In a move that surprised a lot of people, NASCAR has decided not to fine Brad Keselowski for his rather colorful comments following the NRA 500 last Saturday. Brian France confirmed that no penalties will be handed down during an interview with Fox Business earlier today. People are puzzled as to why Denny Hamlin’s seemingly harmless comments at Phoenix warranted a $25,000 fine while Brad firing off at the administration was looked at as an okay move. Keselowski was incensed by the way officials had treated his team but he wouldn’t go into detail regarding it. For those of you that never got to hear or read what the reigning champion said, here you go…
“I have one good thing to say, that’s my team and effort they put in today in fighting back with the absolute bulls— that’s been the last seven days in this garage area. The things I’ve seen over the last seven days have me questioning everything that I believe in, and I’m not happy about it. I don’t have anything positive to say and I probably should just leave it at that. There’s so much stuff going on…you have no f—— idea what’s going on, And that’s not your fault and that’s not a slam on you. I could tell you there’s nobody, no team in this garage with the integrity of the 2 team. And the way we’ve been treated over the last seven days is absolutely shameful. I feel like we’ve been targeted over the last seven days more than I’ve ever seen a team targeted. But my guys kept their heads on straight and they showcased why they are a winning team and championship team. We’re not going to take it. We’re not going to be treated this way.”
Now for the Denny Hamlin comments from Phoenix to refresh your memory…
“I don’t want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our Generation 5 cars, this is more like what the Generation 5 was at the beginning. The teams hadn’t figured out how to get the aero balance right. Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. You would have placed me in 20th-place with 30 to go, I would have stayed there — I wouldn’t have moved up. It’s just one of those things where track position is everything. In the media center – I hate to be Denny-downer, but I just didn’t pass that many cars today. That’s the realistic fact of it.”
I am happy NASCAR decided not to penalize Keselowski because I love watching drivers speak their minds but I don’t understand how they found the Keselowski comments to be okay while Hamlin’s were considered “disparaging remarks.” Perhaps they have decided to take a more relaxed stance when it comes to dropping the hammer on drivers who speak their minds and if that’s so, then good job NASCAR. Remember though, there is still a possible ground shattering penalty coming Penske Racing’s way so the team as a whole hasn’t gotten away from NASCAR’s iron fist just yet. You can expect fines, point deductions and possible suspensions handed down to the team within the next 48 hours.
Keselowski is one of the most, if not the most opinionated driver in the garage area and even if you don’t agree with him, you have to admire and respect his raw, uncensored honesty. He is a new kind of driver that doesn’t bother to sugar coat anything to make it easier to hear for the more sensitive people out there. He speaks what he feels and doesn’t care about the possible repercussions. From calling Kyle Busch an ass in front of 150,000 screaming Bristol fans to his animated interviews on ESPN following his championship or using more swear words than nouns in the Phoenix Media Center last November; he has never been afraid to call it like he sees it. Brad is a new breed of racer and love him or hate him, right or wrong, always know that what you hear him say is the absolute truth in his eyes. I thank you for that Brad and please continue to stay true to yourself.
The head officials are notorious for making inconsistent calls but with literally millions of people trying to tell them how to do their job every day, it’s practically impossible to make everyone happy. Hopefully, this decision to leave the champ alone will set a new precedent on how officials will look at future incidents. Letting drivers speak their minds without the possibility of punishment would be great for this sport. The fans want to see personalities. They want to see their drivers show passion and so far 2013 has given us a very healthy dose of all that! These guys have to keep in mind though that they are ambassadors of this great sport so they shouldn’t go around bashing it every week. The phrase, don’t bite the hand that feeds you would work very well here. In the end, call it what you want but I applaud NASCAR for keeping their hands out of this one and letting the drivers vent their frustrations.