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Ryan Newman angry at NASCAR after another flipping Talladega crash

   Ryan Newman's car hauled back to the garage, after safety crews cut the roof off to extract him (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   It was a bizarre Talladega 500, much too similar to those single-file marathons at California's Auto Club Speedway, and drivers conceded that afterward…..none more emotionally than Ryan Newman, who crashed hard with only a few miles to go, after a relatively uneventful afternoon.
   Safety crews needed some five minutes to get him out of his car.
   Fortunately Newman was only shaken and uninjured. But he then ripped NASCAR for its' Talladega rules – including the surprising pre-race rules barring bump-drafting – and repeated his call for NASCAR to "fix" the aerodynamic issue that was part of his crash here and also part of the Carl Edwards crash here in April, when Edwards' car hit the catch fence and nearly went into the stands.
   Moments after the restart following Newman's crash, Mark Martin was hit and flipped too.
   "I'm just really disappointed," Newman said. "We had the race back here in spring, and we complained about cars getting upside down. And ironically I'm the one who gets upside down…and the rollbar was down on top of my helmet.
   "We got hit from behind and it turned me sideways, and I got up in the air. and kept flipping and flopping. When I hit the rollcage and landed on my head, I was a little worried. I was glad to be about to talk about that…in a roundabout way."
   Up till then, the afternoon – a beautiful sunny fall afternoon at Talladega Speedway – was a single-file, no-action race.
   "It was a boring race," Newman said. "It was a ridiculous race, really. To see 43 cars running single-file, that's not what any fan wants to see.
    "I'm sure this was a boring race for the fans."
    But it was suddenly much too exciting for Newman. "Man, I wish NASCAR would do something," Newman said of the aerodynamic issues at this track.
   "That (flipping crashes) is not something anyone wants to see. At least I hope not; if they do, go home, you don't belong here.
   "But it's a product of this race, and the box NASCAR has put us in – with these restrictor plates and these cars…with the yellow (out of bounds) line, and no bump-drafting (announced only hours before the green flag).
   "Drivers used to be able to respect each other and draft around each other. David Pearson, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison….
   "I guess they (apparently meaning NASCAR officials) don't think much of us anymore."
    When Newman was on his roof, his radio cable came loose and he couldn't talk with his crew. "But when they turned the car back over, I could get back on the radio, and I was pretty critical of things that were happening.
   "It's no fun.
  "And it's disappointing for the fans. They could be standing up and cheering at a green-white-checkered… but that (what happened here for three hours Sunday) isn't racing – there's supposed to be racing all day long. So I think we've lost a little bit of luster.
   "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. They have created a lot of the boredom because we couldn't race.
  nbsp;  "I just hate it for the fans.
    "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.
     "Whether it is a speed issue, a roof flap issue, whatever.
     "I'm just happy I am living it out.
     "But it is ridiculous situation. It is a shame that not more is getting done.
     "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."

   The remains of Ryan Newman's Chevy (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Totally agree with Ryan. The

Totally agree with Ryan. The race sucked, someone could've gotten killed, and the end was dumb luck. What a waste of time and cars.

Sounds like you can chalk up

Sounds like you can chalk up Talladega right there with Bristol as to tracks that have been ruined by NASCAR. LOL. This series is in worse trouble than even I imagined and I thought it was bad.

NASCAR should be ashamed of

NASCAR should be ashamed of the show today! Even IROC put on better racing. Thank God I didn't waste money on tickets. J Boyd Wi

Newman is right in his

Newman is right in his comments. NASCAR got very lucky that nobody was killed in the stands in the spring race and if the COT had not been designed so well for safety, there could have been tragedy today. The idea of racing is not to see how close competitors come to either going into the stands or being killed on the track. The two Talladega races this year should be sending a message to the missing France family. A solution here might be a smaller Talladega displacement engine so that they can run full out without restrictor plates. The COT needs a major overall too to retain its safety features but make the racing more interesting. People like the amazing Gillian Zucker can bring people to the track with their marketing talents but if they don't come back, there is a real problem with the product. And....was that lengthy single file segment of the race near the end some kind of proclamation from the drivers to NASCAR? PS.Look for Dale Jr to be in the #8 car next season (the number over to Hendrick) to change his luck.

Let's see, Ryan leads the

Let's see, Ryan leads the pack with 3 flipped wrecks at restrictor plate tracks. Talladega (2), Daytona (1). You'd think NASCAR would listen.

Here is where Newman needs to

Here is where Newman needs to be taken to task -

1 - Just what is his definiion of good racing, anyway? There were 58 lead changes among 25 drivers - certainly there were three lengthy periods where the field just lined up and pounded out laps - interesting take that it was some kind of wildcat mini-strike by the drivers - but in the end the racers went for the lead anyway and the long green-flag "caution" periods gave way to terrific fighting for the win. So Newman's argument that this race was "boring" is only 25% accurate.

1A - The lengthy single-file periods were not because of Mike Helton's bluff at the drivers meeting - the racing in the corners wasn't different from what we saw in April and before that, and we all know the sport for too long to think NASCAR has any credibility here; that they would flag off a driver because he pushed another car forward in the corners when their record of enforcement has zero credibility (remember Daytona's unenforced "no bump" zone in 2006?), so Helton's bluff should be called what it is. The single-file periods happened because of points-racing and determination by the field not to let any two cars break the draft, as happened a couple of times in April; the wildcat mini-strike against Helton's bluff has some plausibility, but I don't put that much stock into it.

2 - Newman blames "this box NASCAR has put us in," but the truth is he should be angry at Robby Gordon. The crashes are not happening because of the rules; they are happening because of specific drivers. Gordon blasted Ambrose into Newman and that swept up Harvick. The Martin melee in the trioval happened because Keselowski blasted Busch into traffic.

3 - This is the only racing left where there is no mechanical impediment to passing - no aeropush, handling is not getting in the way of passing (this as opposed to the dreadful ennui of all the other tracks where it's all about engineering, pitstops, and track position; a good driver can't just pass the entire field to erase bad track position), and the drivers can actually go for the win. This is what the norm of the sport is supposed to be - instead of arguing about bad racing etc. we should be breaking down passes by Newman, Stewart, Keselowski, Allmendinger, etc. like we constantly break down plays by Brady, Delhomme, Moss, Steve Smith, Muhammid, McNabb, etc. in the NFL.

4 - Where NASCAR needs to be taken to task in addition to having zero credibility on rules and enforcement is having the officiating tower have so much control over the racing. It is none of their damned business whether drivers pass below the yellow line or push another car past traffic in the turns; Helton's line about "protecting the drivers from themselves" is the same bluff used in the drivers meeting. It is telling of NASCAR's non-credibility here that Helton's warning about punishment was deliberately vague - so much so that seemingly no one had any idea just what he was talking about. It is time to eliminate no bump zones, yellow line rules, field freezes and the Lucky Dog, pit closure and pit speed limits, warnings to drivers from David Hoots, and above all no more blanket changes in reaction to problems caused by specific drivers.

5 - What needs to replace this approach is to single out and actually punish specific drivers. As mentioned above, Newman's anger should be directed at Robby Gordon instead of NASCAR. It is time NASCAR started suspending drivers for a race or more for causing problems - i.e. the reaction to the 2003 New Hampshire mess should have been a one-race suspension for Michael Waltrip, not a blanket rule change banning racing to the yellow that has done nothing but make more problems; reaction to what's happened at Talladega this season should be/should have been one-race suspensions (April and now) of Brad Keselowski. It's time the drivers, not the rules, be attacked here.

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