Keselowski leads final practice, as suspensions loom for key team membersBy Roger Holtsclaw
Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Brad Keselowski and his Penske Racing team have received more than their share of media attention in the past several weeks. NASCAR found what it deemed illegal rear end parts on both Penske team cars at Texas Motor Speedway. Each team was docked 25 points and fined the crew chiefs $100,000 each. More importantly, NASCAR suspended crew chiefs, car chiefs, engineers and competition directors from both teams for seven weeks. Penske appealed the penalties and had their first hearing Wednesday.
The appeals board voted unanimously to uphold the penalties handed down from NASCAR. Roger Penske immediately announced that the team would take their appeal further and plead their case to John Middlebrook, NASCAR’s chief appellate officer. This will be the final opportunity for Penske to get a reduction of the penalties. NASCAR spokesman, Kerry Tharp, announced the final will be heard on Tuesday May 7, 2013. Middlebrook approved the request for the suspended team members to attend Talladega.
Keselowski has quite an impressive resume’ here at Talladega. In just eight starts he has two wins, three top fives, and six top tens! The Miller Lite team hasn’t skipped a beat this weekend. Keselowski was 11th in the first practice and led final practice on Friday. The team is obviously staying as focused as possible and trying maintain business as usual.
It seems when Brad and his No.2 Miller Lite team find themselves in high pressure situations, they come out swinging! (Remember what happened when Brad broke his foot!?) I look for this team to perform well at Talladega and keep performing well even if they lose their appeal. As strange as it sounds, putting this team at a disadvantage, just may lead to Keselowski being a repeat champion!