Brad Keselowski won the tumultuous Supermarket Heroes 500 race at Bristol Motor Speedway in an action-packed event that included 17 cautions and 21 lead changes among seven drivers.
The win was his second this season and his 32nd Cup Series career victory. It was also unexpected.
With only two laps remaining, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott were racing each other for the lead and collided. Keselowski was in the perfect position to take advantage of the mishap and drove his No. 2 Team Penske Ford to the front to claim the checkered flag.
In an interview after the race, Keselowski discussed the current one-day format that precludes any practice or qualifying sessions and whether that has led to more mistakes during the races.
While many may look at this situation as bad for the sport, he had a different perspective.
“Well, mistakes make for great racing,” Keselowski said. “When you watch rookies run at some of these tracks, it’s a lot of fun. I think you look at the lower tiered series, they’re some of the most fun races to watch because the drivers make a lot of mistakes; that creates a lot of action.”
He further explained why we don’t typically see mistakes in the Cup Series.
“I think sometimes you get to the Cup level, whether it’s the setup, drivers’ experience, you don’t see a lot of mistakes”, he said, “People misinterpret that as the cars are really easy to drive. It’s really just the opposite of that. These guys are pros, really good.”
And though he offered several possibilities as to why there have seemingly been more miscues on the track, he is convinced that it has made NASCAR more competitive and exciting to watch.
“For whatever reason, whether it’s not having a chance to work on the cars, practice, the drivers not getting those experiences, we’re seeing more mistakes with this format, this style of racing, the no-practice type stuff,” Keselowski suggested.
“I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think that makes for better racing in a lot of different ways. So I hope we keep it up.
“I said earlier this week that I feel like NASCAR struck gold with these formats. I stand by that. These are great formats. We’ve seen some of the best racing we’ve ever seen in NASCAR accordingly. I’m not just saying that because I’m in Victory Lane. I think a lot of people would say this was a tremendous race, and I hope they enjoyed it.”
You could argue that Keselowski’s opinion is biased. But there is no question that Bristol Motor Speedway delivered short track racing at its best.