Edwards won't appeal probation

Updated: July 24, 2010, 11:00 AM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Carl Edwards said he will not appeal the penalty he received from NASCAR this week, but he's glad Brad Keselowski is joining him on NASCAR probation.

Edwards also offered an apology for causing Keselowski to crash last week, but not to Keselowski.

"I sincerely apologize to the other guys who were caught up in that wreck," Edwards said Friday. "But I'm real happy with is that NASCAR realized Brad needed to be penalized, too. My race car could have been the one turned around instead of his."

[+] EnlargeBrad Keselowski wrecks
Dilip Vishwanat/NASCAR/Getty ImagesBrad Keselowski's No. 22 car is spun sideways by Carl Edwards, left, on the final lap at Gateway International Raceway.

Edwards and Keselowski were placed on probation through the end of the season for their last-lap bumping incidents in the Nationwide Series race last weekend at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.

But Edwards, who won the race, also was fined $25,000 and docked 60 Nationwide points. After Keselowski made contact with Edwards in Turn 1 on the final lap, Edwards deliberately wrecked Keselowski on the straightaway heading to the finish line.

It caused Keselowski to slam into the wall before being T-boned by Shelby Howard's car.

Keselowski said it's good he was put on probation because it should force the ongoing problems between him and Edwards to end.

"It's good because now no one will expect me to go out there and retaliate against Carl," Keselowski said Friday. "I know some of my fans got really upset [about the probation], but I wouldn't say I was surprised.

"I think what it says is NASCAR doesn't want me to go out there and intentionally wreck Carl. That's great. I didn't want to. Now I don't have to worry about that."

It was the second on-track incident this season between the two drivers. Edwards intentionally wrecked Keselowski in a Sprint Cup race in Atlanta, causing Keselowski's car to get airborne into the wall. Edwards felt Keselowski carelessly caused him to wreck earlier in the Atlanta race.

NASCAR has taken a looser stand this season with bumping incidents, with a policy known as "have at it, boys."

Keselowski believes Edwards has taken the idea too far.

"Intentional wrecking is a big difference from 'boys have at it' in my mind," Keselowski said. "But everybody has a different interpretation to it."

But Keselowski also said he understands how Edwards could have misinterpreted Keselowski's move to pass him on the last lap at Gateway.

"I could see why Carl would be upset at that moment because he probably thought I intentionally went down and hit him [in Turn 1],'' Keselowski said. "I didn't. I got under him in the corner and wanted to maintain it. I slipped up the track a tiny bit and got into him. I just thought that was good racing."

Edwards believes Keselowski meant to hit his car.

"Brad is a real good race car driver," Edwards said. "He knows what he's doing. After the race, I felt what I did was right and it was a fair outcome to the race. I felt it was within the boundaries NASCAR had set, and I think NASCAR felt the same at the time."

Edwards believes NASCAR officials changed their mind because other cars were involved in the accident.

Keselowski said he has not spoken to Edwards about the incident. The two men had a meeting with NASCAR officials earlier this year in Bristol, Tenn., the week after the Atlanta incident. They walked out of the NASCAR hauler smiling and patting each other on the back.

Does Keselowski think they need to talk again?

"If I thought it would be productive, sure," he said. "But obviously, the talk we had at Bristol was not productive."

Keselowski was asked if he feels Edwards has an angry side to his personality.

"Absolutely," Keselowski said. "I don't think any of us see that coming. I think that's pretty much everyone's sentiment. But I would be naive to think I understood anything he feels."

Edwards said he plans to continue to stand his ground when he feels he's been wronged.

"I don't think there one championship driver that can go along and let someone take wins away from him," Edwards said. "I race hard and I'm not gonna let somebody take advantage of me, that's for sure. I've been consistent about that and honest about it."

Terry Blount is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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