Dustin Long

This blog ended in November 2011 but will remain available as an archive.

So what would you do to Carl Edwards for wrecking Brad Keselowski?

Let's just cut to the chase on what happened between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski (it's an off weekend coming up, so there will be time to discuss other issues from this race).


What to do with Carl Edwards? That's the question everyone is asking after NASCAR officials met with Carl Edwards after the race. No decision is expected on any possible penalties until Tuesday. Keselowski wants NASCAR to suspend Edwards for a race for his actions.


Before declaring what NASCAR might do, let's take a look at something Edwards said the media (he spoke briefly after being parked by NASCAR but declined further comment after meeting with series officials).


"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,'' he said. "I wish it wouldn't have gone like it did, but I'm glad he's OK and we'll just go on and race some more and maybe hime and I won't get in anymore incidents together.''


Just because someone didn't mean for something really bad to happen doesn't absolve them from being penalized. Now, there's no doubt Carl was frustrated with his earlier contact with Keselowski. Who wouldn't? Again, he had more than 100 laps to calm down before getting back out on the track. Because safety could have been compromised, it wouldn't be surprising to see NASCAR come down hard on Edwards.


Another issue is that this happened at a 1.5-mile speedway where the speeds are so fast. In the past, guys might mess with each other -- i.e. make it hard to be passed -- but direct wrecking of people wasn't something they did too often. They knew the dangers at these speeds and how someone could get hurt. You wanted to get back at people, you saved it for another time when the speeds were slower (such as Bristol or Martinsville) and then you put them in the wall. Not at Atlanta where the qualifying speed of 192.7 was the fastest lap the COT has run in its short history.


However, drivers are getting the sense they can act wildly at the 1.5-mile speedways after NASCAR did little to penalize Denny Hamlin for wrecking Keselowksi at Homestead last year -- a week after Hamlin vowed he would do so -- and when Juan Pablo Montoya wrecked Tony Stewart in retaliation for an incident earlier in the Cup race there last year.


These are signs that point to some sort of NASCAR penalty other than parking Edwards on Sunday at Atlanta.


So will NASCAR suspend Edwards? In a way, maybe, but not how you would expect.


Don't be surprised if Edwards is indeed racing at Bristol in two weeks. 


What NASCAR could do is penalize Edwards about 100-150 points. Edwards scored only 46 on Sunday. So, by doing that it would leave Edwards with either -54 points or -104 points out of Atlanta. Essentially, he would have been suspended for this race since he would be coming out with negative points. Penalize Edwards 100 points and he falls from 20th in the points to 29th. Penalize him 150 points and he falls from 20th to 33rd in the points. He could still make the Chase but certainly it would make it difficult.


Also, with a heavy point penalty, then NASCAR could fine Edwards $50,000 or more and place him probation through the end of the season. 


Think about this. By doing this and allowing Edwards to race at Bristol (and then to Martinsville), then NASCAR, in a way, can give Keselowski a chance to get back understanding in the world of racers certain paybacks are owed. By doing that, ,NASCAR could retain its Have at it boys motto.


It will be intereting to see what NASCAR does. This is one possiblity.


So, what would you do if you were NASCAR?

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Edwards / Keselowski / and the COT

I think NASCAR got what they asked for...and then some.

Dustin, I think you answered the question when you wrote that NASCAR didn't penalize Hamlin or Montoya last year, even before the "Have at it boys.." by NASCAR.

It's kind of like telling my kids it's OK to defend themselves against bullies but then grounding them when they do.

NASCAR can't legitimately penalize Edwards at all and still maintain the "Have at it boys" lifestyle. It's one or the other ... not both.

We wouldn't be having this conversation if Brad's car would have just spun to the grass as the cars did in those other 2 1.5 mile track paybacks.

Something about that wing and another car near a spinning car is causing lift on those cars.

Hopefully NASCAR will take all of this into consideration before comprimising the integrity of what they've tried to do by letting the drivers have more leeway in these ontrack skirmishes.

Park Him

If the 12 car had just spun in the grass as has already been mentioned this wouldn't be a big deal. But the 12 car didn't just spin in the grass. This is a big deal someone could have been seriously hurt or killed in the stands. He should have to pay for the 12 car and watch Bristol from home.

If I were the NASCAR official who could make the decision...

I would park Carl Edwards for Bristol, take 500 points from him and fine him $500,000. I would make it all but certain he would not be able to make the chase. Carl fails to take responsibility for his own actions. The early crash that took his car out at Atlanta was not caused by Brad Kaselowski, it was caused by Carl Edwards and his failure to heed his spotter.....or by his spotter who failed to tell Carl that Brad was on his inside. Either way, it wsa not Brad's fault. Brad is an easy target because so many people whine about his aggressive driving style. Carl has caused crashes throughout his career and has been able to weazel out of consequences with his 'aw shucks' demeanor. That demeanor is obviously a lie. Today, I lost all respect for Carl Edwards. What a sad loss for me.


Carl Edward

NASCAR needs to put Carl Edwards out a few races, maybe the car needs to stay out a few races, that way maybe the owner will take the time to corral his driver. That was totally uncalled for. For someone to take revenge on what happened a year ago is very dangerous. Park him, fine him, and take poins.

NO fine

no penalty
let 'em race
they asked for it they got it

At Dover, yes, Atlanta or Charlotte, no.

Let 'em bang it out at Dover or Martinsville but at Atlanta or Charlotte, are you kidding? This only satisfies those who want to see blood, any blood!

Carl Edwards

They should thank him. Publicity, controversy, feuds.....Just what NASCAR needs for sagging ratings.

As for Keslowski, he had it coming.

Park him

I believe both drivers should have learned a lesson. Brad will be a more respectful driver (give and take), and Carl will learn to control/channel his anger (i.e., take revenge at the short tracks). I'm particularly disturbed by Carl. Do you recall him driving off pit road (at Dover, I believe, several years ago) and driving straight into Junior's door panel with Junior's hand hanging out during a caution lap? Pretty savage. I also recall him pulling back on his sucker punch to his TEAMMATE, Matt Kenseth a couple of years ago -- that altercation after the race was caught on tape. As for yesterday's intentional wreck, Carl tried to get him once (a la the Junior incident) and should have been black-flagged. Had Keselowski's car gone into the grandstands and killed spectators, NASCAR would be shut down. Wrecking someone intentionally at 192 mph is borderline criminal. I have lost all respect for Carl Edwards, which wasn't much to begin with. Park him at Bristol.


Just one of them racin’ deals.

NASCAR should stay out of it. The two of ‘em can meet behind the motor coaches and settle it between themselves. Keselowski teaching Edwards a lesson.

And when?

And when a car gets spun and flies into the grandstands killing several and injuring many, who gets taught a lesson? Speeds over 150 MPH make things happen differently.


Try a l’il more than 150.

The car didn’t get in the catch fence. Had it not gone over none of the scribes would have much to say about it but that’s how it works, hype it up. The scribes influence so many of the fans who think little for themselves. Kindah like the LA Glamour chicky-babe that looks like Eddie Munster when the make up ain’t on.

Keselowski needs to learn wrecking folks works both ways. Others more talented than him have grown weary of his over-bite saying he was holding his line. I blame Hamlin for not tearing one of Junior’s, read Hendrick’s, cars up in Homestead.

150 Points = 1 Race

I agree with Dustin, take points away and fine Carl. 150 points is about equal to one race, so the result is the same as sitting out one race. Of course, NASCAR could sit Carl out one race and only take a minimal in points and acheive the same result.

Brad may have had it coming, but not for the incident in yesterday's race. The whole situation reminds me of Ricky Rudd and Jeff Gordon, in Jeff's first year in Cup. Jeff hit Ricky several times, trying to get by. Jeff finally got past, and then Ricky ran into the back of Jeff's car, causing him to spin. Ricky got a $10,000 fine, but Jeff got taught a good lesson - respect for the other drivers. Rumor has it that the other Cup drivers chipped in on the fine:-)

Carl also needs to learn how to wreck someone better. For one thing, don't wear white gloves. What he should have done is wiggle the car a little to make it look like he was out of control, then hit Brad. "Sorry man, I couldn't hold it down".

Back to what NASCAR should do. On one hand, they should only look at the contact and give Carl the same penalty they would have if Brad had just spun through the grass. On the other hand, maybe they need to set a


Below is a comment I posted in another article before I got to this one:

"One thing is for sure - when those guys race, there is going to be contact and tempers are going to flare. People are going to want revenge. It seems to me that every case should be taken own its own merits and dealt with accordingly. The seriousness of the action considered. As Dustin said, there would have been no life threatening result on a short track but, hey, you cannot do that sort of thing at 190 mph without a real risk to life.
An example should be made of Edwards. Sitting out one race is not enough. Two races and a 1,000,000 dollar fine might be appropriate. A slap on the wrist is not going to change anything. Hamlin should get a retroactive penalty! He lacks good sense."

Also, why not use flaps, like roof flaps, for the top surface of that dangerous rear wing? Such that when in forward motion, it would be held down but, when in reverse motion, it would deploy up and have no air resistance. Well, it will soon be gone anyway.

Carl Edwards

Suspend him for 2 races, probation for the remainder of the year, attend anger management classes and fine him the replacement cost of the car he wrecked intentionally. A $50,000 fine is chump change for a jerk like Carl. Putting him out of a race car for 2 weeks will hurt his ego..also drug test him every week for the rest of the season. His behavior sounds like roid rage or unmedicated severe bipolar. Either way, he is dangerous and needs to be reined it before he cripples or kills another driver.

Suspended bust

Given what Nascar put out earlier this season with regards to allowing the drivers to regulate themselves, they are in a poor position to issue penalties with immediate effect. They can't justly punish someone on the spot and clarify their policy after the fact. As such, they should tell Edwards that if he gets black flagged for aggresive driving again this season he'll lose 100 points and cash. Anything else is punishing Edwards for doing what Nascar encouraged and for the sport fielding a car that comes off the ground.

ultimate fighting cage match nascar

As soon as it was reported that Nascar was encouraging--yes, encouraging--violent retaliation by drivers, both on the track and in the garage area, even a novice could see where the whole ill-advised and sordid affair was heading. It was a desperate attempt by Nascar to regain a half of a point of its lost TV ratings share of previous years. It was bad advice then, and it's bad advice now. Last week, Brute O Smith, of Charlotte Motor Speedway says he'd love to see Jimmy Johnson "slap somebody" to really get fans interested in racing. What kind of ignorant statement is that from someone of ol Brute's stature. I think he should be slapped for taking the low road. As for Nascar and Edwards, well, Mike Helton said drivers should take the gloves off and get rough and tough, and now they are. Nascar created this situation, so now they should shut up and stop trying to cover their tracks on the issue. As per Johnson ever slapping somebody, I don't think he wants to embarass his sponors or himself, so I hope no one ever gets slapped, except Brute O. Smith for putting ticket sales ahead of the integrity of the sport.

Both Should Be Fined

I am all for a little bit of rough racing but even I was angry when I saw Carl do what he did to Brad. But at the same time I know that most of you can agree with me that Brad is also a very crappy driver with no regard or remorse for others. In the beginning of the race he cut off Edwards - yes he cut him off, look at the tape - and he refused to accept responsibility for what he did. Not to mention he has no respect from the other drivers because of his driving style. I believe that Edwards should be fined for what he did and also take anger management but that should be it. He almost killed brad. But also Brad should be completely removed from NASCAR. He has almost killed so many people and he doesnt care. Brad started this fight and it looks like Carl Finished it. I hope NASCAR fines edwards fairly but also takes a very good and hard look at punishing Brad for all that he has done to give this great sport a bad name.

Common sense

What penalty did Carl receive by being parked? He was already as far back as he could go. No penalty. Now Mr Jones decided to stop at a bar after work to have a few drinks to unwind. He doesn’t realize that he is setting in motion the events a few hours later. In the meantime, Mr Smith and his family are coming home from vacation. They are glad to be almost home. They stop for dinner, and go on their way. Mr Jones has finished his few (6) drinks and is feeling no pain. Unfortunately the Smith car and Jones car meet at a red light which Mr Jones runs. The two cars wreck violently killing Mr Smith and his family. Mr Jones survives. What should his penalty be? He didn’t intend to kill four pelple, but he DID. He set this event into action when he drank too much to drive safely. Carl on the other hand with premeditation stalked Brad waiting for the chance to wreck him. He couldn’t know how big the wreck would be but he WRECKED him nevertheless. He had hours to get over his rage…to calm down…but he was simply out of control. We don’t need malicious drivers in Nascar. There is too much at stake. If Carl can’t control his anger, he must be taught to. This is not his first ac

Cry Babies

Stop crying, and just face it. Carl is better driver than Brad. Brad tried to spin Carl out because he took the lead, but Carl recovered, When Carl was going to take the lead again, Brad tried to block. but Carl drove around him and won the race. Brad is a dirty driver. If Carl spun out would everyone be crying. Everyone hates a winner. KEEP ON RACING HARD, CARL!!!

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