Brad Keselowski Survives Wreck-Filled Race to Win at Talladega
Monday, April 27, 2009
TALLADEGA, Ala., April 26 -- Brad Keselowski won his first Sprint Cup Series race Sunday after a dramatic final lap at Talladega Superspeedway when Carl Edwards's airborne car sailed into the fence near the finish line.
Seven fans were injured from debris that flew into the crowd, and Edwards warned that restrictor-plate racing is eventually going to kill someone.
Keselowski, racing in just his fifth career Cup race, hooked onto the rear of Edwards's bumper on the last lap of the Aaron's 499 to push him past Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Once clear of them, Keselowski peeked around Edwards to make a move for the lead.
Edwards tried to block the move by darting low, but Keselowski was too close to his bumper and the contact sent Edwards sailing up the track. His spinning car shot over Newman's hood and into the safety fence on the frontstretch.
The fence swelled toward the race fans but held, and Edwards's car landed back on the track. Officials said none of the injuries to fans was life-threatening.
Bobby Lewis, Talladega's onsite physician, said two people in the crowd were airlifted from the track to avoid the heavy traffic. One woman had a possible broken jaw, Lewis said, and another had an undisclosed medical issue.
Edwards, who climbed from his crumpled race car and ran on foot across the finish line, railed against the racing style at Talladega and Daytona, the two tracks where horsepower-sapping restrictor plates are used.
"We'll race like this until we kill somebody," said Edwards, "then [NASCAR] will change it."
Restrictor plates are used to combat the high speeds at NASCAR's two fastest tracks, and the plates typically keep the field bunched tightly together.
One wrong move by a driver can cause a massive accident.
In addition to Edwards's frightening flight into the fence, Sunday's race was marred by a 13-car crash on the seventh lap and another 10-car accident with nine to go.