Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski had a new on-track clash, this time on last lap of a Nationwide Series race at Gateway, while both were fighting for victory.
Following a restart on the penultimate lap of the event, Keselowski had lost the lead of the race to Edwards but as they started the final lap, he dived on the inside of his rival into Turn 1 to attempt reclaiming the lead. In the move, his Penske Dodge made contact with the Roush Fenway Ford of his rival but Edwards just managed to remain on the outside of his rival along the backstretch.
As they exited Turn 4, the former Nationwide Series champion seemed to turn left, making contact with the right rear of Keselowski's car, which spun along the front stretch and was later hit violently by two others.
Earlier this year in a Sprint Cup series round at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Keselowski had a massive crash after being hit by Edwards, who was taking retaliatory action from previous contact between the two. NASCAR officials placed Edwards on probation for three weeks, but no further action was taken then.
"He turned left into me and wrecked me on purpose," said Keselowski after Saturday's race, where he was credited with 14th place, as he continues to lead the Nationwide Series standings. "I gave him the lane, and he still wrecked me. I figured out a way to beat him. He wasn't happy with me, so he wrecked me. Wrecking down the straightaway is never cool, whether it's at 200mph or 120. I'm sorry that's the way it had to end."
Edwards said later in a press conference that he didn't mean to harm anyone but that he simply got back what was being taken away from him unfairly. He expects his rival to avoid racing him in the same way again in the future.
"There on that last lap, I would have won the race if he hadn't bumped me in Turn 1 and he would have finished second," said Edwards. "And the way it went, he bumped me and he finished wherever he finished and I still won the race. That was the only way I could see the race turning out fair.
"That's my job, to win that race and to make sure that I don't get walked on or get something taken away from me that's mine. That's how I race. And he knows that's how I race, and I know that's how he races, too, and we both respect that and hopefully, I'm sure tempers are up right now, but hopefully after looking at it, we could each step in the other's shoes and see it from another perspective.
"I didn't mean any harm to him at all. Eventually he will learn that he can't run into my car over and over and put me in bad situations. In every situation, there's an aggressor and there's someone who reacts, and I was not the aggressor in this situation."
NASCAR officials didn't take any action against either driver following the race, despite the violent outcome in which no driver was hurt.
Edwards trails Keselowski by 168 points in the Nationwide Series driver standings.