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The Full Monty: Did Brad Keselowski deserve that from Carl Edwards?

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NNSracing.com Editor Lee Montgomery

By Lee Montgomery
lee.montgomery@nnsracing.com

MADISON, Ill. - Let the debate begin. Again.

Brad Keselowski has been chastised quite publicly for some time now for his past indiscretions on the race track, from drivers ranging from Denny Hamlin to Jeff Burton to Carl Edwards. And the fans continue to let Keselowski know of their disapproval with choruses of boos at nearly every race track.

Keselowski heard plenty of boos Saturday at Gateway International Raceway, the home track of his Penske Racing teammate, Justin Allgaier - and the home track of foil Edwards.

But there was a funny sound after the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250: Boos for King Carl.

In case you haven't seen the replay, try this. And if you haven't read the reactions, go here. I challenge you to check both out and come to the conclusion that Keselowski deserved that.

If you think he did, fine. But ask yourself this: If the roles were reversed, would Edwards have deserved it?

Edwards said he couldn't let Keselowski get away with it, as it were. Get away with what, we're not sure. Did he mean the move Keselowski made in Turn 1 to get the lead, where Keselowski got loose and bumped into Edwards? Clearly, that wasn't intentional, and even if it wasn't, plenty of other drivers have gotten a free pass in similar situations.

But maybe Edwards figured Keselowski deserved it for past moves, including at Memphis last year when Keselowski dumped Edwards en route to a victory. If so, well, Carl, you're still wrong. Sorry.

No one, never, ever, deserves to be out-and-out wrecked coming to the checkered flag. Terry Labonte didn't deserve it at Bristol many years ago when Dale Earnhardt dumped him. Labonte still managed to win that race, but he didn't deserve to get wrecked.

A writer I respect a great deal said that if Edwards had done that to old-school racer Jack Ingram, Edwards would be visiting the infield care center right about now.

Maybe that's what NASCAR meant by, "Boys, have at it." I sure hope not.

I'm of the belief that racing means clean passing, not "rubbing's racing." That phrase is from a movie, folks. Seems to me that hard racing now means knocking people out of the way, like Kurt Busch did to Jimmie Johnson at New Hampshire a few weeks ago.

While I disagree, though, drivers don't seem to mind. OK, fine. They have to establish the rules.

But Edwards clearly broke those rules Saturday at Gateway. If he wanted to "pay back" Keselowski, shove him up the track in Turn 4 and let Keselowski finish the race. Don't intentionally turn left and create a dangerous situation. That was an incredibly hard hit Keselowski suffered, and no one deserves that.

NASCAR could step in and end this kind of nonsense, stripping the victory from Edwards. If that wasn't "aggressive driving," I don't know what is.

The sanctioning body chose not to, and I guess that's fine.

But now the ball is in Keselowski's hands, and my guess is he throws it in Edwards' face. When and where, we'll see.

When he does, however, Edwards will "deserve it," too, won't he?