Message From NASCAR Must Be Loud : And Clear

Brian west@@brian3daleCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2010

ATLANTA - MARCH 06:  Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Scotts Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 6, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)
John Harrelson/Getty Images

 Judgement day for Carl Edwards.

 Today's decision from NASCAR, will set the tone for the rest of the season.

 It will let everybody involved, from the owners, their sponsors, the drivers, the crews, right on down to us ticket buying fans, what the intentions of the "Have-at-it" rule was meant to provide.

 We've all heard, and read, that it's goal was to allow for more aggressive driving at certain tracks.

 Read Daytona and Talladega and bump drafting.

 The decision to "allow drivers to police themselves", in my humble opinion, doesn't give drivers the 'right' to wreck someone, if said wrecked driver had wronged another.

 This isn't about Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski.

 What I witnessed on Sunday, with 2, count 'em, TWO laps remaining, was without a doubt, and admitted to, "Done Deliberate".

 When a driver intentionally 'hooks' another car at over 190 MPH, the outcome isn't going to be good.

 Whether or not the car got airbourne doesn't matter. NASCAR should be rubbing their lucky Rabbit's Foot, nobody got injured.

 This is auto racing, wrecks happen, drivers accept that risk everytime they strap in to their racecars.

 Having your focus disrupted by suddenly going sideways, then backwards, then upside down into a wall, is a reality most drivers won't ever go through.

 It's scary enough to witness on television. let alone try and comprehend it while going over 190 MPH.

 I, personally have never been upside down in anything I've raced, but I always was aware it could happen. I raced my fellow competitors clean, and as many NSCS drivers have been quoted, it's all about respect.

 Race me clean, and I'll do the same.

 This issue isn't about a last lap bump-and-run to win a race, this is about a driver re-entering a place of competition with intentions of malice.

 Robin Pemberton, as Director of Competition, has quite a tough decision to make. He will use all his resources to help NASCAR decide the fate of one driver.

 Ultimately it will decide the fate of all drivers.

 It's a shame that an incident such as Sunday's, or the last lap of the 2009 race at Talledaga, or losing Dale in 2001, thrust NASCAR into the spotlight.

 It just seems to me that the 'outside world', those who wouldn't normally tune in a Cup race, only see the bad side of our beloved sport.

 Today's decision has to be one we can all live with. It also has to be presented with some sound reasoning behind it.

 I hope NASCAR doesn't drop the proverbial ball, and as Kyle Petty put it on Sunday, they decide to show some.

 Auto racing in general is a great sport, NASCAR has brought it to world-wide attention over the years, and today's decision will be one of it's defining moments.