So this is the end result of NASCAR's attempt to artificially inject old-school rowdiness into its product: Carl Edwards sending Brad Keselowski roof-first into the retaining wall at Atlanta Sunday.
While he was, um, 153 laps down.
And after he'd intentionally returned to the track for the expressed purpose of wrecking Keselowski.
And now, NASCAR has a dilemma. Edwards' reckless disregard for, well, pretty much everything but his own childish revenge fantasies seemed to beg for a suspension, but NASCAR, hamstrung by its new let-the-boys-be-boys credo, reportedly won't suspend him. A fine or probation seems more likely.
Here's what I think: Letting boys be boys is one thing, but premeditated indifference to the safety of not only drivers but fans is quite another. Just a bit more lift, after all, and Keselowski's into the catch fence. And maybe through it. And then you're talking real tragedy.
So this is one instance where I don't think any penalty NASCAR metes out is too harsh. Even back in the day, NASCAR wouldn't have put up with the stunt Edwards' pulled.
Wrecking a guy in the heat of the moment, that's old school. Deliberately using your car as a weapon without a thought to the consequences for both your target or collateral spectators is not. It's just criminal recklessness.