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Edwards made the right decision to run the Atlanta Nationwide race

By admin | September 5, 2009

By Richard Allen

As has been well documented, Carl Edwards broke a bone in his foot during an over-exuberant Frisbee contest earlier in the week. Some questioned whether or not he made the right decision by competing in Saturday’s Nationwide Series event in Atlanta.

I believe Edwards made the right decision by running that race. However, it may not be for the reason some might expect.

At the start of the race Edwards was in second place of the overall Nationwide standings. I could care less about that. A Sprint Cup Series driver winning a Nationwide championship is equivalent to the Tennessee Titans competing for a Tennessee high school football title in my mind. For the most part, I am not a fan of Cup drivers racing in NASCAR’s second series, especially when those drivers attempt to run a full schedule.

The reason I believe Edwards made the right decision by running in the Nationwide race on Saturday is because it gave him an opportunity to find out what will work and what will not work in terms of comfort on the inside of his car over the course of an entire race. The working of the pedals, the flexibility of his foot and the impact heat will have on his foot could best be found out under race conditions. Better to find out in a Nationwide race than be surprised in a 500 mile, points paying Sprint Cup race.

There was, of course, the chance Edwards could hurt his foot even worse. That is something he will have to deal with throughout the rest of the season. And in my opinion, it would likely be best for him to scale back the rest of his Nationwide schedule. However, running this race was the best call as far as getting ready for the Sprint Cup race was concerned.

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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