“The scary part was his car went airborne, which was not at all what I expected,” Edwards acknowledged after NASCAR parked him for the incident on lap 326 of what became a 341-lap race. “At the end of the day, we're out here to race and people have to have respect for one another and I have a lot of respect for people's safety.
“I wish it wouldn't have gone like it did, but I'm glad he's okay and we'll just go on and race some more and maybe him and I won't get in anymore incidents together. That would be the best thing.”
There's one school of thought that suggests that the severity of Keselowski's wreck shouldn't enter into the penalty phase of NASCAR's review of the incident. Wrong.
In legal circles, there's an aphorism that goes, “Intent follows the bullet.” If you fire a shot into a building and it imbeds in sheetrock, that's one thing. If it kills someone, it's quite another.
The bottom line is that Edwards is responsible not only for the intended consequences of his actions but also for those that were unintended and unexpected. NASCAR, too, is complicit in what only can be viewed as a predictable outcome of a lenient attitude toward aggression on the racetrack.
Against a backdrop where any discipline will be perceived, at least in some quarters, as backtracking from the have-at-it-boys mentality, NASCAR must determine a fair punishment for Edwards. The severity of the wreck demands it.
Here's a suggestion: Since Keselowski was running sixth when Edwards launched him, dock Edwards the 95-point difference between sixth and 36th, where Keselowski finished. And since monetary fines in the $50,000 range aren't that meaningful to the stars of the sport, let Roger Penske send Edwards and his car owner, Jack Roush, the bill for the wrecked racecar.
On second thought, you can also bill Edwards and Roush for the wrecked racecars of Jamie McMurray, Mark Martin, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, David Gilliland and Martin Truex Jr., since Edwards' retaliation against Keselowski also launched a sequence of events that extended the race 16 laps beyond its posted distance.
During the first of two subsequent attempts at green-white-chequered-flag restarts, the cars of those seven drivers crashed in turn two. Intent follows the bullet.
“Boys, have at it and have fun.”
Just be aware that fun can come with a hefty price tag.
by Reid Spencer/Sporting News