Edwards Placed On Three Race Probation
Carl Edwards received a three race probation as his punishment for the intentional wreck he caused at the Kobalt Tools 500 last Sunday. The probation will cover the races at the Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, and Phoenix International Raceway. This decision comes after NASCAR’s statement back in January about wanting to loosen the grip they had on the drivers by letting them police themselves.
"We’re promoting typical NASCAR driving, side-by-side racing with our type of race cars; and that’s what we talked about back in January," Helton said "A lot of that came from the conversation of NASCAR taking stock of its rules and regulations to back away from the grip we may have on drivers that caused the driver to pull up to a car and say, ’Well, I think I can get around him, but maybe I can’t. And if I hit him, I don’t want to pay the price for what that costs.’
"So we were telling the drivers and telling the public that we told the drivers that we were going to back off on that grip we had. But there is a line you can cross. When you cross that line in our opinion, we’re going to get involved with you."
Although some claim that this punishment is just what the racing doctor ordered, others say that Edwards got off too easy and should have further consequences to his actions. Drivers such as Carl Long, Robby Gordon, and Kevin Harwick, who have had their share of infractions with NASCAR state they feel NASCAR was too easy on Edwards.
Want to know what some NASCAR drivers think of the decision? Follow the jump for their comments plus the full story.
"Just heard the news," came a tweet from Robby Gordon, who has felt the heavier side of NASCAR justice. "I wonder what would have happened to me in that situation. Hmmm, someone playing favorites?"
"I’m thinking about asking for a refund for all my penalties," wrote Sprint Cup points leader Kevin Harvick.
NASCAR president Mike Helton defended NASCAR’s decision by stating that this issue would be best resolved between the two drivers themselves. In fact, NASCAR will be arranging a meeting with Edwards, Keselowski, team owners Jack Roush and Roger Penske, and NASCAR officials.
"We want to get this matter resolved between the two drivers, clean the slate, if you will, so that they can both go back to some hard, competitive, side-by-side racing that is NASCAR," Helton said. "We’re working on that schedule, but certainly it wouldn’t be later than the Saturday or Sunday in Bristol.
"It’s more of an open dialogue among the two drivers to discuss the issues they might have with each other and reach a resolve that way. It’s not as much as us lecturing or mentoring at this point as it is for the two drivers to talk it out and the owners listening to the conversation and their input’s important.
"There has obviously been an evolution of a relationship between these two drivers, and that’s why in the conversation with Roger Penske, he asked ... his biggest concern was being sure that this was all said and done and it was over with.”
"But if there’s a rivalry that goes on while racing, then they need to figure out how to manage that before we get more involved in it."
Well, we do hope that this will end the rivalry between Edwards and Keselowski, however, we must wonder what Edwards’ actions plus NASCAR’s punishment will mean for NASCAR drivers as a whole. Will this create a new philosophy of taking revenge on the track? Will more lives be put in danger at the hands of testosterone and horsepower? We can only wait and see and hope that the drivers will think first before letting their white gloved hands steer them in the wrong direction.