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Edwards' aggression tests NASCAR's new credo

“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



Related Pictures

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Carl Edwards [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Brian Scott. (Picture Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
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Motojunky

March 10, 2010 3:27 AM

I must be missing something. When I used to go to the races as a youngster with my dad, what Carl did to Brad would have been cheered at and very professional. But here's the thing. It was called a demollission derby and that was the objective. Because NASCAR did nothing about this incident ( and various others ), it's now a free for all. What has a driver got to do to be penalised for their actions in the future? Drive up pit lane in the wrong direction. Unbeleivable that NUTSCAR has no balls to set certain guidlines, and falls back on "boys will be boys" principle. At least a circus has a ringmaster, more than NUTSCAR has.

puff - Unregistered

March 09, 2010 2:05 PM

If NASCAR is serious about all this, then the next time that Jeff Gordon intentionally bumps someone, re: Daytona, they'll need to penalize him too. And if action had been taken against Keselowski after he wrecked Edwards before, this incident wouldn't have happened. THEY NEED TO THROW THE BOOK AT EDWARDS. But they need to use the book when all incidents happen instead of a wink, a nod, a laugh, a that's great TV, and a boys will be boys. Either NASCAR takes care of everything or the drivers will continue to work it out between themselves on the track. Thank God Keselowski was okay. What about next time when its Jr or Stewart or one of the Buschs who get in a twist and NASCAR does nothing?



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