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NSCS: Carl Edwards’ Retaliation Went Too Far

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By: Toby Christie

NASCAR going into this season said that they were going to loosen the reigns, and let the drivers police themselves, and settle confrontations however they see fit… I don’t think they imagined this.

Sunday Carl Edwards went too far. He let his emotions get the best of him, and he put the safety of his fellow drivers and the race fans in jeopardy.

On lap 323 of the race Carl Edwards was on the track for the one reason you are not supposed to be on the track. He didn’t have any position to lose or gain, he plain and simple went out for revenge for an incident earlier in the race on lap 40.

On lap 40 Brad Keselowski made contact with the back of Edwards’ car, which sent Carl into Joey Logano which basically ended any shot at the win for Edwards. Being upset is understandable, but after further review of the incident it seems that Edwards may have been more at fault than anyone in that lap 40 skirmish.

It was the latest incident in a saga that dates back to last year’s Aarons 499 at Talladega where the two made contact which sent Edwards into the catchfence while Keselowski basked in the joys of victory lane.

Lets fast forward back to lap 323 of Sunday’s race. Edwards found himself 156 laps down, and all over the Fourth place car of Brad Keselowski. Rattling Keseloski would have been one thing, but Edwards took the fued to the next level. Coming down the front straightaway Edwards tapped the back quarterpanel of the No. 12 Dodge, which sent it around immediately. From there all hell basically broke loose.

Keselowski’s car flew through the air, flipped upside down and landed on the outside retaining wall. The accident was extremely scary because the part of the car that impacted the retaining wall was the Driver’s cockpit area… Keselowski walked away, and the fans in the stands luckily weren’t injured at all, but this could have very easily been much much different.

Love or hate Keselowski, you can’t deny that he could have easily been killed, and race fans could have been injured and for what reason? So Edwards could settle a score? It was utterly uncalled for and NASCAR had to take immediate action.

NASCAR would call the no. 99 car back to the garage to be parked for the remainder of the event, but the damage was done. Edwards on this day took it too far, and gave a great example of why NASCAR began throwing out rules upon rules upon rules years ago.

No word yet on any further penalties for Edwards, but this will be an intriguing story to watch during the week. However in my opinion forcing Edwards to come to the garage when he was too far behind to gain any positions, is not penalty enough…

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About Toby Christie

Toby Christie is the Senior Writer for Rubbings Racing. He has been watching NASCAR since 1993, and has covered the sport as a media member since 2007. Toby is a proud member of the NMPA. Additionally, Toby is a lifelong Miami Dolphins fan, subpar guitarist and he is pretty good around a mini-golf course.

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18 Comments

  1. Wrekeloski

    March 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Keseloski has caused more wrecks at high speeds and has also bragged about being the new intimidator and even went so far as to tell Mr Penski how to run his NASCAR teams. He has wrecked Hamilin, Earnhardt, Edwards and many more, to the point were you could actually see his hands move just like Edwards did at Atlanta. Keseloski has turned into many drivers rear quarter panel and cause bad wrecks and he was never concerned then about fans getting hurt. Look a the last nation wide wear he clearly turned into Earnhardt for no reason. You play rough, you’re going to get roughed up. I dont dislike Keseloski, but he did need to get and ego check. Hopefully all that can end now.
    I dont think Edwards took anything to far as a wreck is a wreck. If you watch earlier in the race you can clearly see keseloski moved away from the yellow line by several feet in Edwards and did in fact wreck Edwards and Lagano too. Look at Keseloski’s short history and you will see. He is the one who takes things to far and now he is upset. I am glad he did not get hurt and hope he learns a little here. By the way I am no Edwards fan. I just like a fair race.

  2. Brian

    March 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    I totally agree with this article and feel Edwards should be suspended for this stupid move. I was uncalled for no matter what the situation was. Rubbing is racing yes but being a sore loser and cry baby doesn’t give any right in that situation to do that. What was the point???? Seriously!! People like him are the reason there are so many rules in place!!! Ive totally lost all respect for him he has given the sport a bad name since the day he started racing with all his childish episodes.

  3. MARY

    March 7, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    IF YOU WATCH RACING YOU WOULD HAVE TO KNOW HOW MANY WRECKS BRAD HAS CAUSED. HE HAS NOT BEEN IN RACING VERY LONG, BUT HE THINKS HE CAN WRECK ANYONE AND NOT GET INTO TROUBLE. I DON’T BLAME CARL AT ALL. HE HAD EVERY RIGHT TO BE MAD. HE DID NOT MEAN FOR THE CAR TO FLIP AND POSSIBLY HURT BRAD. BRAD DID THE SAME THING TO HIM LAST YEAR AND IT SEEMS NO ONE SAID ANYTHING TO HIM. I THINK THEY SHOULD FINE CARL BUT NOT TO SUSPEND HIM FROM ANY RACES. WHAT HAPPENED TO LETTING THEM BUMP DRAFT ALL THE DRIVERS WANTED TO. DID NOT LAST LONG.

  4. Steve

    March 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    He had no chance to win, and no real need to be on the track except to wreck Keselowski. One could almost argue premeditated assault with intent to kill ! ( if you saw the crash .. I didnt expect him to walk away ) Bust his a** NASCAR … sit him out for several races, plus about a quarter million fine. That should wake him up. Would suit me fine if he were fired as a driver and never had another ride.

  5. Ron

    March 8, 2010 at 7:25 am

    This idiot could have been responsible for the death of Brad, or many fans. It was premeditated and intentional. And, thank God that didn’t happen! And the nerve of this guy to talk about how safety is his priority! Short tracks is where you deal with things like that, and not on the fastest track they drive on. Just watch, NASCAR will do no more than slap Edwards on the wrist, because he’s one of their freaking poster boys. Edwards thinks he above reproach. I say park him for 3 races, take away 200 points, and fine him mega bucks because he deserves it. It was Edwards who was responsible for Dale Jr. flipping in the Nationwide race at Daytona. So there go figure. He had no regard for Brad’s life or the fans in the stands. Make the idiot sit at home and watch it on TV

  6. Charles

    March 8, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Nascar fault for not stopping Brad along time ago!

    Fox on Sunday was trying to act like it was a vendetta that Carl was trying to get Brad for the Talledaga incident! Never once heard Carl complain, infact after the race was over he joked and ran across the finish line!

    But on in the summer it seems Brad was always hitting Carl, or Hamlin time and time again! Fox never went back to that!

    Edwards should not get fined by himself, Brad had it coming, Carl seen Nascar wasnt going to stop him so mabe he did!

    I thought that was RALPH NADER climbing out of that 12 car sunday after the wreck and making all the safety comments!

  7. Ritchie

    March 8, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Tip of the hat to Carl for the pay back and a wag of the finger to Brad for playing the inocent victem. Brad got what he paid for.

  8. johnnie jimson

    March 8, 2010 at 9:27 am

    A horse is a horse of course of course unless of course that horse is the famous Mr. Ed(wards).

    If NASCAR does nothing then this will set a precedent that will escalate until someone, either a driver or a fan, ends up dead. It’s already a dangerous sport without adding intentionally wrecking someone to the list.

    I say, no oats for horsehead at Bristol.

  9. Lydia

    March 8, 2010 at 10:49 am

    To me this entire situation rests on “veterans” versus “rookies” and the respect the veterans feel they are due. Do I think Brad is aggressive and cocky…yes. Do I think Brad is reckless…no. Do I think Brad intentionally causes wrecks..no. Do I think Brad retaliates..no. My opinion is the veterans don’t like the fact Brad is aggressive and talented…they feel he should “earn” his dues…and step aside when they are in sight. From what I understand the three major drivers who have Brad on their “hit list” are Montoya, Hamlin, and Edwards….hmmmm..three aggressive drivers who are hungry for a win…obviously at any cost. When it comes to causing wrecks and wrecking the field I think these three lead the series…Hamlin and Edwards need a win so bad they constantly run the Nationwide races..and they can’t even play nice with the “lessor” drivers in that series. I am tired of the “rookies” versus “veterans”. A driver should race all drivers like they wish to be raced themselves…it has nothing to do with tenure..it has to do with respect. I guess if I was Edwards I too would be pissed a “rookie” was beating me and not “moving out of my way” when I make a stupid move on the track (i.e. Dega 2009, Daytona 2010 and now Atlanta). Hey if I was Logano I would be a little ticked off at Edwards for the stupid slide job he pulled on lap 40 at Atlanta that took out the 20 and caused the ultimate chaos at the end of the race. I have yet to hear any gripes about Brad from drivers such as Johnson, Gordon, Stewart, Harvick, Burton, or the MAN himself when it comes to track etiquette..Martin. I don’t think Kenseth and Edwards will ever go fishing together! So to me the bottom line here is you reap what you sow…veteran or rookie….you have to earn respect. Right now on my “Respectometor” Carl is tracking a big “zero”.

  10. Mopar21277

    March 8, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Man, I can’t believe all of you advocating this very dangerous, possibly fatal payback at 190mph, what is wrong with you all!? Fans could have been killed or other drivers injured as well. Sure Carl didn’t mean to flip him, but that is a moot point. If you go on road rage on I95 and hurt someone else, you are going to prison.

    If Carl is so tough and is so mad, then whip Brad’s butt face to face, like a man. Don’t come out of the pits 150 laps down and take him out, like in Days of Thunder! I’m not a particular Brad or Carl fan, but Carl should be suspended 10 races, fined $1M, and fired from Roush, as Jack is an honorable man and Carl has brought a grave dishonor to his organization. It won’t happen, but it should. Remember that Harvick and others have been fined hugely and placed on probation for pit road antics AFTER the race. At least they had the sense to wait until the cars were parked!

  11. Patrick

    March 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Interesting double standard at play here.

    On one hand, a good, but not supernatural, driver cheaply stuffs people into the wall. Not only does he get away with it, but he actually builds an entire franchise around it. He gets a really cool name -“The Intimidator”. He puts an evil-looking black paint job on his race cars, puts on his mean-looking mirrored sunglasses, and plays the role of the the baddest of the bad. He goes on to achieve “legend” status, thanks to his unmatched ability to blatantly wreck his competitors, shove them out of the way, stuff them into the wall while while they’re leading, or to wreck a lapped car just to create a much-needed caution.

    On the other hand, we have a good, but not supernatural, driver who gives much-deserved payback to a fellow driver, sending the message, “Stop wrecking me, and give me room to race”. This guy not only doesn’t get anywhere near “legend” or “badass” status, he will be lucky if he even gets to keep his ride.

    NASCAR should let this go, Keselowski should consider himself warned, and the fans should shut up and move on.

  12. don

    March 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    just because brad went airborne, doesn’t make it any worse than anyone else who’s intentionally paid someone back. if nascar busts carl back to the stone ages, they better bust anyone else they see laying a lick on someone else back to the stone ages, too. even if they don’t cause a wreck, because the intention is the same.

    and some blame should go to brad, how could he not outrun a beat to hell car and get some distance? and he said he knew carl was after him, the tapes showed carl try to get him the lap prior to the flip. carl’s car looked like a turd, but somehow brad couldn’t dust him.

  13. johnnie jimson

    March 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    don,
    re “they better bust anyone else they see laying a lick on someone else back to the stone ages, too. even if they don’t cause a wreck, because the intention is the same. ”

    so if you and i are both at the bar drinking and we have went way over the limit and we both drive ourselves home. you get pulled over by a cop and arrested for dwi, i get in an accident and kill someone,,, should i only be charged with dwi or should i get charged with manslaughter or murder? our intent was the same, to drive home and not get caught.

    so does your defense of horsehead’s actions apply to two shmucks like us too

  14. don

    March 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    your example doesn’t make sense. and i’d have to type a bunch to explain why. but simply, we, or i guess i should say i, are talking about intent. when tony stewart tried to take out jpm last year at homestead, jpm crashed, didn’t get hurt.

    carl tried to take out brad, brad crashed, didn’t get hurt. same intent, same overall outcome. same penalty. just because the crash was spectacular, doesn’t really make one different than the other. jpm’s crash could have been spectacular, but it just wasn’t.

    in regular life, when you break a law, a lot of the time, the penalty for intent without success isn’t much less than if you actually succeed. just watched a show last night, dude got life for attempted murder.

  15. Cory

    March 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Ahem. Carl should not be suspended. Hell, he shouldn’t even be punished. He didn’t know the car would flip, he was just tryin to send him for a little spin. If he wanted to hurt him, he would have hit is right rear and put him head on into the fence. Had he done that, I would have a problem. Quit whining. No one cares. I guarantee you the fans sitting right there didn’t think “OMG I’M GONNA DIE!!!” No they were thinking “OMG THIS IS COOL AND I’LL NEVER FORGET THIS AS LONG AS I LIVE. I CAN’T WAIT TO GO TO MY NEXT RACE”. Fact of the matter is, no one got hurt and this will do more good for NASCAR than anything that has happened in a while. NASCAR is grinning from ear to ear. They got what they wanted. You got what you wanted. Stop Crying.

  16. johnnie jimson

    March 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    don,
    my example was meant to show that if “i didn’t intend to hurt anyone” was a good defense our jails would be empty.

    but your last line “in regular life, when you break a law, a lot of the time, the penalty for intent without success isn’t much less than if you actually succeed.” explains to me exactly where you stand….

    normal people like us are subject to one set of standards but sports stars and celebrities get a different set. that’s how OJ got off.

  17. don

    March 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    nascar, theoretically, has a standard in place for this type offense. earlier, i think your first comment, you say something needs to be done or a precedent will be set. the precedent has already been set. what carl did is nothing new, use the precedent set, as i mentioned, for tony stewart’s intentional crashes. although, since nascar said they’d let the drivers sort it out, they should punish carl a little less.

    bottom line, i don’t think carl should be punished any worse than the others, just because brad’s car flipped.

    what i find kinda odd, is carl tried to crash him for at least a lap, in a junk car. typically, once a top 10 car gets past a junk car, it’s adios. see you later. you should have got me when i went on by. but, somehow, brad couldn’t shake carl and his turd mobile for at least a lap. i’d be embarrassed that i got caught by a guy driving a wrecked car, and to top it off, i actually let him get beside me enough to turn me.

  18. James

    March 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    If there is no further action taken by Nascar in this incident, then what is to prevent the intentional wrecking of any of the top 12 drivers by a non-chase driver in an effort to improve his or his teammates standing??
    I believe that if Nascar can and did penalize Carl Long with a 12 race suspension, a $200,000 fine AND!!! 200 owner/driver points for a worn out, loaner engine that was .17 cubic inches over the 358 CID limit, then what Carl Edwards intentionally did, deserves a similar punishment. Otherwise throw away the rulebook and let the toughest driver win.

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