Race Weekend Central

What’s Vexing Vito: Carl Edwards’s Anti-Climactic Climax

So the big story the last couple of months was where would Carl Edwards eventually land. No, not his signature backflip after winning a race, but where he’d be driving in 2012 and beyond. While atop the Sprint Cup Series standings for the better part of the season, it would make sense that Edwards return to where he started his Cup career with Roush Fenway Racing in mid 2004. After all, Ford Racing dangled a might big carrot out in front of him, stating publicly that it was an unprecedented offer they’ve never extended to anybody else.

Just ask Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch and Mark Martin.

In New Hampshire, rumors swirled that Edwards was going with Gibbs and would be the new driver of the Home Depot Toyota, displacing Joey Logano. Nothing was confirmed or denied, as has been Edwards’s style during the negotiation process.

However, at Indianapolis this weekend when he was asked about his teammate’s future, Greg Biffle replied, “Sooner or later, he’s going to have to say that he’s not coming back…” – with a pregnant pause. I guess that kind of clears things up a little bit. That and the report by Lee Spencer of FoxSports.com that Edwards will be making $8 million a year at JGR plus a $10-million signing bonus. There is also a press conference scheduled during race weekend in Atlanta in September, which just so happens to be the headquarters of Home Depot.

Now if Edwards would just hurry up and leak the story to somebody so the rest of the guys looking for rides in 2012 can get a move on, it would be in the best interests of everybody.

If you can’t Dodge it…

While testing the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge at Road Atlanta Wednesday in anticipation of next weekend’s trip to the road course in Watkins Glen, Brad Keselowski experienced brake failure, drilling through a tire barrier and colliding with a non-SAFER barrier at 100 mph. It could have been worse; he was going 155 mph before he slowed down a little bit.

Keselowski was airlifted to a hospital and has a strained back, lacerated foot and an ankle that looks like it is housing a softball. Another testament to the CoT as well as the kinds of cars prepared by Penske Racing. It was at Pocono last year that Kurt Busch had a nasty impact on the backstretch into an earth embankment, along with Elliott Sadler. It was Sadler who got the worst of the deal, while Busch was able to come out of the care center with a typically witty and curt Kurt remark.

Always one to try to put a positive spin on something, Dodge would be wise to gain some mileage from both of the incidents to promote the safety of the Dodge Charger. After all, at 4,200 pounds, the Charger weighs more than most crossovers and small SUVs. Porkola.

Another One Bites the Dust

It was announced on Wednesday that Nashville Superspeedway would not be hosting another NASCAR race, at least for the 2012 season. A victim of the shrinking economy, declining attendance and ticket package purchases, and never having landed a Cup date, Nashville joins the likes of other NASCAR tracks that fans had come to know and love on the Nationwide side.

Tracks like Gateway, Memphis, South Boston, Myrtle Beach, and Rockingham just to name a few. One more great racetrack, one less awesome trophy and no more Pastor Joe Nelms pre-race invocations that would nearly cause everybody in attendance to get born again and rise up like Elwood Blues.

The biggest question I have is what suck track is going to end up with Nashville’s dates? For the love of God, please do not let it be Suckcagoland or at Fontucky, Caliboringya. If Darlington gets it, that would be fine. The Rock was resurfaced and has nice grandstands. We only go to Atlanta once a year now, maybe it’s time to blow the dust of the ATL more than once every 12 months?

About the author

Vito is one of the longest-tenured writers at Frontstretch, joining the staff in 2007. With his column Voice of Vito (monthly, Fridays) he’s a contributor to several other outlets, including Athlon Sports and Popular Speed in addition to making radio appearances. He forever has a soft-spot in his heart for old Mopars and presumably oil-soaked cardboard in his garage.

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