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Did Carl Edwards suggest a driver's union?

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Friday, Jul. 13, 2012

Is Carl Edwards advocating the creation of a driver's union in NASCAR?

It sure sounds like it.

In response to questions Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway about NASCAR's drug testing program, Edwards said he thought it would be a good idea for drivers to get together as a group and collectively pay for independent testing at the same time as NASCAR's test is conducted.

“I think the drivers, this is just my theory, I think the drivers need to get together and we need to have our own group that is paid by us, that works for us, to here in tandem with the NASCAR drug testers and have them test us at the same time,” Edwards said.

“I don't think it's a contentious thing. I think that would remove almost all doubt in any situation of a positive test.” Edwards said until there was an independent test, “there is always going to be that little question of, 'Maybe there was a mistake.'”

The idea of driver unions have not gone over well in NASCAR.

Together with Fireball Roberts and Tim Flock, Curtis Turner attempted to organize a union, the Federation of Professional Athletes, in 1961. Turner was banned for life but reinstated four years later.

In September 1969, many of NASCAR's best-known drivers formed the Professional Drivers Association. The group boycotted a race at Talladega when NASCAR refused to address concerns it had about the tire being used.

NASCAR Founder Bill France Sr. found 36 drivers to take their place and ran the race anyway with Richard Brickhouse winning the event.

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