From the Marbles - NASCAR

As 2009 ended and I was reminded of Carl Edwards' horrific wreck at Talladega last spring, I wondered what became of the teen who was injured in the crash. Blake Bobbitt (rumored to be no relation to Lorena) was attending her very first NASCAR event in April when Carl's errant car rudely interrupted her afternoon, sending her on an unanticipated, and unremembered, helicopter ride to the UAB hospital with a "smashed" left jaw. Doctors there installed a titanium plate and wired her jaw shut for the next 6 weeks. According to her father, this did not impair her ability to chatter up a storm! And she also managed to graduate from high school right on schedule. Good news all the way around.

Carl Edwards naturally felt terrible about the whole thing. He can relate, having suffered a broken jaw at some point himself. (Matt Kenseth wishes he were responsible.) He sent Blake flowers and visited her in the hospital, and invited her back to Talladega for the October race. After some soul-searching, she did attend, though she declined to sit on Carl's pit box to watch the race. Too close to the cars, maybe?

Not being the sue-happy types, Blake's family relied on their insurance to pay the bills. Though Talladega officials have refused to comment, her father Terry maintains that Talladega Motor Speedway paid all the deductibles and copays, and that the Bobbitts were not out of pocket in the ordeal. Young Blake will have to go back to the doctors next spring, and they will re-break her jaw and do bone-grafts. I guess you can't leave those titanium thingies in there forever. We'll attempt to get some after-after pictures ... well, after.

Meanwhile, back at Talladega, the speedway introduced a taller fence, and NASCAR introduced a smaller restrictor plate. Which I seem to recall pleased pretty much nobody. The only question I have is, how many years must we go without any more injuries before these measures can be considered effective?

After the crash [Times Daily]

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