- Associated Press - Friday, April 26, 2013

RICHMOND, VA. (AP) - Carl Edwards is all about gaining any advantage he can.

When he learned that NASCAR’s penalties against Matt Kenseth included taking his pole award away, Edwards said he thought for a moment he might be in luck, having qualified second at Kansas last week. Only pole winners get to run in the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race, and Edwards doesn’t have one yet.

“When I saw the news, I texted Mike Helton right away and I said, `All right, cool, we’re in the shootout next year, right? We got the pole,’” Edwards said Friday. “And he sent back, `LOL!’ I didn’t think it was that funny, but he thought it was funny.”

If NASCAR had been inclined to give Edwards the pole, it serves to reason that Kasey Kahne, who finished second to Kenseth in the race, would have been in line to be handed the victory, too.

Kahne said he even considered that possibility this week.

“In sprint car racing, you know you win the Knoxville Nationals and then something is illegal, then the guy in second would win,” he said, but he knows that’s not the way NASCAR typically handles things.

“There have been plenty of penalties after the fact,” he said. “In Matt’s case, … from what I’ve read, it seems like a mistake, and it also seems like something that would make zero factor in speed.”

The part that got Kenseth in trouble was a connector rod that weighed less than 3 grams shy of the minimum weight, and people in the garage, and NASCAR too, universally agree he gained no advantage.

“It’s hard to see all that,” Kahne said. “Matt’s a good guy.”

Edwards, meantime, said he feels the same way as crew chief Jimmy Fennig.

“He said, `We’ll get a pole and earn it,’ so I’m not gonna sit here and lobby and say we should get credit for the pole and Kasey should get credit for the win and shake up everything because that’s not what NASCAR has done historically,” he said, “and I think that would start a snowball that would be hard to manage.”


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