Monday, November 2, 2009

Newman a victim of boredom at Talladega

Ryan Newman, he of the spectacular, end-over-end, rooftop slide and crash at the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, said it was boring.
Not so much the crash, but the race.
Boring for 490 miles. The last 10 miles of the race were pretty exciting. Newman crashed and about half the field was left in ruins. Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski got together on the green-white-checker finish and caused another crash that sent a car airborne. Mark Martin ended up flipping down the race track and made for some pretty entertaining racing or crashing, depending on your perspective.
Newman said after the race it was a ridiculous race and blamed NASCAR for making up and adding more rules for the drivers and teams to follow. In particular, NASCAR told the drivers before the race not to bump draft.
“The more rules, the more NASCAR is telling us how to drive the race cars, the less we can race and the less we can put on a show for the fans,” Newman said. “As I said, I will go back in the day, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, all those guys, they respected each other. In the end there were some big accidents, but geez, we don’t need the cars getting upside down like this. This is ridiculous. There is way more technology than that to help us out.”
Jeff Gordon didn’t quite agree with Newman’s assessment that there are too many rules in NASCAR these days to make it a safer sport. He did however say that the races, particularly at Talladega, might be a tad too long.
“I mean we know what we’re up against. And why go out there and beat and bang and turn one another sideways in the first 100 or 200 miles?” Gordon said “You want to make this a really exciting race for the whole race, make it 200 miles. That’s why the truck races and other races when they come here are so exciting. To me, our sport is about strategy, it’s about longevity, it’s about pacing yourself. I thought it was a great race. But unfortunately the rules that we have are going to play out. The cars suck up too much. And they need to change that for this race track or it’s just going to happen every single time.”
Newman added that if the Cup race was only 100 laps, it would have been a better race.
“Whether it is a speed issue, a roof flap issue, whatever. I said it myself in the media center after the spring race here, and now to be the guy standing here trying to live it all out again, I'm just happy I am living it out,” Newman said. “But it is ridiculous situation. It is a shame that not more is getting done. I don’t know. I guess maybe I expect NASCAR to call me. I am the only guy out there with an engineering degree. I would like to have a little respect on my end.”

Photo: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers race side-by-side at Talladega Superspeedway during the AMP Energy 500 on Sunday in Talladega, Ala. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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