Carl Edwards received a $25,000 fine and a loss of 60 Nationwide Series driver points following his on-track retaliation against Brad Keselowski in last weekend’s Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway.
Keselowski and Edwards will both be placed on NASCAR probation for the remainder of the year.
This is the second time Edwards and Keselowski have been involved in an on-track incident this year that drew penalties. Edwards was placed on NASCAR probation for three races following an incident at the Atlanta Sprint Cup Series race when Edwards turned Keselowski in the middle of the frontstretch, sending his rival into the air.
Edwards admitted both incidents were intentional.
Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith said the team would analyze the penalties internally.
“We have received notification of NASCAR’s penalties against Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Roush Fenway Racing related to Saturday night’s race at Gateway International Raceway,” Smith said. “As with all NASCAR actions of this nature, we will internally evaluate the penalties, and the underlying explanations, prior to making any decision about next steps. We look forward to watching Carl and Brad as they continue to compete on a weekly basis for the championship in the Nationwide Series.”
At the beginning of the season, NASCAR CEO and chairman Brian France said the sanctioning body would lighten up on penalties this season against drivers, but as NASCAR said in a statement via their official Twitter account, they still have to step in when a line is crossed.
“Since putting the driving back into the hands of the drivers we’ve seen very exciting, side by side racing,” NASCAR said in a series of tweets. “However, we also said that there is a line that a driver can cross and when that happens, we will step in and maintain law and order. Following Atlanta, we met with Brad and Carl to make it clear that racing hard doesn’t mean ruining other competitors’ days. In our review of this most recent incident, Carl and Brad crossed that line.
“It is important to remember that this isn’t the first time these two have gotten into one another on the track – there is a history here.”
Edwards turned Keselowski after the two exited turn 4 and headed towards the checkered flag, racing for the win. Keselowski had made contact with Edwards earlier in the lap, tapping his left rear entering turn 1 in a move that eventually gave him the lead. Edwards seemed destined for second, then responded off turn 4 by clipping Keselowski’s right rear, causing a savage wreck that damaged half-a-dozen cars.
“The incident at the end of Saturday night’s race at Gateway was unfortunate not just for Penske Racing and the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge team, but for all of the teams that were caught up in the aftermath,” Keselowski said in a statement released after the penalty was announced. “There was unnecessary damage done to a lot of racecars as a result of the incident, including one of our best cars. We support NASCAR’s decision and we look forward to putting this behind us. Our focus continues to be working hard to get Discount Tire, Ruby Tuesday, Dodge, Mr. Penske and Penske Racing a championship this season.”
Keselowski’s father, Bob, who is a former racer himself, said on ESPN’s national television coverage after the wreck that he isn’t going to let Edwards “kill my boy” and that he will “get my own damn uniform back on and take care of this.”
The wreck at Gateway caused Keselowski’s points lead to drop from 227 to 168 points as of now. He finished 14th.