(WOMR file photo)
After the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte, several skirmishes broke out on pit road and back near the haulers. At the center of all the incidents was “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski, the Team Penske driver who was the 2012 Cup champion.
On The Cool Down Lap
Keselowski clipped Hamlin’s rear bumper on the cool-down lap, trying to spin Hamlin out, then hit Kenseth’s Toyota with his Ford on pit road, and then careened into Tony Stewart’s car. Stewart’s car was “collateral damage”!
Asked what started all the trouble, Hamlin said: Keselowski.
The fireworks erupted on the cool-down lap. Hamlin brake checked Keselowski on the backstretch. Then in turns three and four, Keselowski went up the track after Hamlin and hit him in an apparent attempt to spin him. He then came onto pit road and hit Kenseth, who had already removed his HANS device and safety belts. Keselowski then appeared to hit the back of Stewart, who put his car in reverse and slammed into the front of Keselowski’s car. In the garage, Hamlin was restrained from going after Keselowski. However, as Keselowski walked between two transporters Kenseth ran after him and grabbed him from behind.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tweeted afterwards: “It was wicked cool how much Matt tackling Brad looked like an episode of Cops TV.”
“There’s a corner there so you have to back off, and he just plowed into us,” Hamlin said. “He’s just out of control. He’s desperate obviously and it’s either four or five of us are wrong or he’s wrong because he’s pissed off everyone. Just disappointing – but we’re trying to get in this deal. We’re sitting in a decent spot, but we’ve lost six spots or so with the last restart when he ran into us and knocked us up the track. That was unfortunate. Matt (Kenseth) was nearly out of his car and he just plowed into Matt (Kenseth) and then ran into Tony (Stewart) and then went in through the garage and cleared out transmissions and did burnouts in the garage. Just acting like a dumbass instead of a champion.”
“I had my HANS off and my seat belts off,” Kenseth said, “and he clobbers me at like 50 (mph). With the accidents and stuff that we’ve had around here — the race is over and we’re trying to come back to pit road. If he wants to come and talk about it like a man then go do that, but to try to wreck somebody on the race track and to come down pit road with other cars and people standing around with my seat belts off and drive into the side of me is just inexcusable. There is no excuse for that. He’s a champion and he’s supposed to know better than that. I don’t really know, I don’t have anything else good to say.”
The man with all the fingers pointed at him, Keselowski, said it was all just part of racing? Really? Come on man!
“Through the whole sequence of events,” Keselowski said, “I think the 20 car (Kenseth) got in back of me on one of the restarts, it was just a racing deal and I wasn’t mad at him. But when the last yellow came out he got the wave around and when he came by he swung at my car and tore the whole right-front off of it. When we restarted fifth with no right-front on it, we fell all the way back to 16th and it ruined our day.
“That gave us a big Chase hurt, which is unfortunate, and then for some reason after the race the 11 stopped in front of me and tried to pick a fight. I don’t know what that was all about and he swung and hit at my car, so I figured if we’re gonna play car wars under yellow and after the race I’ll join too. Those guys can dish it out, but they can’t take it. I gave it back to them and now they want to fight, so I don’t know what’s up with that”, Keselowski continued.
When Cooler Heads Prevailed
NASCAR summoned Keselowski to the mobile office. NASCAR Vice President for Competition Robin Pemberton said they had a better understanding of the events after talking with Keselowski. He said NASCAR would continue to gather the facts before issuing any penalties.
“When you see Matt Kenseth mad enough to fight, you know that this is intense because that’s way out of character for him,” Harvick said after claiming his 26th career victory. “I didn’t see what happened between the 2 (Keselowski) and the 11 (Hamlin), but I saw the 2 hang a right and just stuff the 20 (Kenseth) in the fence and we all checked up, and the 20 hit the fence. Every moment matters in this Chase and Matt Kenseth knew that one particular moment could have been the end of his Chase.”
It is my observation that for NASCAR to make a statement, and to further fortify the idea that wreaking cars after the race, or on pit road, or doing burnouts in the competitors garage, slinging parts and pieces all over the garage area, is totally unacceptable, dangerous, and will not be toleratedd, drastic measures must be dealt out! It is the opinion of WOMR that, in order to get Keselowski’s attention, it would be entirely appropriate for NASCAR to “park” “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski for the next race at Talladega.
In doing so it would send a message to all competitors that this kind of dangerous, and extremely childish behavior, will not be tolerated. It would effectively end the Team Penske #2 team’s Chase dreams for 2014!
If that is not the route that NASCAR takes, my other suggestion would be as follows:
At the end of each race the promoter should bring out a boxing ring to be positioned at the start/finish line. After the victory celebration has concluded, the ring is open for one hour to any and all crewmenbers to “address” their frustrations with any other crewmember! Additionally, with all the media and photographers on hand at these events, the proposed fight can be easily documented and could be used as a tease for the next race on the schedule! Ka-ching, ka-ching!!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!