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NASCAR penalizes Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski for Gateway incident

By Lee Montgomery

NASCAR has decided to penalize the combatants in the controversial finish to the Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway, docking points from Carl Edwards and giving probation to Brad Keselowski.

Edwards and Keselowski collided off Turn 4 coming to the checkered flag of the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250, with Keselowski crashing and Edwards winning the race. Keselowski and Edwards had raced hard in Turns 1 and 2, and the contact off Turn 4 appeared to be intentional retribution.

But Edwards was allowed to keep the victory.

"I think at the last lap there was a lot of hard racing going on," NASCAR Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash said after the race. "There was some movement on the race track. It was a tough finish for a really great race."

But on Wednesday, NASCAR announced that Edwards and the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing team were docked 60 driver and owner points, respectively. The reason? A violation of Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing/ aggressive driving) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book.

"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," Roush Fenway president Geoff Smith said in a statement. "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."

Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge, has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

"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. "There was unnecessary damage done to a lot of race cars 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."

The loss of points dropped Edwards from 168 points behind Keselowski to 228 points. He remains in second place.