By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
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…