NASCAR has taken the reins off its drivers this year, and perhaps as a result we have the first spectacular wreck of the season. As with so many wrecks of the last few months, it involved Brad Keselowski -- but the difference this time is, Keselowski was the victim, not the instigator.
Late in the race, Keselowski was powering to a top-10 finish when Carl Edwards, more than a hundred laps down thanks to a wreck involving Keselowski from earlier in the afternoon, snapped his wheel upward into the No. 12 Dodge, and ...
The wreck was ironic, a virtual photo-negative of last year at Talladega when Keselowski spun Edwards and sent the 99 careening into the fence:
This time, there were no fan injuries, and Keselowski himself was fortunately unhurt, if a bit dazed. ("Did I just fly?" he asked his crew chief over the radio. Yes, Brad, yes, you did.)
What this wreck will do is put NASCAR's new "Boys, have at it" rule to the test. NASCAR immediately black-flagged Edwards and called him to the hauler; there's been no word as of post time on any penalties. But should there be any? Should Edwards lose points or be fined?
After the race, Edwards came this close to admitting the wreck was intentional: "Brad knows the deal between him and I," he said. "The scary part is that his car went airborne, which was not at all what I [pause] expected." The pause was significant; this is speculation, but Edwards certainly seemed like he wanted to just spin Keselowski, not send him halfway into orbit. UPDATE: Edwards has updated his Facebook page with exactly that explanation.
"It could have killed somebody in the grandstands," Keselowski said. "I know that's a little ironic that it's got me saying that, but at least I didn't do it intentionally when it happened. It will be interesting to see how NASCAR reacts to it. They have the ball. If they're going to allow people to intentionally wreck each other at tracks this fast, we will hurt someone either in the cars or in the grandstands."
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