Brad Keselowski expects NASCAR to punish Carl Edwards after the Roush Fenway racer intentionally caused him to crash in the closing laps of Sunday's Sprint Cup series race at Atlanta.
Keselowski was running well and inside the top 10 when he passed Edwards, who was several laps down, on the front stretch. The latter seemed to intentionally hit the Penske Dodge of his rival in the left rear, sending it into a spin, which then caused the car to get airborne and crash – flipping over against the SAFER barrier on the driver's side.
Earlier in the race, Edwards had crashed when he closed the door on Keselowski on lap 40 following a restart, making contact with him and then with the barrier as a consequence. Although Edwards believed the Penske driver had caused that accident, he seemed to have changed his mind after seeing the replays while his car was being repaired in the garage. Despite that, the incident on lap 324 looked to be Edward's way of getting payback for what had happened earlier.
"It could have killed somebody in the grandstands," Keselowski said about the incident. "I know that's a little ironic that it's got me saying that, but at least I didn't do it intentionally when it happened.
"It will be interesting to see how NASCAR reacts to it. They have the ball. If they're going to allow people to intentionally wreck each other at tracks this fast, we will hurt someone either in the cars or in the grandstands."
Last year, Keselowski won his first Sprint Cup race at Talladega in a controversial finish where he made contact with Edwards approaching the checkered flag while battling for victory. Edwards' car flipped over and crashed against the fence, causing injury to a fan in the grandstand.
Before talking to NASCAR officials following their incident, Edwards said he did not expect Keselowski's car to flip the way it did, and was glad nobody was injured. He said his feud with the Penske racer should now be over.
"Brad knows the deal between him and I," said Edwards. "The scary part was his car went airborne, which was not at all what I expected. At the end of the day, we're out here to race and people have to have respect for one another and I have a lot of respect for people's safety.
"I wish it wouldn't have gone like it did, but I'm glad he's OK and we'll just go on and race some more and maybe him and I won't get in any more incidents together. That would be the best thing."
Although no more penalties have been announced for Edwards, further punishment could come for him this week.