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Edwards Put on Probation

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, March 9 2010
Mike Helton talked about Carl Edwards today. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Mike Helton talked about Carl Edwards today. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

NASCAR president Mike Helton said Tuesday that Carl Edwards will not be suspended for the on-track incident involving Brad Keselowski during Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Helton said Edwards will be put on probation for the next three races.

“We take what Carl did as serious and are reacting to it accordingly,” Helton said.

In that incident, Edwards steered into Keslowski’s car as the race neared its finish. Keselowski’s car went airborne and landed on its roof.

He was uninjured.

Afterward, Edwards indicated that the hit was intentional and that it was in retribution for past skirmishes between the two Sprint Cup drivers, including one early in the race which wrecked Edwards’ car and put him 100 laps off the pace.

Edwards was parked by NASCAR immediately after the wreck. He was then called to the NASCAR hauler at AMS.

“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 of the hauler chat. “We believe the driver of the 99 (Edwards) understands our position at this point.”

Helton said that NASCAR officials met with the owners of both cars – Jack Roush and Roger Penske – this week and decided probation was the appropriate response. Helton said that another meeting between NASCAR officials, the drivers and the owners involved will meet again “to get this matter resolved between the two drivers. Clean the slate, if you will, so they can both go back to some hard, competitive, side-by-side racing that is NASCAR.”

Helton called the most serious part of the incident was the fact that Keselowski’s car went airborne. He called that “a very serious issue”.

“It’s important for all of us to step back and separate the issue of what happened with the 99 and the 12 (Keselowski) on the race track and the fact that the 12 car went airborne,” Helton said. “We had not seen a car get airborne much on a mile and a half race track and that’s something that is very important to us and we’re going to study very closely and figure out things we can do to help prevent this very quickly and in the future. This is a very important element of all this.”

In January of this year, NASCAR announced a policy of allowing drivers to mix it up more on the tracks. The policy has since become known as, “Have at it, boys”.

Helton said Tuesday that that did not mean all is considered acceptable during races.

“There is a line you can cross and we will step in to maintain law and order when we think that line has been line has been crossed,” he said.

Asked if he could define where that line is and how exactly it is crossed, Helton said, “I think we see it when we see it.”

Stepping in in this case, Helton said, was parking Edwards after the incident and then, putting him on probation for races at Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.

(This story will be updated shortly)

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, March 9 2010
10 Comments

10 Comments »

  • ANM says:

    More or less as expected. Things never are firmly confronted until the cost paid is high enough.

  • Bruce says:

    i think it was just flat out low down sh-t as- racing sore looser!

  • Lazydawg says:

    Helton completely missed his only opportunity to stop this madness in its tracks. What he is saying in effect is that Brad can come back and dump cousin Karl ( and lets not forget folks he knows how it’s done) and Mike Helton cant levey more than a 3 race probation for Brad am I correct ? The general opinion on everyones mind was a one race minimum sit-out…and yes Rousch needs to cut Penske a check for the value of the car. If I was Roger Id offer Brad some bonus money for Bristol to make direct contact with the 99 junkride. Carl is on his way out of the sport because he cant fake anymore nice guy interviews. He’s as phoney as they come…he’ll be done in Sprint sooner than you think..he has an 8th grade mentality.

  • Marc says:

    NBF, no points penalty?

    Guess you missed the 100 plus points lost when the #99 was parked. You’re entitled to disagree with the final penalty but not entitled to ignoring the facts.

    A Southern Boy – “I totally agree with you NBF, The point here is NASCAR and NASCAR president Mike Helton are more worried about ratings than safety.”

    Yeah ’cause that whole CoT thing causing hundreds of millions of dollars to NASCAR and its race teams had everything to doi with TV ratings and not safety…. Oh, wait, that’s not correct is it?

    Leon “I really think that Mike Helton and NASCAR did not go far enough in establishing the penalty for blatantly wrecking and possibly causing injury to either the driver or the fans.”

    What would you suggest?

    How in the hell can you predict with any accuracy what would be penalized – and how stiffly – and what wouldn’t be?

    I would suggest that’s an impossible task.

    • Joe says:

      i think the correct total on the points lost is 3 – just one position at the bottom of the finishing order.

  • Leon says:

    I really think that Mike Helton and NASCAR did not go far enough in establishing the penalty for blatantly wrecking and possibly causing injury to either the driver or the fans. Edward’s actions could have resulted in death or injury and that is totally unacceptable!

    There is a fine line between letting race car drivers be race car drivers and allowing actions that could cause grave bodily harm to happen! That line was crossed by Edwards and the punishment was extremely light! NASCAR needs to re-examine their decision, the penalty was merely a slap on the hands for Edwards!!

    Would the same penalty be given out to somebody else, say a Vickers, or a Casey Mears, etc., or would it have been more severe???

    • joker says:

      if that would have been any other driver besides rouch,rcr,hendricks,are a driver that didn’t make the feild every week they would not have stood a chance.they would have been suspended and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars.that goes to show ,teams with cash and well known drivers get the slap on the risk.i did’t think edwards was that kind of driver.i lost all respect for him as a driver.ithink a lot of race fans did too.and they called kyle bush the bad guy better refocus on who’s who.pretty faces don’t always glitter……

  • A Southern Boy says:

    I agree with you, NBF 100%

  • A Southern Boy says:

    I totally agree with you NBF, The point here is NASCAR and NASCAR president Mike Helton are more worried about ratings than safety.
    Just remember that Carl is one of the GOOD guys so they think.
    I guess if you have no regard for other drivers and the fans it’s Good for NASCAR. Ok, Mr Helton, the word is out, if I do not Jimmy Johnson winning all the races and another championship, well let’s just take him out… It is now OPEN SEASON on your least favorite driver. I live in Martinsville and I WILL NOT attend a NASCAR race, NASCAR shows that is doesn’t care about the safety of the drivers and fans.

  • NBF says:

    I guess nascar the sport is in such bad shape sponsor wise that nascar the organization is scared to do the right thing and punish a driver properly when that driver crosses the line, and carl surely crossed that line sunday. No fine or points penalty for for being 150+ laps down and coming back out and intentionally causing a wreck that could have killed not only the driver but fans in the stands.
    and for carl to see the replay of the first incident and say it was not Brads fault then come back out and nearly kill him says a lot about the kind of person carl edwards is.