Sunday at Atlanta, Carl Edwards bumped Brad Keselowski. The end result was Brad’s #12 Penske car flipped end over end. At the beginning of the season NASCAR told drivers they would let them sort out their differences. But people asked after the race is this different because of the severity of the wreck? Carl admitted he took Brad out but denied he wanted to make his car flip.
Everyone watching the race could see even the previous lap Carl made an attempt.
Race car drivers, whether NASCAR Sprint Cup or at the local short track, have a different attitude than the general public do. On the track adrenaline is coming out their ears. Then when another driver bumps into them sending them into the wall or another car ruining their race all they can think about is payback. That was what Carl Edwards was thinking about after being taken out by Brad Keselowski early in the race. He returned 153 laps down. What else was there to do?
This depends on the person. There are some that would never do this. Mark Martin has been racing in NASCAR for over 25 years but when is the last time he took out another driver who took him out? I myself can say regardless of what was done to me I never used my race car to take them out. Because I worked on my own cars. Paid the expenses. Begged for sponsorship money. Today many of these drivers have never tightened a bolt on these cars. They will thank “The guys in the shop” but then cause hours or days of work for them just to get a little revenge. Plus add thousands of dollars of expenses to their owners. There are better ways of getting back at other drivers. (Email me privately for what works!) And anyone who has driven for me will attest that if there was an incident on the track, I immediatly was on the radio calming them down.
Having said that, I do not put a lot of fault in Carl’s actions. NASCAR also felt that way. They suspended him for a mere three races. NASCAR was in a hard place. After saying the drivers could handle things themselves, if they imposed a hefty fine and took away a hundred points, then they went back on their word. I do not believe Carl inteneded to get Brad’s car airborne. This was caused most likely by the stupid rear wing and aerodynamics of the car when it was backwards. It will be fixed in a couple of weeks when NASCAR replaces the wing with the spoiler. So that is in part NASCAR’s fault for not making the change earlier. Carl did not know that what happen because NASCAR did not know. NASCAR looked at Brad’s car after the race and will be testing another car to see why it got airborne.
There are other drivers who either publicly or privately have stated they agree with Carl’s actions. Many have said Brad had it coming from his driving style. Indeed last year Denny Hamlin took out Keselowski at the Nationwide race at Homestead last year. Payback for an earlier incident. So while Carl Edwards is on probation, we might yet see another driver involved with Brad. Then again we will have to see if NASCAR lets the drivers sort it out themselves. Keep watching!