By admin | October 5, 2013
By Richard Allen
On lap 189 of the Kansas Lottery 300 Nationwide Series race on Saturday, an event filled with multiple caution flags but no real storylines suddenly provided some headline material. And that attention getting material has the potential to impact the most sacred of all NASCAR entities, the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
It was at that time when Kyle Busch’s Toyota made contact with Brad Keselowski to send the Penske Racing driver for a wild ride that ended with his Ford beaten and battered.
Busch immediately got on his in-car radio to tell his team that the incident was his fault and that his car had developed a push which caused him to move up the track and into his rival. That may very well be the case, but Keselowski wasn’t buying it and he was more than willing to show that.
Just after the crash, the 2012 Sprint Cup champion went on a running tour of the Kansas Speedway that looked like some combination of Forrest Gump’s jog across America and Clint Bowyer’s sprint through the Phoenix Raceway garage area, with a Kurt Busch(to Jimmy Spencer) butt slap for Busch’s crew thrown in for good measure.
But the impromptu jog wasn’t all. When reporters were able to track Keselowski down, he had plenty to say. In a story posted on USAToday.com by Jeff Gluck, the often vocal driver unleashed on the younger of the racing Busch brothers.
“I got wrecked by a dirty driver,” Keselowski said. “There is no other way of putting it.”
But the comment that is more likely to get the attention of NASCAR officials was made earlier in front of live microphones. “I’m not going to stand for it, and he’s got more to lose,” he declared. “That’s one good thing about not being in Chase.”
As NASCAR showed just a few short weeks ago in the case of Michael Waltrip Racing’s shenanigans in Richmond, they don’t like for anyone to tamper with their Chase. And that most likely includes former Sprint Cup champions who didn’t happen to make the playoff this year.
As has been well documented, the 2013 version of the Chase is quickly becoming a three man race between Busch, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson. With Busch being a contender, he may be offered a hedge of protection by the sanctioning body to assure that its television partners will have their much coveted championship battle in the season’s final race.
So, one has to wonder if/when Keselowski will get the “Don’t mess with the Chase” lecture from NASCAR.
Granted, a little drama between two big stars can always be good for ratings, especially when one of them is the somewhat unpopular Kyle Busch. And the appearance that something might happen would almost certainly be welcomed. But again, the sacred cow in this sport is the Chase. It is not to be messed with.
I’m guessing that conversation between someone from NASCAR and Keselowski will take place prior to the waving of the green flag in Kansas on Sunday. It will likely be a private one, but it will probably take place.
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