Things Better Left Unsaid: Drivers will put the brakes on comments

It is a triple-header race weekend as all three of NASCAR’s top racing series will be battling for the checkers at Texas Motor Speedway.

Speaking of battles, did you see the carnage at Talladega last weekend?

Two huge wrecks within the last 10 laps capped off an otherwise lacklustre race, which was won by the soon-to-be-unemployed Jamie McMurray.

Due to NASCAR changes in ownership rules, McMurray’s car owner, Jack Roush, has to downsize from five teams this year to four teams next year, and as a consequence McMurray became the odd man out at Roush-Fenway Racing.

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Drivers spent the better part of the Talladega race riding around in single-file formation with not much passing as they tried to avoid the inevitable Big One, which usually refers to a huge wreck that often involves no fewer than 10 cars.

Despite their cautious driving, the drivers found themselves racing hard for position within the last 10 laps and had not just one Big One, but two.

The first one involved Chase contender Ryan Newman, who ended up flipping into the air, landing on his roof and then sliding head-on into the wall while still on his lid. The roof of Newman’s car was so badly crushed he had to be cut from the car.

The next wreck involved fellow Chase contender Mark Martin, who was hit from behind, which sent his car sideways, allowing air to get under it and lift it up enough to cause him to barrel roll down the track. Unbelievably, his car landed on its wheels and he was able to drive it off of the track onto pit road.

NASCAR drivers can be a superstitious lot, and based on that, I was surprised by the interviews given by these two drivers just prior to the start of last week’s race.

Martin stated in a pre-race interview that he was feeling lucky and that they should watch him, but once he said it, he looked like, at least to me, that he wished that maybe he could have worded his comment a little differently.

And in his pre-race interview, Newman talked about it being nice having his wife at the track to give him a kiss before getting into the car and then quickly added “but not a goodbye kiss.”

I then watched the race wondering what the irony-loving Jinx Gods might have in store for both Martin and Newman, and I held my breath while they initially worked on Newman’s car to get him out and then again when Martin’s car went airborne toward the wall.

After what happened to Newman and Martin. I can almost guarantee that you won’t be hearing any driver talking about how good things are anytime soon.

Now let’s bring on Texas and see if point leader Jimmie Johnson continues to strengthen his stranglehold on the championship or if he falters enough to open the door for someone else to challenge him for the championship in the few remaining races of The Chase.