NEWS & NOTES
PARKING LOT MISHAP Roughly an hour after the conclusion of Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway, 22 fans were injured in the speedway’s parking lot after being hit by a vehicle driven by a man who is now charged with reckless driving. The incident occurred near the speedway’s helipad as fans walked to their vehicles and tried to procure autographs from exiting NASCAR drivers. Witness reports said the driver attempted to pass another vehicle, made contact with it and then hit the pedestrians before coming to a stop. All 22 injured fans received non-life threatening injuries, although 12 people were transferred to the nearby hospital. One was transferred to a hospital in Roanoke. Virginia State Police identified the charged driver as Gary T. Edem, 65, from Fairfax, Va., and stated that alcohol was not believed to be a factor in the case. TAKING BLAME The tire failure that zapped Carl Edwards from a top-5 run at Martinsville was not due to the team’s actions, Edwards said after Sunday’s race. “Goodyear was kind enough and — I have a lot of respect for them — they came down here and looked at the tire and said it was a belt failure so that’s really big of them to say, ‘Hey, there’s nothing you could have done about it,’” Edwards said. “We had a really good race going and sometimes that’s just what happens in racing.” According to Fox Sports, Goodyear officials took the failed tire from Edwards’ Toyota back to their research facility in Akron, Ohio, to determine what caused the failure. Edwards finished 36th after returning to the race 23 laps down. He now faces a 39-point deficit to points leader Jimmie Johnson with races at Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway left in the third round.