RICHMOND, Va. — Carl Edwards has had a busy week since his last-lap wreck at Talladega Superspeedway, where his car sailed into the frontstretch fence and spewed debris into the stands.
The Roush-Fenway Racing driver made stops on the Larry King and "Ellen" shows, and then headed to Daytona Beach, Fla., with car owner Jack Roush to discuss safety concerns with NASCAR. Edwards said after last Sunday's wreck that NASCAR would continue the harrowing restrictor-plate racing until "we kill somebody."
"It was really a good talk, and I think that we're all on the same page and that we want to do whatever we can to make these races as safe as they can be for everybody — the fans and the drivers and all that," Edwards said.
Edwards doesn't pretend to be an expert, but the solution to him is clear when it comes to making racing safer around the fastest oval in the series. NASCAR uses the plates to choke the horsepower and slow the cars on the 2.66-mile oval. It forces the cars to run at about the same speed in one large pack.
If one car spins or even wiggles, many others have no place to go, and the often spectacular, seemingly inevitable crashes have come to be known as "The Big One."
"The bottom line is unless you take the banking out of that race track or we don't go race there, you've got this big problem trying to keep the cars apart, keep them slow," he said.
The Alabama superspeedway's history as the fastest track in the series can't be ignored or overlooked, Edwards said Friday, but "I'm hoping that there's something that we can do."
Edwards walked away with nothing more than a headache, but seven fans were injured by flying debris, and Edwards was highly critical of the situation when it was all finished.
The meeting, he said, left him hopeful that NASCAR might do something.
"I've just got to have faith that something will be done," he said.
Edwards also took the time this week to talk with Blake Bobbitt, the Alabama teenager most seriously injured in the crash. She sustained a broken jaw when hit by debris and had reconstructive surgery on her jaw. She was released from the hospital on Wednesday.
"I talked to her mom first because Blake's jaw is wired shut, so she couldn't talk much," he said. "(Blake) was upbeat about it. She was mumbling a little bit, but she seemed really cool. She's a 17 year old girl and I hope she comes out of this all right in all ways."