No Suspension for Carl Edwards: NASCAR Slap on the Wrist More Appropriate

David YeazellSenior Analyst IMarch 9, 2010

At 12:30 Eastern time, NASCAR President Mike Helton took to the airwaves to deliver what racing fans around the country have been waiting to hear.

The situation began unfolding on lap 40 of the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and came full circle when Edwards used the right front bumper of his car to send Brad Keselowski flying into the turn one catch fence.

Helton made it clear in his short speech that NASCAR will not tolerate this kind of behavior at any level.

While speculation and the the build up to this announcement has been monumental, the delivery of the penalty was short and to the point.

“Carl will be put on probation for the next three NASCAR events, and we're sure he understands what that means.”

The penalty assessed is sure to send a very clear message throughout the NASCAR community.

If retaliation is on a driver's mind, as of this situation, three-race probation is in their future.

The debate now will be if the penalty fits the crime and will any situation of this magnitude be handled the same way in the future.

In the late evening after the race, Edwards posted his version of the situation on the popular web site Facebook.

In the final statement of that posting, Edwards said every person has to decide what code they want to live by, and hopefully this explains mine."

NASCAR made it clear what code they govern by. Helton said they take what Carl did seriously and have reacted appropriately.  

Earlier in the year, Keselowski stated he thought Edwards was one of the toughest drivers in the garage, but, with a 3,500-pound race car, he could kick some ass.

Keselowski was already making good on that statement long before he made it.

Helton said there will be more meetings between the driver of the No. 99 and the No. 12 and their car owners. He feels the input of Roger Penske and Jack Roush will be very important to this situation.

These meetings are expected to take place before the Bristol race.

Each driver in the garage will have their opinion about this situation and about the outcome. Its doubtful today’s teleconference is the last we will hear of this.

Helton also made it clear that NASCAR’s have at it statement was promoting typical NASCAR driving with side-by-side racing in our type of race cars.

"We were telling the drivers were going to back off on that grip we had, but, there is a line you can cross and when you cross that line, in our opinion, were going to get involved with you."