(photo courtesy Joe Sebo/AP)
“HAVE AT IT BOYS!”
That is what NASCAR told the drivers before the start of the 2010 season. That was their plan anyway.
Fast forward to Atlanta on Sunday when the driver of the Roush-Fenway #99 Scott’s Ford, Carl Edwards, got into the action. After an on track accident, early in the race, that involved Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, and Joey Logano, that put Edwards in the garage for about 150 laps for repairs to his race car. However, once Edwards returned to the race track it did not take him long to find Keselowski and extract his retribution!
In fact it only took Edwards three tries as he tailed Keselowski through turns 3 and 4 to loosen him up and set the Penske #12 Dodge spinning. Unfortunately for Keselowski, as the back end of the car spun around it lifted off of the race track and grabbed some “big air”! The roof flaps did their job, slammed the car back to the ground, however not before the car had gotten inverted, and simultaneously, the roof met the outside retaining wall in a very violent crash!
NASCAR immediately parked the #99 car for the remainder of the race and requested his presence in “the big red trailor” for a meeting after the culmination of the race!
The announcement today is that Carl Edwards will be on probation for three races because of his actions!
“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.
What are your thoughts regarding Carl Edward’s actions Sunday at the Kobalt Tools 500? Is a three race probation punishment that fits the crime? What if their were injuries to the driver or the spectators, is the punishment fitting? What do you think?
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!