Brad Keselowski is one of the bright young talents in NASCAR racing. He’s won a Nationwide Series championship and even had a surprise win at Talladega in the Sprint Cup series, but this weekend’s strange behavior makes one wonder about what his agenda really is. Keselowski had a good car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Fed Ex 200 race at Dover International Speedway, but the circumstances of the final laps left him with a crashed race car and a less than stellar finish. What happened next was certainly strange.
[media-credit id=62 align=”alignright” width=”233″][/media-credit]As the race came down to its conclusion, it was between Carl Edwards and Joey Logano for the win. As is usually the case, late cautions caused the race to go to the two lap green-white-checker finish to settle things. This policy was established a couple of years ago so that fans could always, or nearly always, see a race finish under green flag conditions. Edwards and Logano fought hard to win the race. That is a requirement of their jobs. Edwards got inside of Logano and the driver of the Joe Gibbs Toyota entry seemed to get loose and slide up toward the wall. Edwards got by, but Logano slammed the wall, came back across the track and slammed into Clint Bowyer whose car got on its side and nearly jumped the wall separating the track from the pits. Both cars were junk. Edwards won the race.
Edwards was shaken, deciding to not do his customary back flip. Visibly upset, Edwards stopped to check on Logano and Bowyer and headed to victory lane. Finally, when Edwards was given a taped recording of the final lap, did he settled down. He did not hit Logano. It was hard racing, That wasn’t enough for Keselowski.
In an interview on the telecast, Keselowski, asked to explain what happened in those final laps, said it seemed that Edwards had hit Logano to get past him and win the race. When presented with the evidence that Edwards had indeed not touched Logano, Keselowski went into a long explanation of how aerodynamics can cause a car to get loose and probably that was what Edwards had done to get past Logano. Never mind that this has been done forever. When going for the win, you do what you have to do.
To add insult to injury, those listening to Sirius Radio’s post-race coverage with Claire B. Lang, a caller said Keselowski had tweeted the same thing and that the driver was trying to call it. He finally got through to Lang to go into his long explanation of how fans do not know what happens on the track and how a driver can pass another and not hit them. His caveat that he considered it hard racing and not “dirty” was a veiled attempt to hide his real agenda.
If we go back to the April 26, 2009. Keselowski was in a car owned by James Finch, and as usually is the case, found he in line for the win. He was behind Edwards on the final lap. Edwards blocked Keselowski on the low side and Keselowski, knowing that going lower and across the “yellow line,” drove into Edwards at the end and won the race. Edwards’ car was propelled into the catchfence along the tri-oval and came to earth as a piece of scrap metal. Keslowski was his only Sprint Cup race on that day.
Memories are long and Edwards retaliated against Keselowski in a couple of races, resulting in horrible crashes . At one point, Keselowski’s father, NASCAR veteran, Bob Keselowski, had harsh words for Edwards. Apparently, Keselowski still hasn’t gotten beyond that.
To add insult to injury, Keselowski found Kyle Busch’s actions in the final laps objectional. Busch, in the midst of the storm on that final run, ran into Keselowski. Keselowski found objection with that, saying that he “owed Busch one.” Keselowski not only headed to his Twitter account to state his point of view, which is refreshing and wonderful, he took the media to task, saying that they had no right to say Edwards was not at fault in his skirmish with Logano and that there weren’t really good people in the television booths (he said that wasn’t the case with radio, meaning NASCAR’s MRN). In others words, they didn’t agree with him.
Me thinks Brad protests too much. It’s time for him to realize that some things just happen in racing, especially on the last lap with the win on the line. He should know. He must have forgotten that day in April two years ago, but my father always told me that those things are always lost from the memory bank. Keselowski is young and he is learning. I hope.,