Is the "Gentleman's Agreement" gone in NASCAR?

NASCAR – Its Wreck Your Mother Time at Phoenix International Raceway

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is over at Texas Motor Speedway, the fines have been assessed and the penalties handed out. Now it’s on to Phoenix International Raceway for the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500. Can this new Chase for the Sprint Cup get any more exciting?

All week NASCAR fans both hard core and casual have been talking about the move Brad Keselowski made on Jeff Gordon, the after race mêlée on pit road and the penalties for those involved. Never in as long as I can remember has NASCAR been talked about on the national news for more than one day after a race.

Whether you are in the Brad Keselowski camp where winning at all cost is expected or the Jeff Gordon camp where racing with respect is important you cannot say that this isn’t the most exciting racing we have had in ages each and every week.

This week NASCAR has the last race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The events of last weekend has tightened up the eight drivers who are still in contention for the Chase. In fact not one of them is out but after Phoenix only four will have a shot. See Chase Grid Below:

Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman are the only drivers who can clinch Championship berths at Homestead regardless of how others finish. They need to finish 11th, 11th and 9th or better respectively not including bonus’s for leading laps.

Brad Keselowski showed last week what he will do to keep himself in contention. Years ago Tony Stewart said he would “Wreck his Mother” to win a Championship but it appears that Keselowski would actually do it.

I’m here to win races for Roger Penske and for my team. That means when there’s a gap, I have to take it. If it requires a tiny bit of rubbing, that’s okay. It’s not anything I don’t expect on the other side.  Plenty of times where I got rubbed. It will go both ways.  That’s okay by me. I’m not asking anyone to take. I’m not trying to dish out something that I couldn’t take myself.” Keselowski added, “But these guys have their own code, and they race differently than that. That’s their right.

Can this new Chase for the Sprint Cup get any more exciting? Well if the precedent that Keselowski set carries through to the other seven drivers then install a seat belt on your chairs, that interesting looking one mile speedway at Phoenix is going to be exciting.

“Win and Your In” will be the phrase of the day.

If you cannot get to Phoenix International Raceway for the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500 it will be broadcast live on ESPN starting at 2 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for

Feature Photo Credit: 302712 Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images

Credit: NASCAR Media
Credit: NASCAR Media

2 thoughts on “NASCAR – Its Wreck Your Mother Time at Phoenix International Raceway”

  1. I have never seen an on track incident in Nascar that so many writers got so wrong. Harvicks roof cam proves Brad did nothing wrong. For whatever reason, Jeff went up the track, thereby relinquishing that spot on the track. Brad took it, as he should have. Jeff came down and hit Brad. It wasn’t even close or debateable.

    1. You are so right Leroy…thing is that many people have said the same thing including drivers who are now commentators etc…..however, it keeps getting written that Brad was at fault in this instance. Was he supposed to back off….let Jeff get back to “his” spot and then race for the win….lordy !! I am happy to see someone actually race to win. Does Jeff forget that only the week before, he commented that he would have “moved” Junior if he had gotten to his bumper in time to win?

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