Thursday, April 30, 2009

Have You Seen Carl Edwards On TV?

The Carl Edwards national TV tour is ending with an appearance on Thursday's NASCAR Now at 5PM on ESPN2.

How, why and what exactly all of this is about has started a lot of discussions. Larry King Live, Ellen, The Morning Show and other national TV programs talked to Carl and again rolled the Talladega footage over-and-over.

As King said when introducing Edwards, "let's see it again for the 750th time!"

If you have seen Carl Edwards on these TV appearances, could you share your opinion of what you think all this is really about? Publicity for NASCAR at a time when TV ratings are down? A personal agenda for Carl? A good agent?

For decades NASCAR drivers have been involved in accidents at various tracks that resulted in spectacular TV footage. Is that a reason to hit the talk-show circuit?

Perhaps, NASCAR Now host Mike Massaro will ask Carl about this week and how he wound-up traveling the country simply because he crashed into Brad Keselowski. When Carl turned teammate Greg Biffle in an earlier race at Talladega and caused a tremendous accident that affected the seasons of many teams, there was nary a mention of it on any of the programs listed above.

It was also noted that Matt Kenseth, who took a big tumble on Saturday in the Nationwide Series race, was not seated alongside of Carl on any of these TV programs.

If you saw Edwards appear somewhere we missed, just tell us right in the comments section. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks to Getty Images for the Talladega pic, click on it to see it full-size.

TDP readers are great! Thanks once again for sharing your opinion on this topic.


Anonymous said...

Carl Edwards was on Fox and Friends this morning. The starting statement was: "Some people are asking if Pro Racing's need for speed is overtaking safety concerns for the drivers and the fans." The scroll at the bottom is Treacherous Talladega - A Racing Disaster Waiting to Happen. I don't think Nascar is sending him on this tour. It was more of a victim interview.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the descriptions on both the Ellen and Larry King sites specifically say he'll be there to talk about the crash on those shows. So it does sound like the Michael McDowell situation.

Ellen films in Los Angeles; I think Larry King films out of NYC. So I don't know if he's doing satellite interviews or what.

For some reason (before the wreck), Carl had a CNN segment that was playing this weekend called My City, My Secret. He took viewers on a tour of his favorite places in Columbia, MO where he lives. Very brief; I think it was meant for Headline News. The video is on the CNN site in the Travel section. And Carl was in Washington yesterday afternoon testifying before Congress about the Ford Fusion (which is where the Washington Post interviewed him about the wreck).

So maybe he was already on a media blitz and the accident just added to it.

Sophia said...

Larry King and his wife live in L.A. So Carl can do both shows in the same day if he wants since Ellen tapes.

I don't know what to make of this tour. Is it exploiting the safety or "wreck appeal" that the media/NASCAR PROMOTES.

Or is it the safety of the COT?

Color me confused after Carl's statements. Hard to read stuff out of context.

Hope I remember to watch King tonight.

Anonymous said...

At first I wondered why Carl would be appearing on these programs.

But NASCAR has a number of reporters -- like Jeff Gluck from Scene Daily, David Newton of -- saying that this race was great. Gluck is saying it was the best race of the season, Newton says NASCAR needs the drama of everyone talking about it (which is silly--we have a major incident like this every year, such as Tony calling NASCAR fake, the McDowell flip, Montoya and Harvick fighting, wives catfighting -- which get tons of publicity, but it still does NOTHING for the TV ratings, especially long-term). If you read the comments on the stories, it appears the majority of the fans support keeping Talladega as is.

So maybe Carl wants to put it out there that he thinks differently. I don't have a problem with that. If NASCAR and some of the media can put out the view that everything is great, he can say, he doesn't think it is. Actually on PTI yesterday that's exactly what Tony and Wilbon said -- NASCAR was eventually going to have to listen to the drivers. Tony said "they can't kill their entire work force!" LOL.

Anonymous said...

From Larry King’s web site: Carl Edwards Primetime Exclusive! The NASCAR driver lived to tell about the incredible crash that could have killed him! Now he's talking to Larry about how he survived! Miracle on the racetrack!

From Ellen’s web site: NASCAR’S CARL EDWARDS: This past weekend, his car flipped 15 feet in the air after colliding with others at the Talladega Speedway. Thankfully, Carl left the scene without serious physical injuries -- and he even jogged across the finish line. Today he’ll give me a firsthand account of the whole ordeal.

I like Carl….but since he has a big $$$$$$ deal this may be a way to receive mainstream attention for AFLAC/Claritin.

Or maybe Ellen/Larry has Carl in a fantasy league.

Vicky D said...

Carl is a good representative for Nascar. I don't think he'll mention Nascar not worrying about killing a driver. He'll do a great interview. Can't wait to check these out.

Anonymous said...

I heard his interview on Fox & Friends. It sounded like he was promoting changing Talladega to make it safer. Carl described the wreck a little different today than before. He never mentioned blocking. He said he got turned. Carl is very somber about the crash. Michael McDowell was laughing and upbeat on his tour.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comments! Thanks for the information and opinion.

Keep them coming!


Sophia said...


Glad to hear Carl wants to make things safer. Michael M was young and thrilled to get out of the scary wreck and walk away. AND he put no fans in jeopardy.

The wreck of Carl's WAS scary due to his thinking, maybe the roll cage was going to break, depending on what he hit; and might that come down on his neck??
AND the fact fans WERE injured.

So while both wrecks WERE frightening, I think Carl's affects more issues...RP, leveling track, inside line on last lap rule, fans injured, etc

CAM said...

He was onthe CBS Early show this morning, here is a link to the interveiw

bevo said...
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Sophia said...
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red said...

i believe it was GMA that i stopped on when i saw carl, live from columbia, missouri. talking about the wreck, how it wasn't anyone's fault, just racin' and how safe the cars are nowadays -- that sort of deal. they must have shown the clip three times while he spoke. cnn and my local fox have also shown the clip endlessly but without carl.

what frustrates me is that non-fans have no real understanding of what happened and why. all they see is an airborne car slamming the catch fence, the fire, the driver getting out and running across the finish line, ala ricky bobby. and the commentators -- whether on gma or cnn morning news -- can only remark on how amazing it was that "he walked away!" he seemed upbeat and positive and sorta "aw, shucks, 'tern't nothin'!" his way thru the satellite interview.

sure wish brian williams, a true nascar fan, would do a piece somewhere about it!

Matt said...
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Sophia said...

40 minutes after the hour on Larry King and STILL no Carl. Sheesh..must only going to be on 5 minutes.

Now they are talking to Dr. Gupta who just allegedly found the first person who contracted Swine flu.(A little boy who recovered and is fine!)

Hope Carl segment doesn't get blown off.

Sophia said...

OOps. Sent too soon. Carl up next and it's 43 after the hour.

Calling him SUPERMAN for surviving Miracle at Talladega

Anonymous said...

sophia here he comes - there are a couple more important stories before him.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Did anyone see Edwards on Larry King Live? Comments are welcome.

I'm still on the fence as to what all this is really about.


Karen said...

I was switching back and forth, but I did hear him say he would have done the same thing if he were in Brad's spot. That's what they're there for.
Have to catch it all at 12:50.

Of course, as always, he was a good interview.

Karen said...


It's just about a spectacular crash that didn't kill anybody, imo.

Sophia said...

JD I was wondering from the start what this tour was about. Guess I echo what Karen said.

Interesting he seem to back off his --Nascar is gonna wait until somebody gets killed, then change the rules, statement.

So did NASCAR send him out to talk about the "safety of the COT" and NASCAR?

Was NASCAR the one who sent MM out after his spectacular looking wreck?

The interview came off ok..and Carl was a good representative for the sport.

Anonymous said...

I just want to bring up something we were talking about in the comments on Friday during Trackside, during which there was some on-air commotion and joking amongst drivers about Mark Martin's real age and then later an online discrepancy were two different birth years are listed.

Carl Edwards is on Larry King tonight and Larry asks him how long drivers compete in Cup and Carl mentions Mark Martin and says "I don't want to say his age, but he's at least 50."

Is Mark Martin really older than he claims?

Anonymous said...

I am not a Carl Edwards fan on the track. At all.

That said, he was just super-excellent on Larry King right now. Larry asked pretty much typical everyman/casual-fan curious questions but Carl was just a super spokesman not only for himself but the sport. I think it is great to see such a well-spoken clean-cut guy on TV so eloquently describe what he gets out of racing, why he started racing, and how he feels about his sport. I thought for the audience Larry reaches - which defines "broad" and probably includes millions of non-race fans, I thought this was an A+ performace.

PLUS - he never said "Claritin Ford" even once!

Dot said...

I thought Carl did a good job on Larry's show. I did notice that he didn't mention that his blocking caused the collision. He did defend Brad, though. I hope someone films Larry in a car with Carl when they go back to CA.

I'm glad he talked to the injured woman and she is doing fine. They did show a woman getting treated for a leg injury in the stands. I didn't notice any blood. Like I mentioned before, those fans have a story to tell.

Elisabeth said...

Unfortunately, I've missed all the TV media-hoopla about this, as I'm out of the country...

It just seems so strange to me that this one particular wreck is suddenly garnering all this attention. What about a couple years back when Elliot Sadler went air-born at Talladega? I don't recall any media circus over that.

PammH said...

Saw Carl on Ellen's show this morn. His mom was in the audience & Ellen talked to her also. He did a great job describing the crash. Then Ellen gave him a cruise & cooler. It was a 2 seater also...very cute.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

I'm thinking it's the usual. Sports, paper, it. Gets picked up by "general" news depts. Phone calls come in from cable networks, etal wanting to talk to the "survivor". To me not so different from talking to "regular" people who survive frightening experiences in storms, accidents.

Not a Carl fan, but he did fine on F&F. Although like someone said, he said he got turned, not that he was blocking Brad.

By the way. On Bill O'Reilly the clip was shown, then he mentioned that Carl ran across finish line to get credit for the finish. LOL big it when non fans make up the rules!!

Sophia said...

I hope somebody corrects Bill O! Was he serious when he said to get "credit" for finishing the race?

Whew boy.

Missed Carl on Ellen by "that much" but there is a repeat on this afternoon on another station...I never have tv on during the day during the week...hope I remember to watch..he was on the first half hour apparently.

Maybe it will go on youtube although Ellen does have a fun show.

Dot said...

@ Luna, I agree, ESad's crash was much more spectacular. But since it didn't involve any fans he got very little coverage.

You know how the media is, "If it bleeds, it leads".

Ellen is on @ 3pm (@ JD, that's 6pm EDT). Will post afterwards.

Dot said...

Carl up next on Ellen.

Dot said...

Watched Carl on Ellen. Meh. The cart was cool.

He didn't go into the dynamics of racing or the crash. It seemed to me that Carl could've been Joe Blow in a crash on the interstate and lived to tell about it. I guess it just the format of Ellen's show. I do like her by the way.

I don't know if I should express my views on his mom being in the audience. Where was his wife? I find the Carl and Mom relationship kind of weird. Yeah, I know Joe Nemechek's mom hangs out at the track, or used to. At least she involved herself with the military fans. I think it would have been a better segment with Carl's mom on stage with Ellen talking about the wreck. The worry of her son racing, etc.

Anonymous said...

Dot, Carl's wife is a physician and probably can't get the time away from her practice.

Don said...

Does anyone remember that Brad K.won the race? How about some TV time for him

dwight said...

I couldn't find the right place for this comment, so I'll just put it here. I haven't been watching all of Carl's appearances but in all the items I have seen, there is one thing about the debris flying into the crowd which I have never heard mentioned. Perhaps some debris from the car went into the crowd, but I am confident that almost everything which flew in was things hanging in the stands side of the fence. Hanging things on the crowd side of the fence resembles holding a spoon up with the bowl away from you, pulling it back and catapulting it's contents toward whoever is in front of you. Hanging things on that side of the fence defeats the whole purpose of the catch fence.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Those fences normally have solid chain link and then cables, kind of like arresting gear on an aircraft carrier. They deflect the object that hits it down the road and ultimately back on the track.

The poles come up out of the concrete and the only thing holding it together is kind of U-joints that are screwed right around the cables.

It should be interesting to see what happened, I know they are bent out of shape that Carl's windshield broke. Those may be the pieces right now, otherwise, everything seemed to work very well.


Anonymous said...

By the end of last year's Chase, I was 'overdosed' on Edwards and Johnson even though I'm a fan of Jimmie's. Carl's media tour leaves me cold from a pragmatic point of view. Even if he had the best of intentions from the standpoint of improving safety for the drivers and fans,the venues he spoke on typically are looking for sensationalistic soundbites. There are times when I think there are two Carl's-the polished public speaker and others, like the incident where he was ready to slug Kenseth after the race. I don't know if this media blitz was self promotion or a crusade for improved track conditions. Right now,I'm leaning toward self promotion.

Thornton said...

I can assure you, NASCAR has their hand in this media blitz somehow. Carl and his agent need to sit back for a moment and think about the cause and effect of this "tour". Let's be honest: It's because of the wreck. Just as JD mentioned earlier about Mcdowell, this is only happening because of Sunday's race. Carl may think he's getting a chance to promote his sponsor (given the opportunity), but he has to be smart enough to see through the smoke; he is like a circus freak right now, being treated as, "Come see the wonderous man who survived flying through the air! The man who defys death! The man who..." You get the picture. It's very stupid if you ask me. But what do I know, I would never humiliate myself to promote any agenda. I sleep well at night, Carl, how about you?

Anonymous said...

I think that Carl Edwards has a personal agenda and this is all about him and his marketability! Frankly, as a 20+ NASCAR super fan, I didnt think his aw shucks and concern is doing much for anyone but him.

Anonymous said...

Carl needed some publicity. It was one of those "Look at me. See how brave I am" tours. Much ado about nothing.

Anonymous said...

I think this about too many 24/7 news channels and too many news channels reporting what will increase ratings rather than real news. This is all about sensationalism. Carl and NASCAR are just the puppets, next week it will be someone else.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I still wonder how Matt Kenseth felt about all of this after his Nationwide Series adventures.

glenc1 said...

To be honest, I would assume that *someone* from NASCAR made it clear to Carl that there are certain things you just can't say...and he got his hand slapped. We know this has happened multiple times in the past. The rest of it may be all Carl, but based on what other drivers (like Michael Waltrip) have said, they get a reminder that if it weren't for NASCAR, they wouldn't have a job, etc. I'm sure the point is made clear to them.

Anonymous said...

if you think it has been bad this week wait till friday nite when espn does the BUSH race they been wait for some one to crash like this

Anonymous said...

For those trying to make this out as just Carl looking for exposure for his sponsor - I didn't hear him mention Claritin or his main sponsor, AFLAC on Larry King or Ellen. Those were the two appearances that I saw. This is nothing new - same thing happened with McDowell.

PammH said...

What I feel is happening here is Nascar=wrecks, hence dramatic wrecks=TV exposure for whoever was involved....and WALKED away. That point is very important. What the mainstream media thinks is that we are ALL about the wrecks..and why wouldn't they?? It's what the networks promote..:(

The Loose Wheel said...

Like JD I am left to question what the motives are for having Carl do the talk show circuit as well.

There is truth in the idea that wrecks attract people to NASCAR, that elephant has long been in the room and while NASCAR and the networks deny it, their promos and reactions say different. FOX had the wreck in their Richmond promo the day after it happened!

Matt goes for a tumble and Im sure it would have been somewhat discussed had Carl not "one-upped" it a day later but this sounds to me as if its NASCAR pushing this little tour Carl is on. Which would explain why Carl has been very PC and kept the NASCAR bashing at home.

Its been interesting to say the least.

TexasRaceLady said...

FOX was just promoting the Richmond race.

What clip did they use ---

Carl's wreck at Talladega.

Junior was right in the press conference Sunday evening.

Anonymous said...

You asked "what is this all about" and I am telling you that for a new generation of fans this might rank up there with the Yarborough-Allison fight as a defining moment for the sport.

The reason is not (just) the spectacular upside-down crash. It was the out-of-control intensity in the final yard of the race. Carl was so willing to go for it that he was willing to literally put his life on the line. Now, we all know drivers put their life on the line in every turn and straightaway - but the adrenaline excitement of that finish, with two guys going for it all (Brad fully unwilling to life, Carl willing to make dangerous moves to keep the lead) -- it just all culminated in a sort of "WOW" moment in which the question that plagues many casual fans "Why do people love NASCAR so much?" is answered for them.

I had two non-race fans in my house for this race. They went NUTS at the finish and couldn't believe the intensity of the competition. They have been calling me all week asking about the next race. This week they will get their first short track lesson. I bet A LOT of new fans will be tuning in to their second-ever (or maybe even first-ever) race this weekend on FOX. This crash (and more importantly, this finish) was a defining moment for NASCAR in the modern era.

Anonymous said...

I think those who are comparing this to the Kenseth crash are looking only at the car flipping and not looking at the context. The Kennseth crash did not occur during an intense dash for the checkered flag. In fact, it didn't even occur during a particularly dramatic or interesting moment on the track.

The reason Carl's crash is getting attention and Matt's isn't is all about the context. Carl's was the culmination of a guy putting it all on the line. Matt's was someone getting into him at a bad moment on the track.

If it was "all about the crash" Larry King and Ellen and the others would have shown the Lap 7 crash which is in many ways just as spectacular, especially to the casual/non-fan that these shows were aiming at. But they didn't show that Big One because it isn't JUST about the crash, it is about the fact that the crash came in the middle of intense competition. I think to many people the competition and "1st or nothing" attitude of NASCAR is new, or has been watered down bigtime in other sports. So to see a guy go that hard and risk that much for "1st or nothing" sparked something that resonates in people.

THat's my theory as to why Carl is getting so much attention this week, and I'm sticking to it.

darbar said...

There have been many spectacular crashes when drivers were "going for it" at the end of races yet they didn't have the media blitz that Edwards has had. Hey, it's May Sweeps, and sensationalized news stories are eating up the airwaves. I saw Carl on two of the shows, and I don't think he provided anymore insight than anyone did on the post race interviews. What I would like to know is, were these appearances Carl's idea or was he sent out by Helton and Company?

Anonymous said...

Well, it's admittedly a slow news week. Case in point: swine flu. 40,000 people die every year of the flu. OOOOH - 200 died of swine flu. HYPE in a slow news cycle.

Still, that was a finish for the ages

Daly Planet Editor said...

Gotta say I was quite surprised that Mike Massaro let Carl off without even one question about his media and TV tour this week.

NASCAR Now led his segment with a montage of all of Carl's TV interviews.

Edwards was at a sponsor function and allowed to plug the cause and the event.

Might have been a nice balance to ask one question about how the TV whirlwind tour came about.

TDP readers have lots of ideas.


Anonymous said...

I bet the whirlwind tour wasn't that much different than a regular week for these guys. How many weeks do they fly home, then fly to a personal appearance, then fly home, then fly to a corporate appearance, then fly somewhere for another project (film a commercial, fit for a new firesuit, tire testing out of town, photo shoot, etc etc).

glenc1 said...

just to make the point that it's not just racing...the NFL does the same sort of thing by making those 'crunch' videos and showing all the vicious hits on the highlight reel (even ones where guys *do* get hurt.) Hockey coverage shows the fights. Perhaps all these sports have two kinds of fans--those who are into it for the sport itself, and those who like the excitement/hype/sensational parts.

Anonymous said...

I think when Carl Edwards talks about safety at Talledega, it's sincere. I remember last year when he was involved in that weird Lepage pileup (I think that was the one), he made similar comments to what he's saying now -- that there has to be some balance between excitement and driver safety. The man really seems to hate racing there. You can disagree with his point of view and call it opportunistic or describe it as an agenda, but he's been consistent in his criticism. On this issue, he seems genuine.

I do think, though, that he was doing damage control from his Sunday comments, which were very sensational.

PG_Harley said...

I generally think it is always about Carl.... I am not a hater, but he sure seems to work on that exposure. I think his management team saw an opportunity to flash his face and took the opportunity.

They have their job to do... but Cuzin' Carl just seems to me to be all about the image. I would like to think I am wrong but his TV face is good guy with a big smile saying all the right things.

I just cannot get that visual out of my mind of the look on his face when the came up on Matt Kennseth during the post race interview. Did not look like he was just playing around. I keep thinking that was the real Cuzin' Carl.

Anonymous said...

I watched Carl Edwards on Larry King Live this evening. I was immediately impressed with his intellect. He is articulate and thoughtful. Great young man