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« So much for NASCAR’s stern pre-race talk | Main | Racing Re-Cap: Talladega »

Keselowski doesn’t cut any slack to Junior or anyone else

By admin | April 26, 2009

By Richard Allen

Talk about not showing respect for the boss!

On his way to what has to be considered one of the most stunning victories in NASCAR history Brad Keselowski did not cut anyone any slack. That especially included his Nationwide Series car owner, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Keselowski drove this race for journeyman car owner James Finch, who has provided cars for the likes of Sterling Marlin and Mike Wallace. On this occasion the car was essentially the product of Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt’s Sprint Cup Series owner.

During the course of the Aaron’s 499 at the Talladega Super Speedway, Keselowski drove as if he had gone into the race with the intent of beating his full time boss in his part time ride. In order to do that he had to finish first among all drivers, and that is exactly what he did.

At one point in the race Junior was coming up the inside with a big run and a line of cars in tow. Seeing him coming, Keselowski turned hard left in an attempt to get in front of the approaching line. Instead, he came right across Junior’s nose and forced the two of them onto the track’s apron and almost to the grass.

The real blow to Junior from Keselowski came at the end of the race. After the final re-start, with less than five laps to go Earnhardt pushed Ryan Newman in an attempt to separate those two cars from the rest of the pack.

However, all throughout the day it had been shown that two cars could get together on the outside and make a big move toward the front. Keselowski teamed with Carl Edwards to make just such a big move. The two cars caught and blew by Earnhardt and Newman, who were desperately trying to stay together in an attempt to hold the lead.

“I couldn’t believe when I saw Brad pushing that 99 car,” Earnhardt said in his post race interview. He did add that he was happy for his Nationwide employee.

However, it wasn’t just Earnhardt who Keselowski didn’t cut any slack. As the cars raced toward the finish line Edwards tried desperately to block the hard charging rookie.

After blocking high then low, Edwards cut across the nose of Keselowski’s car. The young driver did not cut Edwards any slack, just as he shouldn’t have. He held his ground which sent Edwards spinning and eventually flying.

Edwards went sailing toward the catch fence and Keselowski went sailing under the checkered flag for his first Sprint Cup victory.

After the race Edwards proclaimed that Keselowski did nothing wrong. The incident was merely the product of restrictor plate racing.

In winning, Brad Keselowski joined a somewhat unique club. He became the tenth driver to win his first race on the Alabama track.

For now at least, he is also the member of a group of eight drivers who have recorded their only victory at Talladega. If continues to not cut other drivers any slack, he may add a second win soon and drop out of that club.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

*For a chuckle, click on the link below to watch my animated short film, “Racing Re-Cap: Talladega”.

In this episode racing reporter Mark Mustang is stunned when co-host Daisy Dreamboat wants to ask a racing question. But instead, the question turns out not to be about racing at all.

Topics: Articles |

6 Responses to “Keselowski doesn’t cut any slack to Junior or anyone else”

  1. steven Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 9:43 am

    it looked like dirty driving to me.

  2. Francis Parnell Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    The Talladega finish reminds me of other drivers that wouldn’t cut any slack. To name a few - Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly, Lee Petty, Junior johnson, Ralph Earnhardt, Buck Baker, etc. And living close to the “Track To Tough To Tame” I loved the finish! Like the NASCAR of old; the one I grew up watching.

  3. Charles Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Look the Talladaga race finish was exciting! But here again all the wrecks that have occured since” the plate” has been used and the lack of competition beween the brand of cars is why I dont go to Talladaga!

    This race on balance had a little better level of competition between the brands, but with all the wrecks taking out large amount of cars is not racing to me!

    I cannot fiqure out why they dont up the speeds at Daytona and Talledaga, “yes up the speed”s get them atleast 210 mph so they can separate and not run in packs! They did not have as many wrecks without the restrictor plate! Looks to me what works at Atlanta, Charlotte, Texas all tracks that are Faster than Talledaga and Daytona, yes faster they dont have as many wrecks!

  4. Francis Parnell Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Has anyone in NASCAR thought of going to 300 Cubic Inches and doing away with the restrictor plate? That might slow them down enough and separate them for a safer race.

  5. HellwithSteve Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    steve’s just an idiot. nothing dirty about it, he cut him no slack and held his ground. sound like a whiner there steve

  6. Jimbo Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Does anyone have an answer to this question? As mentioned in this article, the 09 forced the 88 below the yellow line during the race. The 88 came out in front of the 09 once they came back up on the racing surface. Question is: Why were the 09 and the 88 not penalized for the infraction. My understanding is that it’s against the rules if you improve your position going below the yellow line. The 88 did. It’s also my understanding that it’s against the rules to force someone below the yellow line. The 09 did. My opinion is that both the first and 2nd place cars got away with breaking the rules that were so strongly stressed during the drivers meeting. Let me just put it this way, if it were the 18 and 2 that did this, we would be hearing from a lot more folks than just me.