Cecil Whig - - LOCAL SPORTS -

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.

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