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No suspension for Edwards UPDATE #4 NASCAR handed down it’s ruling Tuesday on Carl Edwards intentional takedown of Brad Keselowski in the closing lap of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, placing Edwards on probation for the next three races.

NASCAR President Mike Helton said the decision to place Edwards on probation, rather than dock him points or suspend him, were based on discussions held between NASCAR and all parties involved, including Keselowski’s car owner Roger Penske and Edwards’ car owner Jack Roush.

“As a result of these discussions, we have reached the conclusion that Carl will also be put on probation for the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup races, and Carl's aware of what that means,” said Helton.

Helton said further meetings are planned with both drivers and their owners to bring the issue to a close and “clean the slate”.

Edwards responded to NASCAR’s ruling on his Facebook page, saying “I respect NASCAR's penalty and look forward to our meeting in Bristol. I'm ready to put this behind us and get on with some good racing.”

Edwards, running nearly 150 laps down to the leader, deliberately used his bumper to spin out the no. 12 Dodge of Keselowski with three laps to go in Sunday’s race, sending Keselowski’s car airborne and into the outside wall roof-first.

The actions were in retaliation for an earlier incident that result is serious damage to Edwards’ car, sending him to the garage for repairs.

NASCAR parked Edwards, who admitted to intentionally wrecking Keselowski, but had not expected the car to flip over.

“Following that incident we asked (Edwards) to visit us in the hauler, and we made it very clear to him that these actions were not acceptable and did go beyond what we said back in January about putting the driving back in the hands of the drivers,” said Helton. “We believe (Edwards) understands our position at this point.”

Sunday’s incident was the first test of the NASCAR’s new “boys, have at it” policy of letting the drivers police their own actions on the racetrack.

NASCAR announced the policy shift during the pre-season media tour in January, saying they were putting the outcome back into the drivers’ hands.

But Helton reiterated as he had back in January that drivers cannot not expect to be able to get away with whatever they want on the track.

“The clear message, I think, we sent in January was that we were willing to put more responsibility in the hands of the driver,” said Helton. “But there is a line you can cross and we'll step in to maintain law and order when we think that line's crossed.

Helton went on to say that Keselowski’s car going airborne was an issue the sanctioning body plans to look at very carefully.

“The most serious issue from Sunday was the 12 car getting off the ground, and I think that also contributed to the spectacle of the episode,” said Helton. “So we're very concerned and very aggressive at trying to figure out how to make that not happen again. Any car getting airborne at a racetrack is something that is high on our priority list to correct.

“Obviously the 12 car getting airborne to us is a much more serious topic right now. We've not seen a car get airborne much on the mile-and-a-half racetrack, and that's something that is very important to us and we want to study very closely to figure out things that we can do to help prevent this very quickly in the future.” Pete McCole/AR1.com

03/10/10 This small sampling of "tweets" says a lot about NASCAR. We saw an article stating an opinion about this possibly being a criminal act, and we agree. There was motive, means and intent to harm. Some argue that would be like arresting a boxer for assault. However, wrecking someone and putting their life at undue risk, as well as that of innocent spectators, is really punishable by more than simply NASCAR, and its not the first time it has happened.

Brian Vickers: I bet the 12 will think twice about wrecking anyone again!
Kyle Busch: (retweeting Matt Yocum’s opinion in support of his own) Coulda woulda shoulda…jeeeesh. People want the gloves off, drivers show more personality, and now they complain. Nothing happened. move on.
Michael Walt rip: Good call #nascar. You can’t ask the driver to take their gloves off one week and then tell ‘em to put ‘em back on the next.
Scott Speed: You go #nascar!!! 3 race probation for Edwards! Awesome I love it!!! I bet Keselowski is scared now.

03/09/10 We guess when your name is Carl Edwards - a big star that drives for a big name team - and you wreck someone on purpose you get the traditional NASCAR wrist slap. But if your name is Carl Long and you drive for back marker team and you have a minor engine infraction at Charlotte last year get a 12 week suspension.

03/09/10 Carl Edwards was placed on probation for three Sprint Cup races, the only additional penalty he will receive for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski in the final laps of Sunday's Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

NASCAR President Mike Helton announced the decision during a national teleconference on Tuesday afternoon.

"There is a line you cross. We'll maintain law and order when we think that line is crossed," Helton said.

Helton said the sanctioning body addressed Edwards' move during the race when he was parked for the remainder of the event. Since Edwards was already 156 laps down from the leader, the move only cost him approximately three series points.

03/09/10 A person familiar with the decision says Carl Edwards will not be suspended for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski's car during last weekend's NASCAR race in Atlanta. NASCAR president Mike Helton is to address the Edwards accident on Tuesday. The person familiar with the decision spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Helton will be making the official statement. Edwards could face a fine or probation, but there had been an outcry for a severe penalty. Associated Press
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