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Brad Keselowski Relieved NASCAR Penalized Him For Carl Edwards Incident

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Don't expect Brad Keselowski to protest NASCAR's decision to put him on probation as part of the penalties issued for his incident with Carl Edwards at Gateway last weekend.

Keselowski said the penalty "didn't seem to really bother me," even though he felt like he didn't do anything wrong.

"I know there were some of my fans that got really upset about it," he said Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "To me, it tells me NASCAR doesn't want me to go out and intentionally retaliate against Carl, which is great. I didn't want to. I'm actually glad that they took that away, so now I don't have to worry about that."

He later added that because everyone would have expected him to pay Edwards back by crashing him in a future race, the penalty was "Almost a relief as much as anything else."

Keselowski's comments were part of a 20-minute session with reporters in which he patiently and calmly answered question after question about his incident with Edwards.

Among the notable items from the interview:

• Keselowski hasn't spoken to Edwards and doesn't feel doing so would be productive. "Obviously, whatever talk we had at Bristol (after the infamous Atlanta incident) was not necessarily productive, so I don't see how it would be any different."

• Since Edwards didn't have the benefit of seeing a replay, Keselowski said he "could see why Carl would be upset." In the car, drivers only see what's in front of them, and Keselowski noted "all he knew is that I made contact with him." But Keselowski insisted he did not intentionally make contact with Edwards and instead "slipped a tiny bit" as he was trying to maintain position.

• The imaginary line Edwards crossed in NASCAR's "Have at it, boys" policy remains somewhat murky for Keselowski, who called it "more clearly defined, but not quite defined yet." Keselowski said he wished NASCAR had issued a similar penalty after the Atlanta race.

• The Penske Racing driver said he wouldn't do anything differently next time because it wasn't intentional. "You can't be mad at yourself for racing hard," he said. Even prior to the contact, though, Keselowski said he felt Edwards would hit him and move him out of the way, so he gave him room to pass – which is how Edwards got by in the first place.

• Keselowski said he had no opinion on whether the penalty assessed to Edwards was the correct number of points, but said he was simply pleased NASCAR reacted to send a message that such moves are unacceptable. "Intentional wrecking is a big gap from 'Boys, have at it' in my mind," he said.

• Asked if he felt the Edwards incident was "personal," Keselowski said: "I guess if that's not personal, I don't know what personal is."

• To those who wondered why Keselowski wouldn't just fight with Edwards after the incident, Keselowski said he understood "a lot of people are really big on that" but added "I just don't see what that accomplishes at all." He said he wasn't scared to fight but reasoned, "It just gets you in more trouble most times. I was as guilty of that as anyone else when I was much younger and I think I probably learned those lessons at an earlier age."

• Keselowski said he was surprised and pleased about many of the reactions he'd heard or seen from fellow drivers, including rival Denny Hamlin, who took Keselowski's side on Twitter. "It's funny how as a group, we all have a way of rallying around what we think is best for the sport," Keselowski said. "To be clear, I don't think intentional wrecking is good for the sport. So it's good to see that some people will step up and say what they think is best for the sport in spite of everything."