NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski Takes Have At It to a New Level

Gentlemen Have At It

The Elimination component of the new NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup has been let loose. Three Chase contending teams were put into a very tough spot at Kansas Speedway leading to more drama than we have seen in a long time at Charlotte Motor Speedway this past week. Tensions are high and tempers are flaring, so what can we expect this week at Talladega Superspeedway.

All in all the racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway was pretty much like it has been there and many other 1.5 mile speedways. Nothing really spectacular except after the checkered flag was waved the drama started. Since almost all of the drama revolved around Brad Keselowski we will circle around and try to make some sense of it.

Denny Hamlin:

On the final restart of the race Denny Hamlin was in front of Keselowski and Keselowski ran into the back of him. This caused Hamlin to lose six spots while trying to recover. Hamlin finished ninth.

On the cool down lap Hamlin admitted he brake checked Keselowski then Keselowski tried and failed to spin Hamlin out. All of this happened on the track.

After the race when they were out of the car Hamlin tried to fight? or confront Keselowski over the incident.

Matt Kenseth:

On the second to last restart Brad Keselowski was leading the race and Matt Kenseth got to his rear bumper. Kenseth swung out to pass on the outside and Keselowski moved up to block catching the left front corner of Kenseth’s car in the process. He blocked Kenseth all the way up the track to the wall. Kenseth hit the wall pretty much ending his chances for a good finish. He finished the race 19th the last car on the lead lap.

On the next restart Kenseth got his lap back and on his wave around swung wide and hit Keselowski’s car damaging the left front. This hurt the car and Keselowski’s day. He finished 16th and did not make up any ground in the points to remain in the Chase.

Brad Keselowski showed his displeasure with Kenseth by hitting him in the driver’s side door at the entrance to pit road after Kenseth had already removed his HANS and seat belts. In the process of all this Keselowski ran into the back of Tony Stewart.

After the cars were parked Matt Kenseth jumped Keselowski between the haulers and a fight ensued.

Tony Stewart:

Tony Stewart after getting hit by Keselowski on pit road, stopped, put his car in reverse and rammed him. Since Keselowski didn’t really have a beef with Stewart it ended there.

Fines:

NASCAR fined Brad Keselowski $50,000.00 and Tony Stewart $25,000.00 for actions detrimental to stock car racing and a behavioral penalty for being involved in post-race incidents. They are also on probation for the next four events.

NASCAR was in a tough spot. They created the new Chase Format to create drama and they got exactly what they wanted.

NASCAR got the fines and penalties right!. Everything that happened on the track was simply “Boys have at it”. Wrecking cars or driving recklessly at the entrance to and on pit road or the garage area is not acceptable. There simply is too many people who are not protected that are being put into danger.

This week at Talladega don’t expect any payback from the events of last week but will we see some more aggressive driving from Brad Keselowski? Will be see some blocking which almost always leads to the “Big One” that wrecks the field? Will some of the other driver be more aggressive? This is exactly why NASCAR changed the Chase for the Sprint Cup. It is a must watch event.

If you cannot get to Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500 it will be broadcast live on ESPN on Sunday, October 19th. 2014 starting at 1 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 291439 NASCAR via Getty Images

One thought on “Gentlemen Have At It”

  1. The “new” chase is stimulating interest. No doubt about it. But the question is, will it always produce a legitimate champion? There’s the rub.

    The answer is no. Anyone associated with NASCAR speaks glowingly of the new chase. The argument goes like this.

    The other major sports have playoffs, and the team with the best record does not always go on to winning the championship. That is true, but, it’s comparing apples and oranges. Pick your sport, baseball, football, basketball, hockey. They have playoffs. Indeed they do, but, once the playoffs start, the season is over for everyone else. They do not continue playing.

    Further, all the sports named have divisions. Initially, only those who won their division made it into the post season.

    In the case of MLB, there was the American and National leagues. The two pennant winners went to the World Series. Then they broke down the two divisions into sub-divisions. Winners and wild cards made it into the post season playoffs

    Football was similar. Ditto for basketball and hockey.

    And this is where the argument for those who extol the new system breaks down.

    Unlike the aforementioned sports racers participate against each other in all the races. Some may not qualify for every race, but all the serious contenders duke it out at every race for wins and points.

    The other sports have some interdivisional games, but their main competition is within their division.

    Initially, you needed a championship game to determine the champion because they did not compete against teams from other divisions.

    Excellence over the length of the entire season is sufficient to determine the legitimate champion. If the Championship is determined before the last race or two, so what?

    If a team, car, driver is that consistently good over the course of a season, they deserve the championship. It is unfair for a team to prove itself the best over the long haul, rather than just the last ten races, or perhaps just the last race.

    NASCAR used to brag that their system was the best of all the sports/entertainment venues, because it rewarded excellence over the long haul.

    If NASCAR wants to be like other sports, break the competitors into different divisions. Then the current playoff system would have some merit.

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