he said. "I don't want to rant too much about it, but I was frustrated with that."
He was not the only driver frustrated with the incident at the end of the race. Matt Kenseth, Edwards’ JGR teammate, had to slow to avoid the sliding No. 19 Toyota and was expecting the caution to fly.
"I had to lift so I didn't send Carl to the hospital," Kenseth said. "I'm just dumbfounded that NASCAR didn't throw a caution. We were driving past wrecked cars for half a lap at 180 mph -- it was a crazy ending."
Despite the frustrations, Edwards was pleased with the team's overall performance Sunday afternoon.
"This was probably the best restrictor plate race that I've ever run," he said. "I felt like we did a good job, Darian (Grubb, crew chief) did a great job, my pit crew was really good. At the end we really just got spun out. I know everybody's trying really hard and that's what this racing produces."