Yet, suspense and emotions around Edwards vs. Keselowski continue to run hot. Thanks, notably, to comments made by the two drivers themselves since Atlanta.
Edwards, by way of his social media outlet, said yes, he did wreck Keselowski on purpose. He did it because he was sick of getting pushed around by the young driver.
“Every person has to decide what code they want to live by, and hopefully this explains mine,” Edwards concluded in his Facebook post.
Keselowski apparently not only listens to Tom Petty, but also lives Tom Petty as he has showed zero repentance for what he calls his “passionate” driving style and says he will continue to drive that way.
Others in the sport have laughed at the suggestion the two will be able to contain themselves at a track that turns even good friends into heated enemies.
Wise old Jeff Burton told reporters last week, “Nobody is expecting Brad or anybody to give anything.”
Said Kyle Busch, “The drivers try to take things into their own hands. Sometimes it gets a little too far.”
Heightening the drama is the site of this weekend's race. Because of Bristol's size — 0.533 miles around — and relatively low speeds, it always has been a place for settling scores and fuelling feuds.
Mark Martin was asked if he thought Bristol would be chaotic in the wake of Atlanta. “I don't think it will be any different than it's ever been,” he said. “I see it to be the same old wild and crazy Bristol.”
Edwards is a two-time winner at Bristol. His average finish there is 14.1. He is 20th in points, and although it is early in the season, he needs to start heading north if he is going to avoid missing the Chase.
Keselowski will be making his first start at Bristol, though he has won a race and a pole there in Nationwide cars. He is 33rd in driver points, so if he sinks three more spots Sunday, he will need to qualify for the Martinsville race next weekend on time.