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NASCAR Puts Carl Edwards on Probation; No Suspension, No Fine

Mar 9, 2010 – 12:17 PM
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Holly Cain

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Despite many calls for a swift and harsh penalty, NASCAR has decided against suspending driver Carl Edwards for an aggressive, retaliatory move in Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Calling the incident "unacceptable" NASCAR President Mike Helton announced Tuesday that the sanctioning body would not fine Edwards or penalize him any championship points, but instead place him on a three-race probation for Sunday's frightening collision with Brad Keselowski and suggested Edwards and Keselowski need to sit down and "clear the slate."

"There is a line. ... and we'll step in to maintain law and order when we think that line has been crossed,'' Helton said. "There is a balance of wanting to do the right thing. ... wanting the teams to race but us needing to maintain law and order too.''

Edwards, more than 100 laps down to the race leaders Sunday, crashed into sixth-place running Keselowski, sending Keselowski's Dodge airborne and crashing hard on its roof along the front stretch grandstands. And the fact that Keselowski's car got airborne on a 1.5-mile track was an even bigger issue in all this, according to Helton.

Edwards has repeatedly said he was glad Keselowski wasn't injured and that he never intended the car to flip into the air. But, he has also maintained that it was absolutely his intent to settle a score with the young driver. Earlier in the race, the two collided and while Keselowski was able to continue racing, Edwards car suffered a lot of damage which was why he was so far off the pace.

Their more famous run-in, however, occured at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in April when Keselowski's car made contact with then race leader Edwards, sending Edwards Ford airborne into the front stretch retaining fence. Debris from the accident injured seven fans. Keselowski went on to win his first -- and only -- Sprint Cup race.
Filed under: Sports