Four Corners: Penalty too light, severe or just right for Edwards?

March 10, 2010

Right call, wrong issue
Tania Ganguli

Orlando Sentinel

I don't think anyone really believed that if someone wrecked someone blatantly and intentionally NASCAR would let them.

Sure, NASCAR's executives said many times they were putting things back in the drivers' hands. Drivers would be allowed to police themselves. No more heavy-handed NASCAR.

Uh-huh. Sure. Right. Whatever.

Turns out that wasn't just talk. Not suspending Carl Edwards after Sunday's race was a correct, if surprising, decision by NASCAR.

They wanted emotions played out on the track. This is the result.

The real issue here isn't whether Edwards should have retaliated against Brad Keselowski, the real issue is why Keselowski's car left the track. The fact that his car took flight should concern NASCAR.

Rivalries a good thing
Keith Groller

Morning Call

That wasn't a slap on the wrist that NASCAR gave Carl Edwards, it was a pat on the back. But what do you expect?

No one wants someone to get killed, or even seriously injured, but this is a sport that needs rivalries and feuds - and yeah, an accident spectacular enough to lead "SportsCenter" doesn't hurt, either.

After several years of dwindling attendance and ratings, NASCAR wouldn't mind a skirmish every week, although their accountants' hearts probably skipped a beat or two when Brad Keselowski's car went airborne in Atlanta.

NASCAR has told the drivers to basically "have at it" and "police yourselves." To suspend Edwards or deduct points would have only painted NASCAR as hypocrites.

Policemen get it right
Shawn Courchesne

Hartford Courant

On the surface, NASCAR's three-race probation for Carl Edwards for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski might look too light. But the penalty was just right when one considers the statements made by NASCAR officials before the start of the season.

In January, NASCAR officials said they would be taking a more hands-off approach to racing this year and allowing for more self-policing on the track in the Sprint Cup Series.

What Edwards did Sunday forced NASCAR to stand behind its words.

The real message sent by NASCAR was to Keselowski. Sunday's incident marked the latest in a string of notable confrontations on the track for him since last season. NASCAR's virtual non-punishment of Edwards for what he did should stand as a warning to Keselowski that the sanctioning body is not going to be there to protect him if his tactics continue.

Flying car bigger glitch
Jim Peltz

Los Angeles Times

Brad Keselowski likely would disagree, but the penalty was right - for the sake of consistency. If NASCAR had suspended Carl Edwards, it would have diluted the whole point of NASCAR's pronouncement over the winter that it would let drivers race more aggressively. Widespread confusion as to what really is and isn't allowed would have ensued.

To be sure, if the drivers are too aggressive, NASCAR will step in, and NASCAR naturally doesn't condone drivers triggering wrecks that send cars hurtling into the stands. But as NASCAR said Tuesday, that's a separate technology problem: Its cars shouldn't get airborne on a 1.5-mile track, and a solution to that problem needs to quickly be found.

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