Thank You Carl Edwards: Fantastic Finish at AMS Averted!

Tim Arcand@@TArcandCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2010

ATLANTA - MARCH 05:  Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Scotts Ford, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 5, 2010 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo by Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tom Whitmore/Getty Images

What was shaping up to be a fender to fender finish between Kurt Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya at Atlanta Motor Speedway was not to be.

With three laps remaining, Busch held a 0.5 second lead on Montoya, who was eclipsing about 0.2 seconds per lap. There was just enough time for Montoya to catch Busch and possibly capture the win at the Kobalt Tools 500.

That is until Carl Edwards felt the time was ripe for payback.

With Brad Keselowski running in the Top-5, Edwards intentionally wrecked the No. 12 Dodge sending it air born, crushing the top of the car before landing on its wheels.

Rewind to lap 40: Keselowski and Edwards bump, causing Edwards to go up the track and make contact with Joey Logano, essentially ending any chance of victory for either the No. 99 Ford of Edwards' or the No. 20 Toyota of Logano.

While his crew was working to get the No. 99 back on the track, Edwards, seeing the replay, commented that it didn't appear to be as much of Keselowski's fault as he thought.

At the time it seemed pretty open—minded of Edwards. Certainly no hint of what was to transpire later in the race.

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On lap 322 Edwards went out of his way to make contact with Keselowski, but missed him.

A lap later he turned his No. 99 Ford up into the rear of the No. 12 Dodge, ending the day for Keselowski, resulting in a very disappointing 36th place finish.

If Busch had failed to hang on for the win, Edwards would have ruined the day for two of the Penske Dodges.

NASCAR parked the No. 99 and called Edwards to the hauler before the conclusion of the race. There will be some sanctions forthcoming. Loss of owner's points and probably a four to six race probation for Edwards will be the result.

It should be more severe than that.

NASCAR should suspend Carl Edwards for 30 days. No racing, no practicing, no testing period!

Consider it a paternity leave.

This will send a message that this type of behavior cannot be tolerated.

The rule changes this season were to allow the drivers to settle it on the race track. But when their actions take its toll on innocent drivers and potentially affects the outcome of races, something needs to be done.

As is usually the case with late race cautions there was another at the restart on lap 332, with about a dozen drivers involved that were running in the Top-15.

Instead of a nail—biter of a finish and a potential victory for Montoya, the race ended with two Green, White Checkered attempts and ruined the day for many drivers including Clint Bowyer who was leading the restart.

Besides, I had Keselowski as one of my fantasy picks, and the 36th place finished ruined my total for the race.