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NASCAR driver reaction to Carl Edwards/Brad Keselowski incident, penalties

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Reaction from NASCAR drivers over Carl Edwards/Brad Keselowski incident during Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway and subsequent penalties:

Ryan Newman

"Brad hasn't decked Carl yet. To me, that's all it is. Brad just needs to go up there and lay one across his lip and everything will be fine.

"I don’t think NASCAR has taken care of the situation. I think they've issues what is that for Carl, his second probation this year? Yeah. See I don't know what probation actually means anymore (laughs). So, yeah, when we used to get probation for the season, and then when you crash somebody and put them upside down and they almost get killed, you get probation for three races. I don't quite understand that.

"There is a point when NASCAR should take a win away. I don't think that was the condition for that but I know there's been no direct response for NASCAR taking away a win in the last 20, 30, 40, or 50 years that I know of; or ever. So my point is, I don't foresee that but I think that penalty was not just. And I'm not saying an eye for an eye, but if you look at what Carl did to the rest of the cars that got crashed behind him, that's not right. When you admit that you crashed that race car and therefore crashed six or eight cars behind him; to the point that those guys, that's all they have for a good race cars at times. That's not cool.

"Have at it boys is not that. Have at it boys means even if we crash each other or get into an accident or lose respect for one another, you go talk about it. That's the 'Have at it boys.' You go behind a trailer and you talk about it. We can get in each other's faces. That's 'Have at it boys.' Going out there and purposely crashing somebody; turning right or turning left just to crash 'em on purpose, whether you're winning the race or not, is not at all 'Have at it boys.’ Some people have thought of manslaughter or attempted manslaughter, but that's closer to what it is. That's not 'Have at it boys.'

"I'm all for 'Have at it boys.’ Let us race. But that's not racing. We should paint up a No. 99 or No. 88 Chevy Impala for Carl to go race demolition derbies with, it that's the case. We're racing; we're not demolition derbies."

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"I just feel like what people were witnessing what people witnessed that night has been a part of the sport for a long time, like it or not. Guys run over each other sometimes. I feel like NASCAR did a good job how they handled it. You know, they reset the points and everything, basically. Which was a good deal, because you really can't undo what's been done as far as the results and who won and who was wrecked and who finished where. So I thought it was handled well. But that's, you know, that's been a part of the sport for a long time. I guess it was a little too obvious there, but some cases are more obvious than others. But that's been happening for a very long time in the sport. You know, it's just part of it."

Jeff Burton

"I think they didn't penalize (Edwards) enough. I don't understand why Keselowski got penalized at all. I'm still confused. And I haven't read or heard or talked to NASCAR. I don't know why after that incident that Brad Keselowski should be put on probation.

"If you drive in the corner on a restart and your car slips and you get into another driver, that's an occurrence that happens every race. And that's what happened in that race. That's what happened when I got into Kyle Busch at New Hampshire. That's what happened when Kyle Busch got into me at Charlotte. That's racing. There was nothing that was that was just racing. You could make the case that, yeah, he knocked him out of the way and he did. But he didn't spin him out. I mean, he didn't do anything like that. He got into him a little bit. So, I just was confused about it. So to me, I looked at that and I said, okay, he got penalized more than I thought he should have gotten penalized. And I thought Carl got penalized less than I thought he should have been penalized. The way I look at it from my perspective, and I'm not an aggressive driver, but from my perspective what that told me is you can intentionally wreck somebody twice and there's a 60-point penalty in the Nationwide Series. Doesn't affect anything he's doing for the big show.

"In my world, I thought that penalty was way less severe than it could have been and perhaps it should have been."

Denny Hamlin

"That was a touchy thing. It’s two guys that I really don’t agree with at all. I think you’re only going to poke the lion long enough before you’re actually going to get bit and Brad and Carl in my opinion was just way overboard and shouldn’t have gone that far. I don’t agree with either. I think Brad’s going to have to figure out a way to get some attention other than winning a Nationwide race or running into somebody. You look at Brad is always getting into somebody and then it’s retaliation then somebody is getting back into him. I think that until he changes, that’s going to continue and then Carl that was just a bad move. Even though he got roughed up and maybe he got the win taken away, he was going to finish second, he wasn’t going to finish 20th. So I think that was just quite a bit overboard."

Jimmie Johnson

"I get lost in my thoughts on this. But of late I have felt that if you're mad enough, it doesn't matter what NASCAR's judgment's going to be and what the fines are going to be or if they approve of it or not. You're going to take actions in your own hands.

I think as things have progressed with the 99 and the 12, it's gotten to the point where Carl's like, ‘The hell with it. I'm not letting it happen.’ So I think those two know what's really going on. We're all watching from afar.

"I think if NASCAR was still as strict this year and didn't make the statements at the start of the year, we'd see those two in this position. There's more to it than NASCAR saying go ahead, guys. You can say a few extra things and rough house a little bit. That didn't provoke all of this.

"In one light I think these big flare ups will happen regardless of what the sanctioning body does. When guys get mad enough, they have it happen. I think more the casual stuff with Joey Logano's comments, shoving people around a little bit, that is a result to them letting the reins loose and letting us at it. But those big moments will always be there."

Kevin Harvick

"You definitely drawn a line in the sand as far as how far you can take it and I think that’s a good thing. As drivers, I don’t think all of us, we’ll just keep pushing it until someone tells us to stop. Obviously, last week I think there was a huge safety concern at the end of the race when all that took place. For the most part, you have a better understanding and you won’t take it to the next level. I don’t know what the next level is past the move that took place last week, but I guess you could find the next level."

Clint Bowyer

"I was pretty sure that that was across the line as soon as I saw that happen. I’m no different than anybody else—enough is enough."