You are on notice, Carl Edwards: That celebratory backflip could be the end of your championship hopes. Real Salt Lake forward Fabian Espindola broke his leg this week attempting much the same maneuver after scoring a goal against Los Angeles in Major League Soccer. Worse still, the goal was eventually disallowed when it was ruled he was offside. "I'm embarrassed,'' said Espindola, who has celebrated goals with a flip since his youth in Argentina. Sure, Edwards could avoid such double embarrassment by waiting until the race is deemed official — and maybe even until after inspection — to perform his obligatory postwin gymnastics, but a broken leg after a win is still a broken leg. The question looms, is he a hostage to the flip like Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith once was? Team co-owner Jack Roush calls Edwards the best gymnast he has ever seen — didn't know he was a fan — but sticking the landing on a banked track littered with loose gravel is enough even to impress the French judge, or snap a tibia. And no amount of tape and Ripped Fuel is going to make that feel good enough for racing.
Some alternative celebration suggestions: 1. Pour lighter fluid on the hood of his No. 99 Ford, light, admire. See Hendrix, Jimi. 2. Bump Kyle Busch again. 3. Knock out 99 crunches on the hood of his car. 4. Pull a fiddle from his firesuit and play the first few verses of Come on Eileen. 5. Fake a punch at Matt Kenseth. Youth served
Joey Logano is young, but at 18 years, 3 months, 20 days, he'll not be even close to the youngest to make his Sprint Cup debut when he makes the big jump Sunday at New Hampshire. Driver, debut date and track listed with their ages:
Driver Debut Track
Tommie Elliott Aug. 1, 1951 Altamont-Schenectady Fairgrounds 15 years, 7 months, 5 days
Darryl Sage July 10, 1982 Nashville Speedway 17 years, 2 months, 2 days
Bill Morton Oct. 9, 1955 Memphis-Arkansas Speedway 17 years, 2 months, 17 days
Donald Thomas May 21, 1950 Martinsville Speedway 17 years, 10 months, 11 days
Bobby Hillin Jr. April 18, 1982 North Wilkesboro Speedway 17 years, 10 months, 13 days
Chuck Bown Jan. 23, 1972 Riverside International Raceway 17 years, 11 months, 1 day
Jeff McDuffie April 20, 1980 North Wilkesboro Speedway 18 years, 0 months, 20 days
Joey Arrington Sept. 8, 1974 Richmond International Raceway 18 years, 1 months, 14 days
Buddy Baker April 4, 1959 Columbia Speedway 18 years, 2 months, 10 days
Joe Ruttman Jan. 20, 1963 Riverside International Raceway 18 years, 2 months, 23 days
Stupid driver tricks
The Late Show With David Letterman "top 12 perks of being a NASCAR driver" list as presented by the Chase for the Championship roster on a media junket to New York on Wednesday:
No. 12 Matt Kenseth "Crazy gas prices? I don't care; I'm not payin'."
No. 11 Kevin Harvick "Bring your helmet to Taco Bell and they'll fill it up with guacamole, free."
No. 10 Jeff Gordon "Don't have to shave your body like Olympic swimmers … although, why not?"
No. 9 Greg Biffle "Hasselhoff promised me one of those talking cars."
No. 8 Tony Stewart "I use old checkered flags to make fabulous throw pillows."
No. 7 Jeff Burton "There's nothing like going through a car wash at 190 miles per hour."
No. 6 Denny Hamlin "GPS underpants."
No. 5 Clint Bowyer "Sorry, I forgot my joke — I was thinking about Jessica Alba — man, she's hot."
No. 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. "Run out of olive oil? A little Quaker State will spruce up any salad."
No. 3 Jimmie Johnson "Traveling to exotic locations like Martinsville, Virginia, and Dover, Del."
No. 2 Carl Edwards "At high school reunions, it's fun to ask, 'So what do you do for a living?' "
And No. 1 Kyle Busch "After a race, your a- - vibrates for days."