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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kickin’ the Tires: Was Brad Keselowski Singled-out By NASCAR?

Whether or not Brad Keselowski was singled out by NASCAR is actually irrelevant, because there is always a difference between reality and whatever the perception of reality is. And in Keselowski’s case, he perceived that he was being picked on and penalized for jumping the restart as an example.

From the beginning, this column has been accused of sucking up to the sanctioning body and not challenging their every move. Let’s get one thing straight, I won’t ever do that. Challenging NASCAR just to challenge them, or because someone else thinks they have a better idea on how to do things is not what this column is about. However, there is definitely room for interpretation regarding Keselowski’s penalty.

Obviously, we don’t know what diagnostics NASCAR was looking at when they made the call but Keselowski was ahead of Greg Biffle’s No. 16 Ford as the two reached the start-finish line. Did Biffle spin his tires? It looked like he did, but he could have also been trying to snooker Keselowski. If so, it worked. Kurt Busch nearly ran over Biffle before they got to the start/finish line, so my money is on the former rather than the latter.

We knew someone had to be the first. Unfortunately for him, Keselowski will go down in the record books for having that distinction. Still, this week’s penalty would have been a lot easier to take had NASCAR called more blatant violations at Richmond International and Chicagoland Speedways.

Keselowski was upset after the race and said some things that will probably not go over well during the Tuesday debrief back in Daytona. In fact, his proclamation that the sport is unfair and focused on entertainment could draw a penalty – a substantial one at that. The rule is you can criticize NASCAR but you can not disparage the product. Keselowski’s words were akin to saying the sport is rigged and that is not a wise thing to say.

“It’s a pretty basic understanding. It’s an entertainment sport, not a fair sport, but we had a great car,” Keselowski said, after the race.

Whether you like Keselowski, or not, he is a former champion whose words carry weight. He also has one of the longest-tenured sponsors in the sport adorning the hood of his car. And then there is the fact that he drives for Roger Penske, who called out the sanctioning body after Matt Kenseth jumped the restart at Richmond. Is it now just a coincidence that he was penalized?

Keselowski thinks NASCAR made an example out of him. He might be right. But at this point, it doesn’t matter. NASCAR made its decision and Keselowski fought back for a 12th-place finish. For his sake, Keselowski should cross his fingers that either Brian France is in a good mood this week or the post-race transcript from Ford gets sent to France’s email spam folder.

Still, it’s hard not to side with Keselowski on this one.

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29 thoughts on “Kickin’ the Tires: Was Brad Keselowski Singled-out By NASCAR?”

  1. Does NASCAR think we have a short attention span????

    Last week Jeff Gordon did the same thing as Brad. That was NO PROBLEM.

    Another reason I am not mad I gave up my two race Sprint Cup season tickets.

    Nor do I care if I miss a race.

  2. i shut the tv off after brad came in to serve his “penalty”….
    good bye nascar…
    the fat lady has sung.
    badly…
    she told me to move on and the i have better things to do with my time

    • I hear you. I’m a Ford guy and feel more foolish every week for continuing to watch this half fixed mess. Honestly I wish Ford would get out so I could be sure I was done with this crap for good. By the way, did you know Toyotas are American cars now?

  3. You know that when somebody jumps offsides in the NFL its going to be flagged, every time, and its going to be a 5 yard penalty. No debate, no degree of being offside, or slipped on debris.

    Why bring that up? Because that is exactly what Nascar doesn’t do. And look at the popularity of the two sports.

  4. NASCAR ignored this issue last season and all of this year during the “regular” season and NOW in the “playoffs”, they are going to police it? yes, I too think Gordon got away with it last week and personally NASCAR should just kept on doing the same stuff as they have all year – which is ignore it. If you want to change the rules, do it in 2016.

  5. On every restart with Harvick and Brad there was no problem and Brad was behind Harvick crossing the first line. Then on the restart with Biffle there’s a problem? I noticed and Jerry noticed Kurt running up on Biffle and made me wonder. This isn’t the first controversial start involving Biffle.

  6. You have to love it. The drivers complain, complain, complain that NASCAR isn’t enforcing the restart rules and sort of force NASCAR into making the call. Then the drivers, or driver in this case, complain because NASCAR made the call. Sometimes, you need to be careful what you wish for and it can come back to bite you.

  7. Also, over the course of history in NASCAR if the offender did not gain advantage then no harm no foul. In this case yes the 2 car beat the 16 tot the line but that has happened many many times in the past few seasons but coming back around the 16 was back in the lead anyway and the 2 car was second. No advantage gained and no issues. This is why NASCAR is losing fans. No consistency in rulings and a perception, well earned, that NASCAR favors certain teams and drivers and punishes others for speaking up. Yes NASCAR was a sports version of a dictatorship from 1948 – 2003 but it was typically perceived as somewhat fair. That perception is gone.

  8. Roger Penske voiced his opinion after Richmond, the 20 car jumped five car lengths. Payback is tough. WWE said you cried Wolf, so we got Paul Wolf. END OF STORY..

  9. Kes got robbed. Whether he was singled out or not, who knows? But he was still robbed.

    At tracks where you cannot pass below the yellow line, it’s okay as long as you don’t advance your position. Why should restarts be policed any differently? Kes ended up in second. No harm, No foul.

    I have to agree with the rest of the readers here… let the flagman dictate the restarts. It worked for over fifty years and it will still work just fine today.

  10. While I’m not a black helicopter & tinfoil type, last week I noticed (after the drivers had been warned) that again we weren’t seeing a call on the “jumped restart” & I happen to know that nascar needs Toyota More than the reverse. I many times find myself cheering for Kenseth (fan of many drivers etc) ..But that call Sunday just reeked of favoritism ..Further I suspect that if a chase Toyota had done it it would have been a warning at best.. It looked bad & a few things have recently…One would suspect that certain promise’s have been made to Toyota & it starting to look very bad …Brad is an easy target & yes a little payback for Penske might be the order of the day…Also have to note that Brad did NOT gain anything from it & also if it’s the 2 lead cars why not just a restart(as in local track) as that currently is the peak of entertainment on race day(actual passing)
    Note Toyota does create a lot of job’s(yes mfg) in the USA, so the haters don’t have to hate so much but nascar really needs to get consistent & soon as it just reeks of fix right now
    Best to All

    • Toyota provides a few manufacturing jobs in the U.S. as a sleight of hand to keep us from noticing that the big money ends up in Japan. Toyotas are designed in Japan. The parts are manufactured in Japan with Japanese materials. The pieces are then sent over here to be assembled by Americans. The claim that Toyotas are BUILT in America is as ridiculous as screwing together an IKEA bunk bed and calling yourself an American furniture company.

      • PS: Neither Ford, Chevy or Dodge every produced any of the vehicles the Emperor’s troops were transported around in while they were trying to kill my Daddy!

      • Built in USA as much as a GM-Ford-Dodge…All those parts also assembled off shore..Get your facts straight ..”they never built the cars that tried to kill my daddy” …Really!…You should be a Left Wing Headline Grabbing politician with that one…Get in the game

  11. Rich Buck: get your eyes checked & take a laxative, ‘cus you & the rest of Nascar’s overlords are full of **it! How was THIS any more ‘clear cut” than the other recent “clear cut” infringements that were NOT enforced? Other than the ONLY obvious prerequisite, which seems to be the presence of the Blue Oval! Then, BOOM, the black flagged springs up like a jack-in-the-box!
    As expected, Nascar drops the gavel …NOT on the #20 Toyota at Richmond (easily the most flagrant & blatant of the recent restart violations) …and NOT on the #24 Chevy at Chi-land. A similarly questionable restart (as compared to #2’s at NH) in that the P2 car improperly went first. But they were also very different, in the #24 retained his unfair lead, in P1, for multiple laps, unlike #2 at NH …BUT ON THE FORD GUY! Yeah! Aka: bad Yota restart – meh, bad Bow-Tie restart – meh, bad Blue Oval restart – BOOM – Black Flag!
    #2, today, was CLEARLY the less flagrant of the three! At Richmond, the #22 FORD GETS HOSED on the FINAL RESTART “no call” after the #20 Yota mashed the gas about 30 yards prior to the restart line/box. Now #2 is clearly less flagrant (than the #24 Chevy’s at Chi-land “no call”), yet the #2 FORD GETS A TOTAL GYP JOB, again ON THE FINAL RESTART!
    I SEE A PATTERN, as I said 700 miles & 3 weeks in advance when I foretold this TOTAL & UTTER BS immediately after the #20 bs “no-call” at Richmond! CLEAR, OBVIOUS, BLATENT & SHAMELESS farovtism!
    Regardless, of the clearly questionable enforcement, I think a black flag in this scenario is a far too sever penalty! As sure as the Sun will rise in the East, on every restart there is gamesmanship. There are fakes, jukes, hesitations, brake checks, missed gears, spin outs, etc. So why penalize drivers so severely for something that they do not control & might well have absolutely nothing to do with? Frequently the P2 guy all the way back to P30 (or worst) on what are intrinsically highly subjective, exceedingly difficult & very questionable calls! Imo the situation calls for an allownace to the restart infringer to continue unfettered, if they give the position back immediately. Call it the SuperBrad Rule! What a gyp-job!

    • NASCAR will not simply allow the flagman to control the restart because it would deprive them of an important in race manipulation tool

  12. There is no question NASCAR is the motorsports version of the WWE. Does anyone doubt that in Daytona they are already writing a script for Tony to contend for the title next year?

  13. ” If so, it worked. Kurt Busch nearly ran over Biffle before they got to the start/finish line, so my money is on the former rather than the latter.”

    Here is a thought. What if you’re the leader and you actually sat back and let the 2nd place guy take off what could be gained by the 2nd place guy getting the black flag? If the guy in 2nd is in the Chase you’ve just knocked him down a bit (especially on a short track). Roush doesn’t have anyone running in the Chase so I can’t imagine this to be the case with Biffle. However, I can see this strategy being used by some teams during restarts at some point so I would think NASCAR would be wise to address the issue sooner rather than later.

  14. Since Daytona is near the beach all NASCAR rules should be written in the sand a yard or so seaward of the high tide line. At least that way the rules would change with every high tide rather than randomly as they do now.

  15. The biggest news here is that no one has called Jerry Jordan a delusional reckless brown nosed ass. What’s up people? Where’s the focus? Did Jerry get accepted as a credible contributor and no one bothered to let me know. If that’s the case, I take back all the name calling and say well done Jerry.

  16. Why are the NASCAR reporters not asking the hard questions of NASCAR Like why were the Kenseth and Gordon restarts not penalized but his was. Come on Media you have to do your job or we all are screwed and at the mercy of inconsistent , dictatorial rules.

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