Not many expected Brad Keselowski to be a contender this weekend at Pocono Raceway. On Wednesday, Keselowski was involved in a scary crash while testing his Sprint Cup Dodge at Road Atlanta. The brakes in his car failed and he crashed head on at 100 mph into a wall with no SAFER barrier. He was air lifted to the hospital for further evaluation.
He came out of the wreck with a severely bruised left ankle and an avulsion fracture. Sam Hornish filled in for Keselowski in the Nationwide series race at Iowa Speedway as a precautionary measure. Hornish was also on standby at Pocono, in case Keselowski needed a relief driver.
Keselowski showed everyone that he won’t lay down on the job, even if he is injured. He fought a hard race all day long and with 16 to go, found himself in second place. Keselowski took the lead from Kyle Busch on the final restart and was able to take home the victory. As a result of his win, Keselowski took the top wild card spot in the Chase.
Lead Swapping Etiquette
How far does the word “teammate” really go? I guess you would have to ask Joe Gibbs Racing drivers, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, that question. Normally, if teammates are running first and second, the leader will let his teammate take the lead to earn the bonus point. Then, the new leader will kindly move aside and let his teammate take back the lead. Busch asked via spotter if he could do just that with Hamlin. Hamlin didn’t want to back down speed to allow Busch to pass him.
On lap 84 they made, what everyone thought, was a lead swap. Except in this situation, Busch did not give the lead back to Hamlin. Hamlin voiced his anger with his teammate over the radio. Busch responded, “Considering I’m driving away, I’m going to keep the lead. Thank you!’. The incident was not discussed after the race. I have a feeling Denny Hamlin will not forget this incident.
Jimmie Johnson Vs Kurt Busch
On the last lap of the race, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch were slamming fenders for third place. Busch ended up getting the spot when the checkers flew. Johnson made it clear to Busch that he was not pleased with the way he was raced. On pit road, Johnson was at the elder Busch’s window before he could even get out of the car. The yelling match lasted for about two minutes, then they parted ways. Johnson thinks that Busch raced him too hard. However, according to replays, it looks as if Johnson hit Busch first.
Not matter how you look at it, rubbing is racing. Busch just decided to finish what Johnson started. Why should he back down and give up the spot because Johnson wanted it? The Penske Racing driver did what he had to do to get a third place finish for his team. I don’t think this will be the last word in this matter, especially with the road course coming up. Tempers are likely to flare.
Junior Nation Remains Calm
Dale Earnhardt Jr has been keeping his fans on their toes the past few races. Fans have been worrying over Dale Jr’s inconsistency, as the last few races before the Chase wind down. Junior kept his fans reassured by his calm take on where he is right now. “I don’t know where we’re at (in points) right now, I haven’t seen it. I’m comfortable though, trust me. I’d rather be second or first or third, whatever, but I’m good with how things are working out.” Earnhardt finished 9th today and still sits 10th in points, 79 points behind the leader.
For most of the race, he climbed to ninth in the standings, thanks in part to early trouble and handling issues for Tony Stewart. Stewart, however, managed to recover and held on to a two-point lead over Earnhardt Jr.