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Keselowski tells crew that NASCAR handed victory to Johnson

By admin | November 4, 2012

By Richard Allen

The last 100 miles of Sunday’s Sprint Cup event in Texas provided some of the most exciting racing and some of the best drama seen in NASCAR this season. And in the heat of the moment during those late laps, several competitors allowed their emotions to boil over which resulted in some extraordinary comments.

Perhaps the spiciest of all those remarks came from 2nd place finisher Brad Keselowski as he crossed the under the checkered flag just behind winner Jimmie Johnson. Over his team radio, the driver of the Penske Racing Dodge keyed his in-car microphone and spoke to his crew members.

“Good job everybody,” Keselowski said. “Can’t do anything about it when somebody is handed the race time after time.”

The often outspoken Keselowski was no doubt referring to a series of events that set off controversy surrounding a couple of restarts in the waning laps. The Michigan native led from laps 236 to 276 in a race originally scheduled for 334 circuits. But on lap 276, a caution flag waved for debris on the racing surface. Debris cautions often come with a certain degree of controversy due the somewhat subjective nature of the rulings. That particular yellow came at a time when the #2 team believed they had a fuel mileage strategy in place that would give them a win.

Keselowski was further frustrated by the lap 276 debris caution because he had slid deep into his pit stall because an issue with his brakes and was subsequently blocked in as he attempted to leave. That miscue dropped him from the lead to 8th place in the running order.

That caution set off somewhat of a domino effect as three more yellow flags would eventually wave before the end of the 500 mile event. Those cautions brought about the controversy that would eventually result in Keselowski’s heat of the moment statement to his crew that NASCAR’s rulings had benefited Johnson.

After the restart from a lap 311 caution, Johnson claimed that Keselowski had gained an unfair advantage by taking off before the point at which drivers are allowed to go. This accusation was further backed up by Kyle Busch who had restarted 2nd at that time.

Johnson verbally challenged race officials to make a ruling over his team radio, which the sanctioning body monitors. “Come on, NASCAR,” he roared. “Look at the tape. That was bullsh*t.” However, NASCAR deemed the start a fair one and no punitive action was taken.

Finally, on the green/white/checkered restart that would ultimately decide the outcome of the race, it was Johnson who seemed to gain an advantage. Even though NASCAR rules state that the first place car must be the first to cross the line while taking the green flag, television replays showed that the second running Johnson was actually just ahead at the line. From there, the five time champion went on to the victory.

Keselowski’s post-race television comments were not quite as harsh as those made in the emotion of the moment as he crossed the finish line. “Man, I thought I had it but we kept getting all those yellows and it just kept giving them more shots,” he declared. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to execute every restart and Jimmie did a great job on the last one. I had to choose between wrecking him and winning the race and it didn’t seem right to wreck him.”

There have always been a number of fans(and even competitors) who have voiced their belief that Hendrick Motorsports drivers such as Johnson get breaks that other drivers do not. At least for a few moments in Texas, Brad Keselowski was among those.

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15 Responses to “Keselowski tells crew that NASCAR handed victory to Johnson”

  1. JB Says:
    November 4th, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    It’s not “Hendrick Motorsports drivers such as Johnson.” It’s ONLY the 48. No other team in NASCAR history has gotten away with more. Even when caught & rightfully penalized by NASCAR, one solitary man, who happens to be BFFs with Rick Hendrick, overturned the penalty.

  2. Russ Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Admittedly I did not watch the race. However, listening on the radio it seemed like the #2 had a really good lead with about 18? laps to go when just after the 48 passed the 18 for second Kahne ( a teammate of the 48) hit the wall and brought out a caution.
    Curious.

  3. john Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Felon racing at its best !

  4. Tony Geinzer Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 6:22 am

    The Score is already being 6 to 0,Rich as I don’t want to suffer through another Winter of Southern California Cruelty of JJ being Champ, but, he’s like Duke, you’d hate him for winning and that only gives incentive versus anger,Rich.

  5. Beentherebefore Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 6:39 am

    It’s not just the one man who is BFF with “Convict Rick”. It’s the long tentacles of the GM mothership that reaches far into the Nascar heirarchy which then gives GM teams special favors and rules treatment. Years of pro-GM favoritism has made Hendrick the big dog in Cup racing and the result is his drivers keep stinkin’ up the show.

    “CHEVCAR” - Been that way since 1972 when GM pressure got the Mopar and Ford Hemis handicapped and then banned as their price to re-enter Nascar Cup racing.

    Fans are voting with their feet - witness the half empty stands in Texas.

  6. The Old Guy Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 9:17 am

    The final restart was not the only one where JJ, in second place, crossed the start finish line ahead of the lead car.

    A fan since the early 50s, I’m very close to seeing my last race either live or on TV.

    For the last twenty years, I have attended races at Daytona, Atlanta, Charlotte, Darlington and Bristol. This is the first year that I did not attend, or buy a ticket for, any of my usual races.

  7. jo-jr Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I agree 100% with J B !!been going to nascar races,since back in 60’s ! stopped going, two years, ago!! Do not even watch on t.v….same old crap, year after year! had to read on jaysky’s ,what happened! I think, the fans, could be o.k. with j.j. wining some of the races, but, the way he gets the wins, are exactly, as J B , states! all, those championships, he, got, are just…got….not won!!!!

  8. Jim Baker Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Did anyone notice that Matt Kenseth came from 22nd to 4th in the last 100 laps? No? NASCAR needs to dump the Chase format so the sponsors of non-Chase drivers don’t end up abandoning them every year. NASCAR thinks sponsorship is declining because of the bad economy. It is because of the Chase format and TV productions that reward the sponsored drivers of program advertisers with extra air time during the race. This is at the expense of car sponsors who don’t, or can’t, run TV ads on race day. In summation, blame NASCAR and all of the TV race broadcasters for the sorry state of stock car racing.

  9. Michael in SoCal Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    The 2 jumps a restart by about 3 car lengths and Nascar says nothing (both the 18 & the 48 called the Blue Deuce out on it). The 48 passes the start / finish line about a foot in front of the Blue Deuce on the last restart and again Nascar says nothing. Sounds like Nascar is letting the drivers ‘have at it’, which is what the fans wanted.

  10. grumpiestoldman Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 11:24 am

    There’s not a chance in heck the Blue Deuce will win the championship this year. The Chosen One will.
    Alan Bestwick must just be sick for having to try and explain all the phantom cautions.

  11. midasmicah Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve been saying for a while that Hendricks Racing runs nas$car. In fact it should be called “Hendricks Cup” Anybody remember the last time a Ford won the championship. Rich, I’ve responded to your colum ns for a while and stated my point of view. Well, this fan of 30+ years has had it. I watched very little of the Texas race and what I saw once again disgusted me. Total manipulation by the powers that be. Look, I’m not saying Johnson’s not a great driver. He is. It’s just that the deck is stacked against anybody but Hendricks. I won’t be watching either of the final two races because it’s obvious whose going to win. I’ve always gotten keyed up for the start of the racing season at Daytona. Well, apathy has set in already. Have a good one, folks.

  12. Critter95 Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Ask how Edwards feels about those restarts. It always seems that when someone gets close to JJ in the chase mystery electrical problems show up (Edwards, Hamlin) or miscalculating fuel mileage by 14 laps, or “gray area” sliding rear suspensions or other rule violations that Hendrick’s get away with or suddenly obviously way more horsepower to pass everyone on restarts like Tony did last year.

  13. Offkilter Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Right on Michael in So Cal. My thoughts exactly.
    If the conspiracy theories about hms were true, my question would be how in hell could one of the two dodge’s in cup even be in the same time zone as the points leader?

  14. Stephen Truesdale Says:
    November 5th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    One of of my coworkers has been arguing with me that Nascar fixed it to where Gordon made the chase instead of Kyle.He says that Nascar is fixed and will set up Johnson to get the most Championships ever.Sucks that I’m going to have to eat my words and admit he’s right.I’m also not even going to waste my time with the last two races and if Johnson wins then I’m through.

  15. Kevin Says:
    November 9th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Conspiracy Theorists,

    IF NASCAR was in the business of ‘fixing’ results, or allowing rules to be bent or broken to a single teams advantage. Jimmie Johnson would not be the beneficiary of those fixes in the form of 6 championships.

    Kyle Busch
    Dale Earnhardt Jr
    Carl Edwards
    Jeff Gordon
    Kevin Harvick
    Jimmie Johnson
    Kasey Kahne
    Matt Kenseth
    Bobby Labonte
    Tony Stewart
    What do these drivers have in common? They are all top ten finalists for the Most Popular Driver award, 3 consecutive seasons.

    IF NASCAR were in the business of fixing the results, all of these drivers would be GUARANTEED to be in the chase each & every year.

    IF NASCAR was in the business of fixing results - it would only make sense that their most popular drivers - the ones that generate all the sponsor revenue & all the media exposure, who put the butts in seats & eyes on the screens, whose fans spend millions on NASCAR - would be the ones to constantly have the most success.

    Because that is the situation that would generate the most money for the sport.

    However,

    Kyle Busch & Carl Edwards missed the chase this year.
    Bobby Labonte is driving crap equipment for a D level team.
    Jeff Gordon barely made the chase & has missed the chase in the past.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr is having his first successful season in YEARS
    Kasey Kahne & Tony Stewart have both missed the chase in the past.

    IF NASCAR is in the business of fixing races to have a specific ‘wanted’ outcome - the recent history books would look much, much, much different than they do now, and Dale Earnhardt Jr would be one season away from tying his Daddy & Richard Petty for having 7 NASCAR Cup Championships - Not Jimmie Johnson.

    NASCAR is in the business of making money. Jimmie Johnson is on the verge of his 6th championship in 7 years. Ratings are WAY off their peak. NASCAR is not in the business of fixing races. And if they are, they’re doing a damn poor job of it.

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