The Frontstretch: Fact or Fiction: Was Carl Edwards In The Wrong On Saturday Night? by Mike Lovecchio -- Monday July 19, 2010

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Rivalries are great for the sport, but is it too far to intentionally cause a wreck on the middle of a straightaway?

Carl Edwards crossed the line Saturday night with Brad Keselowski

I, like every single person tuned into Saturday night’s Nationwide Series event, had a relatively wide range of emotions as Carl Edwards battled Brad Keselowski before taking the checkered flag at the same time Keselowski was bouncing around like a pinball, driver after driver T-Boning him alongside the inside wall. They went in this order as the two took the white flag:

Here comes Keselowski, oh this is gonna be good… Yep, saw that coming, can Sorenson win????!!!! Never mind, Carl kept his foot in it… Keselowski wouldn’t hit him again, would he? Alright, they got through 3 and 4. Photo fin…..Carl turned him!!! Oh (expletive), I hope Brad’s OK… did Carl really just do that again?

And it went on from there. As we heard Edwards go on to admit in Victory Lane, he essentially turned his rival on purpose with no remorse, leaving us all hoping for a sound bite from the victim himself. But what we got was even juicier, dad Bob Keselowski saying that he won’t let Mr. Edwards “kill my boy.”


At that moment, the mood changed, and suddenly we were all reminded that while NASCAR’s “Have at it, boys” approach may make races more exciting and create new rivalries, there are people driving these cars. They are sons, fathers, and husbands. Bob Keselowski looked like a man who wasn’t just angry at Edwards, but even more so scared and concerned for his son.

This is exactly what NASCAR had hoped for (although like the Hamlin/Keselowski spat last Fall, I’m sure they wanted it in the Cup Series), but after the Atlanta incident earlier this season Edwards should have known this was a touchy rivalry. In Atlanta, Edwards’ retaliation far exceeded the initial contact from Keselowski that started the feud when he sent the No. 12 car into the fence at one of the sport’s fastest tracks. Again, this week at Gateway he took what was a common short track move in Turn 1 and responded by spinning Keselowski in front of traffic on a tight straightaway. That left his rival with no place to go, cars on both sides coming at him as he headed straight towards some vicious concrete.

Edwards said it was a shame that Keselowski couldn’t have raced him clean on that last lap, because he felt his rival had the car to beat regardless. But Edwards was the one who should have just kept his momentum on the outside line off of Turn 4 and seen if it was enough to nip the No. 22 at the stripe. Certainly, there are some that still feel Brad had it coming; I also understand the wreck is a product of two rivals racing hard not only for the win, but for points positioning as well (the gap between the two is now just 168). In the end, though, Edwards dumping Keselowski was much dirtier than what happened on the other end of the track in Turn 1. And after two ugly incidents, NASCAR simply has to interfere before this gets even more out of hand.

Monday on the Frontstretch:
Nationwide Series Breakdown: Missouri Illinois Dodge Dealers 250
Dale Junior And LeBron James: Big Decisions Equal Big Results?
NASCAR And YouTube: Fans Shouldn’t Be The Ones Filling The Gaps
Tracking The Trucks: 200

The Nationwide Series needs to limit the number of Cup drivers in the field

The Gateway, then ORP portion of the schedule is my favorite part of the series calendar because we get Nationwide racing the way it should be — a limited number of Cup drivers combined with a lot of young up-and-comers in the type of equipment that can help them make a name for themselves. It was refreshing to watch Justin Allgaier and Trevor Bayne swapping paint with other prospects like Josh Wise and Steve Arpin, ones who simply haven’t had the opportunity to run full-time in this division.

Those changes mean we saw more racing at Gateway than we have in ¾ of the Nationwide events this season, simply because everybody had something to race for. You had the four Cup guys up front going for the win – and in Keselowski and Edwards’ case, the championship – then, you had your Nationwide regulars fighting for points, and lastly, everybody else racing for respect and another opportunity to race under the bright lights in one of NASCAR’s premier series. We’ll see it again next weekend at ORP, although there will be slightly more Cup guys with the big show across town at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But heading to one of the series’ most competitive tracks, I guarantee next week you’ll see another excellent race all the way through the field. NASCAR is finally considering ways to limit Cup activity in the Nationwide Series, and to that I say… it’s about time. We need more competition like we saw Saturday night.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Racing to the Point: NASCAR Has Its Own Heartbreak Kid
Beyond the Cockpit: Brittany Force, the Fastest Force
Voices from the Cheap Seats: Advertising for Dummies
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Off Week-Richmond Edition
Couch Potato Tuesday: Picking The Best IndyCar On-Air Personalities


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Mitchell Key
07/19/2010 07:45 AM

Rubbing is racing and it makes the sport exciting but – this sport is not about killing your opponent and this act could be easily interpreted as exactly that. He went to far.

07/19/2010 08:36 AM

wasnt carl already on ‘probabtion’?..well if this isnt a probabtion violation…then i dont think we’ll ever will see one. (forgive me if carl is not on probation..i tend to ignore probabtion punishments since its a total joke anyway)..Carl will hear more and more boo’s..lose more fans..and if he doesnt win something soon on the Cup side…call it a career…Rousch fired Kurt Busch for much less than my opinion..and Kurt was a champion…i think Carl needs anger managment..much more than Stewart ever did !:)

07/19/2010 08:43 AM

Killer Karl should be parked for awhile. Blood will be on NASCAR’s hands if they don’t stop him.

07/19/2010 08:49 AM

carl seems to have no problem using his car as a weapon. seems like a pattern to me. he also doesn’t seem to be very smart when it comes to thinking ahead as evidenced by blocking on superspeedways, attempting passes by bouncing off the wall (“because it worked in the video game”) and turning people at completely inappropriate parts of the race track. if this were a short track even a rough and tumble one, he’d have been thrown out. i say HE’S DANGEROUS, throw him out a race or two, that way BK doesn’t have to wreck him to gain credibility. but then again.. “boy’s have at it” see ya’ in the wall cousin carnage.

Turn 2
07/19/2010 09:01 AM

Carl “ROID RAGE” Edwards should be BANNED from the Nationwide Series, lose the win at St. Louis and put on probation in the Cup series. How many hundreds of thousands dollars worth of equipment, from teams other than the 22, did he destroy? Too many small teams are paying the price for his stupidity. But I doubt NA$CAR will do anything other than fine him put him on probation. Like Dave Despain said “slap his hand with a wet tissue”
I like to see a little rubbin & bumpin but Carl’s actions have crossed the line. History has shown us he’s the kind that dishes it out but can’t take it in return. I think he has an anger management issue!

07/19/2010 09:23 AM

Brad’s father, a racer, (not a wannabe living his life through his sons racing like Logano’s father) summed it up the best.

07/19/2010 09:24 AM

Carl didn’t start the Atlanta incident, Brad started this at Talladega, an even faster track than Atlanta. They don’t call him Brad “Cause-a-wreck-ski” for nothing.

07/19/2010 09:33 AM

Carl was beaten, he knew it so he turned a faster car to get the win. question is why is it that Brad gives him a “rub” and all is well but when Carl tries to reciprocate he wrecks Brad? One answer, skill, Brad has more skill in his little finger than Carl will ever have. Remember this isn’t Carl’s first dust up, there are no less than 5 others he has had issues with.

07/19/2010 09:45 AM

To “Marshall”: “Brad started this at Talladega”?!?!?! Did you even SEE that race? Carl and Brad both knew the yellow-line rule and both knew what had happened the year before to poor Regan Smith. So Carl intentionally came down the track to block Brad, and Brad merely KEPT HIS LINE to avoid going below the line. result: Carl wrecked himself at Talladega. Let’s be clear that I am not a Bad Brad fan, but in both instances of Carl’s “Payback” (at Atlanta and again this weekend), Brad put an agressive move on Carl to advance his position, PERIOD. But in retaliation, Carl PURPSEFULLY WRECKED BRAD! There is no question that there is a big difference between the two drivers’ definition of “racing”.

07/19/2010 09:58 AM

personally, i think the little punk got what was comming to him. hes always trying to take out carl when he gets close to him. eventually he will get the message……..WAY TO GO CARL..!!!!!!!

07/19/2010 10:17 AM

Why couldn’t they race at the end like they raced each other earlier? If you want to win with the bumper you better be prepared to lose with the bumper. Brad Kesolouseski has the Dale Sr. mentality but not the intimidator factor.

07/19/2010 10:22 AM

Carl definitely wrecked Brad on purpose AGAIN! Then he even bragged about it on TV. When asked what happened, his response was “I did what had to be done.”

It is time for NASCAR to park Carl Edwards before someone is seriously injured or killed by him.

07/19/2010 10:32 AM

All of this controversy is exactly what Nascar is looking for. The bottom line is the Bottom Line. If this kind of performance translates into better ratings and more tickets sold, then I say expect more of the same.

07/19/2010 10:35 AM

My God!, What a bunch of cry babies!! Go watch tennis or something. If you mess with me, I promise, I WILL return the favor fourfold over!! Carl is the same way!! If you hit him he WILL hit back!! Dale Sr. made a career out it!! You don’t like it? Pick up your baby dolls and go home and hide behind Momma’s skirt!! Brad’s Dad needs to be very careful of what he says, Carl might turn him over his knee and spank him!! ROFLMAO!

07/19/2010 11:05 AM

There is a HUGE difference between bump and run and DUMP AND RUN.

Carl better be glad he is missing with Penske and Brad and not some of the other drivers out there. Try this with Smoke, Rowdy or Happy Harvick, who last night on Wind Tunnel said he would have went and hit Kissin Cousin Carl in the mouth. Which nascar would probably fine and suspend for.

This is no where like the HARD DRIVING of Dale, Cale, Tim and many of the early drivers of this sport. Like Curtis Turner or Lee Petty who would have took KCC behind the garage and beat the sh*t out of him.

Don Mei
07/19/2010 11:37 AM

I’ll bet JohnBoy60 has never raced anything beyond a Big Wheel. Sure doesnt know much about being on a race track. Edwards is a menace to the other drivers and to the sport.

07/19/2010 12:05 PM

Edwards is a weapon. When Earnhardt dumped Labonte, Wallace, and Waltrip, he dumped them to the outside wall, thing is with Edwards, don’t know about you guys, but I saw it right after Turn 1. He even set Brad up when he could have rode the momentum on the final turn.

By the way, Josh Wise finished Top 10 at Gateway in the Nationwide Series. Why is this important? Wise drove the #7 Go Daddy car. Drove a smart race and brought it home in one piece.

Don’t think he was at the ESPY’s.

07/19/2010 12:43 PM

When Earnhardt spun Labonte at Bristol the second time, off turn 2 so Labonte wouldn’t win the race (not like the first time, he did it in front of the whole field. Labonte never punted Earnhardt first. That was the way Earnhardt drove. Nobody complained then. What’s the difference? One driver spun another to win a race. Happens at Talladega too.

07/19/2010 12:45 PM

I don’t think Wise was on CSI New York either.

Ron Dailey
07/19/2010 01:03 PM

Get a real complaint. When Wormheart Sr. did the same thing everyone just said “That’s his style” Now someone else does it, and suddenly he’s endangering everyone. The cars are safer and better built now, the tracks are safer now, and the cars are going slower now than they used to. So what is the real issue here?

07/19/2010 01:20 PM

I felt really bad for Brad’s dad. Really tough situation. Dad has to take up for his son. That being said, Brad deserved just what he got. Why does Brad think he should get away with turning Carl if Carl can’t reciprocate. I personally think Brad is a BULLY! Never sorry for the stunts he pulls. Although not a Carl fan he usually will not intentionally take someone out unless it is payback.

Glad Brad wasn’t hurt but I bet it isn’t the last time we will see Brad try to start something and in the end comes out the loser.

Chris in TX
07/19/2010 01:32 PM

How many times does Edwards get to behave in a totally classless way, and not get any kind of repercussions for it? He crosses the line every time. As someone said above…huge difference between “Bump and Run” and “Dump and Run”. Not just with Keselowski. Edwards, after the end of a nationwide race, ran full speed off of pit road and hit Dale Jr. in the driver’s side door while Dale was on a cooldown lap. Ok…noone needs a history lesson, but seriously, Carl doesn’t have fans, he has character witnesses that have to constantly defend his actions.

Brad is a hard racer. He does not wreck people on purpose, but he doesn’t necessarily “play nice” or give-and-take either. I don’t really see a problem with that, although he’s not going to have many friends amongst his peers.

Carl is not a hard racer that doesn’t cut anyone slack. He’s primarily a danger to himself and those around him, overreacting to any perceived slights, regardless of the consequences. Of course, there haven’t really been any consequences for him.

Carl might be better off in a non-nascar-sanctioned series, like Indycar, where he won’t have to go all crazy on people bumping him. Except for Mario Moriaes and Marco Andretti…but hey, they never wreck anyone on purpose, and they usually take themselves out in the process.

07/19/2010 01:42 PM

You guys are such hypocrites. All you do is talk about the “golden days of Nascar” when racing was exciting and Dale Sr used to dominate the track, but as soon as Carl tries to actually race wussy Brad you claim that he is hurting the sport. I for one applaud Carl for doing everything he can to win a race. The only way it could have been better was if Danica had dumped Brad. Too bad she had to race in Indy this past weekend. She would have actually made the busch race something worth watching.

07/19/2010 01:46 PM

I don’t think “have at it boys” was intended to make it “if you can’t beat ‘em, wreck ‘em”.

Just this year alone, Carl Edwards flipped Junior on his roof in the Daytona NW race, flipped Brad on his roof at Atlanta (and then said he didn’t know cars could get upside down, when he had done the same thing with the same result 3 weeks earlier, albeit in a different series), ran Kurt Busch into the wall at Daytona then ran to his garage to confront him about that, and finally turned Brad head first into a wall to get a win that he decided was “rightfully” his. That is a lot of incidents in a short time. And to think this all started last year when Carl wrecked himself at Talladega the same way Kyle wrecked himself at Daytona off of Tony’s front bumper.

Obviously 3 weeks probation didn’t make him think enough about consequences to deliberate actions. I don’t know what NASCAR is going to do, but they need to do something before a driver or fan is either severely injured or killed.

07/19/2010 01:57 PM

If you ain’t first, you’re last!

07/19/2010 02:06 PM

What Carl did was racing. Brad is no angel and if he wants to rough up other drivers, he can’t go crying to Nascar when he’s given the same treatment. I don’t wish anyone harm but someone needs to start racing in this sport and stop the follow the leader mentality because you can’t get around that stinking COT.

Richard in N.C.
07/19/2010 02:31 PM

If nothing else, Brad sure proved Saturday that he has far better car control than Carl.

Carl D.
07/19/2010 03:20 PM

There’s a certain amount of racing contact that is accepted by other drivers and encouraged by the fans. Edwards crossed that line and, I think, has lost respect in the eyes of other drivers and many of the fans. Carl will reap what he has sown, and not just at the bumper of Brad Keselowski.

AnnieMack… it’s one thing to race agressively and quite another to intentionally wreck another driver in such a savage manner.

no Spin
07/19/2010 03:27 PM

The pink under wear is out in force. Alls fair in love and war and the last LAP, who hit who first on the last lap.

07/19/2010 04:20 PM

Crash-a-lotski got exactly what he deserved.

07/19/2010 06:47 PM

If no other cars had hit Brad, the wreck wouldn’t be looked upon so negatively.

07/19/2010 06:48 PM

After the last restart, Brad raced clean for a lap and wound up in 2nd place. On the money lap, he decided to use his bumper to take the lead – in front of the fans at Edwards’ home track. At that point, Carl could either take the insult from the kid and come in 2nd, or make a statement and take the win. Grudges and bent sheet metal are what sets stock car racing apart.

Chris Evans
07/19/2010 07:37 PM

Carl Edwards behavior just like at Atlanta was entirely reprehensible. Just because, ‘Dale Sr. made a career of it’ (which can be argued) doesn’t make it right.

I was furious at Dale Sr. when he took out Terry Labonte at Bristol in ’99.

Edwards though has really taken things to a new low with the two incidents this year.

Edwards could still have won the race without wrecking Keselowski. I think he still had the momentum to win or have a Craven/Busch type of finish to win.

I am no great fan of Keselowski but I can’t stand the stuff of purposely wrecking someone to win a race when you don’t have to or flipping someone over at Atlanta when you’re over 200 laps down and the other person is running in the top 10 to make a stupid little point.

I really think Edwards has some deep anger issues. Has everyone forgotten his weird fake punch of Kenseth at Martinsville? He really seems to be truly bipolar. With Kyle Busch you at least know he’s going to be mean and nasty the entire time but with Edwards you can get a smiling, happy go lucky guy one minute and then the next a raging, wrecking, hateful individual that just has to win a race in a lower series that really ,in the end, Edwards and Keselowski should not be racing in full time.

That’s one of the things that are wrong with this, drivers carrying grudges from the Nationwide to the Cup Series and vice versa.

Stock car racing despite all of its danger doesn’t have to be like the chariot race from ‘Ben Hur’. There can be good, hard racing without actually killing someone. I remember Edwards made a good, tough, bumping pass on Kyle Busch a few seasons ago at Bristol that made Busch angry but at least Busch still finished 2nd. He didn’t end the race in the infield care center. Edwards did not completely take him out. Now with Keselowski, Edwards feels the need to completely demolish him every time to make a point. Other drivers and fans should not be hurt in the name of their stupid little rivalry.

This ‘rivalry’ needs to be seriously addressed by NASCAR. I mean even after the legendary finish at Daytona in ’79 between Yarborough and Donnie Allison the two wrecked the next race at Richmond and the other drivers basically told them, “Look guys, you need to stop your stupid little rivalry before you catch one of us up in it and then you’ll have more drivers to deal with.” Something like that needs to be done before things spiral completely out of control. Because if this is what it is going to come to one might as well watch a demolition derby.

07/19/2010 08:16 PM

It’s pretty clear that Edwards is pathological bordering on sociopath…

Nascar won’t do anything, they need the ratings.

I like the Kevin Harvick approach: I’d just go down and punch the SOB in the nose.

To which I would add, at the very next race I’d hunt down Edwards and pull a Michael Waltrip on him: drive under his ass and push him down the straightaway and dump his ass into the first turn. then I drive right into the pits get out of the car and walk into the nascar hauler and await my “punishment.” I’d be laughing the entire time.

07/19/2010 09:09 PM

I would encourage everyone who agrees with me to send an email to both AFLAC and Copart like I did, telling them I will never consider buying their products and services as long as they are associated with Carl Edwards. What an idiot he is.

07/19/2010 10:16 PM

Read reviews of the TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway Sunday, and you will see Bad Brad blantantly dumped a guy in the last chance to make the feature. Fans booed, Drivers saluted him with one finger. Talking about patterns…..

07/19/2010 10:16 PM

I just sent my email to Copart and Aflac and stated Carl did a great job Sat. evening. Bucky-Brad deserved it! Another great win for Carl & Jack Roush.

Chris Evans
07/19/2010 11:12 PM

As Clint Eastwood’s character says in the classic ‘Unforgiven’, “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

Bad Wolf
07/19/2010 11:36 PM

I wonder what Nascar would do to Robby Gordon if he was on steroids and intentionally and with reckless abandon took out the lead car.

As for Dale Sr., he would take you out with finess and try not to wreck you, but sometimes stuff happens. With Carl it’s like driving a 10D nail with a sledgehammer. If it were up to me he would sit out the Brickyard 400.

07/20/2010 12:12 AM

I’m going to go a different track. There is a way to solve the current NNS with NSCS driver dominating the series. Make a simple rule. Any full time NSCS driver cannot compete for any team that also operates a full time NSCS team. That would put the Keso’s and Edwards into second level equipment and open seats in the top level equipment to develop drivers. This has been demonstrated as a success in the CWTS. Kyle Busch driving for BBM definitely increased competition in the series. Provided valuable feedback improving a team that once he departed has still been able to win races and be atop the CWTS points.

It could also spawn new owners into the sport. Et al the way Kevin Harvick has opened KHI.

I wouldn’t mind seeing BKM coming up to NNS. Or KBM either. Let these guys race and tear up their own stuff.

07/20/2010 12:28 AM

karl is a walking, talking hemorrhoid that needs to be put back in place.

Brainless France
07/20/2010 12:46 AM

Whoa, Whoa, everyone. Let’s all have a drink here and look at the facts. Ole Carl did just what we wanted when we set up the “have at it boys” philosophy. Hell, with everyone running away from the “sport” like there’s a fire in the theater, we have to do sumptin’ to raise the ratings. Besides, what’s a little blood when it comes to the bottom line? Do you realize how much mileage we’re going to get on all those TV commercials showing the “excitement”? Y’all just chill out now, and have another drink, NA$CAR’s got it all under control.

07/20/2010 01:13 AM

Racing is about winning….Back in the 60’s when I raced, you did what it took to win. All this goody two shoes BS is just that. There are winners and then there is everyone else. If it were safe, it wouldn’t be a race, it would be a parade!

Mike in OKC
07/20/2010 01:19 AM

Wow, call the Whambulance. I don’t favor either driver, but you always pay back on the track. Over the past years the fans complained when the Fake Fines were handed out, does anyone want to go back down that road? As for Brad’s Dad comments, if your son can’t handle it he can always go back to go karts.

Brad was mad at himself when he spun himself out overthinking a routine pit stop. Then he gets a bit overzealous catching up. So when he does he loses the lead to Carl and decides to give him a nudge, thinking “Carl would never wreck me out, after all he did it before and all eyes on him so he won’t do it. I’ll just knock him out of the way in the corner”. So Brad does and guess what, Carl didn’t play the same game. This is big league racing.

These 2 drivers will sort it out or they will hurt each others chances to win races. And the other drivers may just instill their own “nudges” to both of them. But let them figure this out, don’t let Nascar decide because it will never be fair. Your version of fair is not the same as theirs. You may get your justice this once, but you will lose it 10 times out of the next 10. We’ve been down that road. Let the boys be boys, if Brad is afraid to drive then park it. Brad could have put a much bigger fender to Carl in the previous corner but he was too scared. But had he done that, we’d all be talking about how he should be fined, right? Let em race and let em wreck. Their sponsors and owners will also handle this much better than Nascar could.

07/20/2010 02:20 AM

The punk got just what he deserved. Don’t mess with the bull, you might get the horn.

07/20/2010 09:45 AM

“It’s pretty clear that Edwards is pathological bordering on sociopath…”


07/20/2010 11:53 AM

dewayne, I was at the Oxford 250 this weekend and your information is very wrong. Brad did not blatantly dump anyone in the last chance race. He actually got beat out in a very exciting finish. The crowd was actually cheering because he got beat out, not because he punted someone to make the race. He got a provisional for the 250 and finished 22nd in the race. He ran clean all day long

Get your facts straight before you spout off about things you don’t know. Your comment has no credibility considering its obviously you are trying to shed Brad in a bad light. At least have some facts when you do it.

Regarding Saturday nights race, where do we draw the line on this type of payback. If Carl can’t take a little bumping maybe he should try swimming.

07/20/2010 03:52 PM

steve, was not there, read race summary on Speed 51, on there on site race updates. If I was wrong I stand corrected. It was just the next day after the Gateway Race that it was posted. I did not see any of the Gateway Race except the highlighhts. Honestly it seems that to some extent, both drivers are wrong, and both have a history. If I was that wrong, I stand corrected.

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