Photo: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Keselowski Doesn’t Hold Back After Early Exit at Kentucky

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

Heading into Saturday night’s race at Kentucky Speedway, Brad Keselowski was considered by many as one of the favorites given his three wins at the track in the past six years, but after an early exit, Keselowski did not hold back on his thoughts about everything that had transpired, giving everyone some valid points to ponder for the future of the sport.

Starting the day in 10th place, Keselowski struggled in the first stage, failing to finish in the top-10, but things would get even worse for the 2012 series champion early in Stage 2.

On lap 89, Keselowski entered Turn 3 and lost control of his No. 2 Ford, collecting Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson in the aftermath. Keselowski’s day would be done for as his chances to repeat as victor on Kentucky’s repaved 1.5-mile track were gone.

“I just got in an aero wake and it pulled me around,” said Keselowski. “I knew I was in a bad spot. I was trying to lay up but there is only so much you can lay up here because you get ran over from behind. The air pulled me around. It sucks. I feel bad for everyone on the Miller Lite Ford team and I think I tore up two or three other guys and that sucks for them. I don’t know. It is kind of a tough spot to be in on these tracks where they are kind of one groove. You can’t just lay up every time. You give up too many spots or get ran over from behind. If you drive in with someone close to you the car just spins out. It just sucks but it is what it is. We have to find a way around it and we didn’t today.”

“I just wrecked it. It stinks. I got loose into three. I was underneath the 14. I was trying to lay up and give room but just spun out as soon as I got anywhere near the corner. I wrecked myself and a bunch of other guys.”

As expected, Keselowski was frustrated with the early exit, but the comments he made following the crash raised some eyebrows throughout NASCAR as he made some valid points on the current state of the sport.

“The way this car is, it needs a lot more help than a Tire Dragon. It is a poorly designed race car and it makes racing on tracks like this very difficult to put on the show we want to put on for our fans. You do what you can to gouge and claw on the restarts and get everything you can get. You have to put yourself in bad situations to do that and that is where we were. If you don’t make those moves on the restarts, then you run in the back. Or you have a bad day. The scenario that the car design, more than the track.”

“It is time for the sport to design a new car that is worthy of where this sport deserves to be and the show it deserves to put on for its fans.”

Keselowski’s comments on the current car design echoes those of many throughout the garage that have been calling for change to the Gen-6 car to allow for better racing on the various tracks on the circuit by making the cars much less aero dependent.

NASCAR has made strides in helping with the competition aspect of the sport by taking away copious amounts of downforce over the last couple of years, but there is certainly more that can be done, as evidenced by Keselowski’s thoughts on Saturday night.

So, what exactly can we do to fix things? Well, Keselowski elaborated further on Twitter later in the evening, noting that we should look to the past to advance things for the future.

Whether or not Keselowski’s comments will have any effect on NASCAR making necessary changes remains to be seen, but hopefully the words of a former champion will carry some weight with the sanctioning body to get plans in place to implement some of his thoughts into future car designs that will be coming down the road.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.