Carl Edwards emerged virtually unscathed on Tuesday as NASCAR announced it has placed him on probation for the next three races for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski during the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Edwards, who was parked after the crash for his actions, was not suspended, fined or penalised points for the incident.
NASCAR president Mike Helton said Tuesday that NASCAR officials will meet with Edwards and Keselowski as well as their team owners, Jack Roush and Roger Penske, respectively, to help settle their dispute.
Helton, who said earlier this year that NASCAR would loosen the reins on drivers and allow them to police themselves on the track, met with Edwards after the race.
“We made it very clear to him that these actions were not acceptable and did go beyond what we said back in January about putting the driving back in the hands of the drivers,” Helton said. “We believe the driver of the #99 (Edwards) understands our position at this point.
“It's important for us to step back and separate the issue of what happened with the #99 and the #12 (of Keselowski) on the racetrack and the fact that the #12 car got airborne.”
The Edwards-Keselowski incident resulted in a vicious crash as Keselowski's car lifted off the ground, flipped upside down and crashed roof-first into the frontstretch wall after the tap from Edwards, who was 153 laps down after an incident between the two drivers on lap 40.
Keselowski, who was running sixth at the time of the accident with three laps remaining in the scheduled distance, emerged from the car uninjured.
Edwards was parked after the incident, and that should not go unnoticed, Helton said. Parking a competitor, he said, can be a significant penalty, although it cost Edwards only three points Sunday because he was 153 laps down.
“You can look back last year at some incidents in Homestead where it was a one-lap penalty,” Helton said. “The immediate reaction from NASCAR was parking the car for the balance of the event.