Following post-race skirmishes at Charlotte, N.C., involving several angry NASCAR drivers, Carl Edwards said Tuesday he did not expect to see any of those drivers retaliate at the next race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
“I’m not certain, but I think that everyone will go to Talladega and they’ll be very professional,” Edwards -- who was not one of the drivers involved in the Charlotte scuffles -- told reporters on a conference call.
“I don’t believe that you would see any on-track retaliation at Talladega,” Edwards said. “It’s such a fast place. There’s so much potential for collateral damage with other cars, other teams.”
The Charlotte altercations included former Sprint Cup series champions Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth, along with Denny Hamlin, all of whom are fighting to keep their championship hopes alive under NASCAR’s new knockout-style Chase for the Cup title playoff.
The incidents included Keselowski banging his Ford into the cars of Hamlin, Kenseth and Tony Stewart as the cars slowed following the race, after which Stewart backed up and rammed into Keselowski’s car.
After Edwards spoke Tuesday, NASCAR levied a $50,000 fine on Keselowski and placed him on probation for the next four races. Stewart was fined $25,000 and also placed on probation for the next four races. Hamlin and Kenseth were not penalized.
The Chase field will be cut to eight drivers from 12 after Talladega, the sixth race in the 10-race Chase. Edwards is fifth in the point standings so, even if he doesn’t win Sunday, he has a strong chance of advancing to the next round.
The next race after Talladega is in Martinsville, Va., at one of NASCAR’s shortest tracks.
“I think once we get to Martinsville [or] some other places, if there are any hard feelings over stuff that happened over the year or even last week, I think that’s where you’ll see most of that dealt with,” Edwards said.
Edwards also said he hoped NASCAR would stay with the new format for an extended period.
“I hope this is a time in the sport that we look back on and say, ‘We perfected this, got it right,’ then stuck with it.” he said. “In the long run there’s a lot of credibility to be had, a lot of interest in something that is, No. 1, the right format and, No. 2, stays the same for a long time.”
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