By admin | September 5, 2009
By Richard Allen
Off weekends for the Sprint Cup Series can prove costly and painful for the star drivers of that circuit. Carl Edwards and Bill Elliott proved that this past weekend.
Edwards did not have a complete weekend off since he also competes fulltime on the Nationwide Series as well. However, part time off was more than his foot could stand(bad pun). While playing a game of Frisbee, the driver known for celebratory back flips managed to fracture his foot.
Frisbee may not seem so dangerous but Edwards competitive nature most likely turns even the most mundane activity into a battle.
Elliott cracked some ribs while riding a motorbike during his free time. Of course, he has considerably more off time than Edwards. That is, in terms of NASCAR racing, he has more off time. Elliott is heavily involved in his young son’s racing career as well as other ventures.
Luckily, neither driver was seriously hurt. Edwards will race this weekend in Atlanta but Elliott will allow himself time to heal while being replaced in the #21 Wood Brothers Ford by David Gilliland.
The real luck comes in the fact that more of these type off-track injuries do not occur.
Consider that the people we are talking about are involved in just about the most dangerous profession possible outside of military combat. So, few things they could ever do in their off time would seem too dangerous to them. And, they are wealthy enough to afford the most fun, and most dangerous toys, to occupy their time. Motorcycles, four wheelers, watercraft of all sorts, go carts and who knows what else are a part of many drivers list of fun time activities.
Also, most drivers have various types of aircraft used for both business and pleasure. Needless to say there is a element of danger involved in those machines. Unfortunately, NASCAR has too often felt the sting of that particular type of disaster. This is one instance in which the sport has not been so lucky
NASCAR drivers live a dream life as far as many people are concerned. However, their responsibilities away from the track can be very time consuming and mind numbing. When they get an opportunity to have fun, they have fun. Who can blame them for that? However, with their wealth and their need for excitement it is somewhat of a miracle we do not hear of more incidents like the ones experienced by Carl Edwards and Bill Elliott over the past few days.
Luckily, neither of these incidents proved to be too bad. Hopefully, that will continue to be the case if and when similar situations occur.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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