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Not the back flip Edwards was hoping for

By admin | April 27, 2009

By Richard Allen

Carl Edwards begins each race with the intention of doing a back flip at the end of that race. Edwards’ back flips are his way of celebrating victories and have become the stuff of sports highlight show legend.

No doubt, at the start of the Aaron’s 499 at the Talladega Super Speedway Edwards hoped he would be turning a back flip near the start/finish line at the end of the day. Well, he did do that, but probably not in the way he had hoped.

After attempting to block Brad Keselowski on the last lap Edwards’ #99 car was sent spinning, and then flipping, just yards short of the checkered flag.

Edwards had tried to play it smart throughout the day.

He had laid low and ran near the back of the pack in an attempt to avoid ‘The Big One’. That strategy worked for 187 of the 188 laps of the event. He had successfully steered clear of the two major wrecks to have occurred over the course of the race.

Last fall, Edwards had tried to employ the same strategy on this track. He stayed near the back of the pack but then ran toward the front as the end of the race approached. Unfortunately for him and several others, the Missouri driver caused ‘The Big One’ when he bumped teammate Greg Biffle started a massive chain reaction.

This time around, Edwards was more careful. He planned his late lap maneuvers well and after receiving a push from Keselowski found himself at the front of the field.

Again, however, the day ended with bent sheet metal short of the finish. But instead of performing his celebratory back flip, the car itself soared backwards through the air and into the track’s catch fence.

Edwards does have to get some credit for climbing from his car and running the few extra feet across the finish line. It was no back flip, but once more, it provided material for the highlight shows.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

*For a chuckle click on the link below to watch my latest in a series of short, animated films, “Racing Re-Cap: Talladega”.

In this episode, racing reporter Mark Mustang in stunned when co-host Daisy Dreamboat wants to ask an actual racing question. Trouble is the question turns out to not be so race related after all.

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