Edwards says he was “expecting” NASCAR action or penalty on Harvick

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carl Edwards said Tuesday he was surprised that NASCAR did not penalize Kevin Harvick for his actions at the end of Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Former champion Brad Keselowski said he agreed with NASCAR’s decision to do nothing to Harvick.

Edwards joined Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin in questioning what Harvick did on the final restart. With an ailing car, Harvick got a poor restart and hit Trevor Bayne’s car as Bayne attempted to pass on the outside, triggering an 11-car crash.

The caution immediately after the restart froze the field, allowing Harvick to advance to the third round of the Chase.

“I was expecting there to be some action or penalty but there wasn’t,’’ Edwards said during Chase media day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “The whole thing, when I saw it kind of made me uncomfortable.

“It appears that Kevin and the 4 team, they had to have a caution in order to preserve their position. They were aware of that. It appears they caused that caution.

“I could see how you could be tempted to do something like that, but I really hope that NASCAR makes sure that kind of stuff isn’t commonplace for sure.’’

Keselowski didn’t see it that way.

“From my perspective, I felt like NASCAR got that call right in the sense that you need to have a pretty high burden of proof to make a call like that,’’ he said. “By the same token, I felt like they got my call wrong at Loudon (jumping the restart) because they didn’t have that same burden of proof.

“So in that sense, I guess maybe I always lean a little bit too much towards forgiveness and sympathy, but I think if you can avoid penalizing someone and giving them the benefit of the doubt, then in the long run that will pay off.

“At this point, there’s a level of doubt in my mind that what happened at Talladega with Kevin was intentional.  That means the burden of proof hasn’t been met, at least for me, so that makes me feel like they got it right.’’