The Aaron's 499 was a big fiery mess yesterday, which is either awesome or terrible depending on your opinion of NASCAR's true joys. Or how close you were sitting to the debris zone.

At least seven fans were injured on the last lap of Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway, when Carl Edwards—who was leading just yards from the finish line—went airborne and smashed into the retaining fence, leaving good portions of his car behind. Most of the injuries were minor and none of the drivers were hurt, but the entire race was littered with wreckage from two other major smash ups during the race. Only about half the starting field finished all the laps and five cars never got past Lap 8. (Matt Kenseth even did a few barrel rolls in the Nationwide race the day before.)

Of course, everyone knew this was coming—Talladega is famous for "The Big One," the massive multi-car pileups that happen at almost every event there. They count on it, in fact. Fans love it (when no one gets hurt), plus how often do we write about NASCAR? I guess the sport will just have to live with the "30 cars side-by-side restrictor plate racing" vs. "tire blowouts at 250 m.p.h." debate just a little bit longer.

"We'll race like this until we kill somebody," Edwards said, "then (NASCAR) will change it....

"I'm glad the car didn't go up in the grandstands," he said. "I don't know if I could live with myself if I ended up in the grandstands."

The Ricky Bobby tribute was fun, though.

Carl Edwards Real-Life Talladega Nights NASCAR Crash [Jalopnik]
7 fans injured at Talladega Superspeedway [AP]
Video - Final Laps: Aaron's 499 [NASCAR.com]
Keselowski wins in wild finish at Talladega [Houston Chronicle]
Wreck-filled Talladega ends in spectacular, terrifying fashion [From The Marbles]
Restrictor plates are essential at ‘Dega, Daytona [News And Tribune]
Roush: We come and we race (at Talladega) because we have to [CBS Sports]