Published on May 6th, 2014 | by Michael J Smith0
Keselowski Deserves Criticism For ‘Dega Wreck
Early in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, Brad Keselowski suffered damage after he made contact with Danica Patrick going into Turn 1.
Keselowski slid on the apron, went back up the track, narrowly avoided getting hit by Trevor Bayne, and slide back down through the grass.
The incident damaged Keselowski’s radiator, and he went down several laps while the team made repairs.
Keselowski was able to return to the track.
On lap 136, Keselowski was mixing it up with leaders, trying to get one of his laps back the old-fashioned way.
Keselowski was running in the middle lane in front of Bayne and Matt Kenseth. Keselowski was several laps down, and not racing for position. But, he might have been trying to get one of his laps back.
Keselowski wiggled, then got loose and spun. Keselowski collected Bayne and Kenseth, and all three slid up the track into Jeff Gordon and Alex Bowman.
Cole Whitt swerved to avoid the wreck, but he hit Brian Scott and the two slid down the track. Scott hit Tony Stewart and the two of them hit the inside wall hard. Whitt was able to right his car when Scott hit Stewart.
We were just trying really hard to get our lap back there. And, we couldn’t catch any yellows or any breaks. So, I had to be really aggressive and hope for something to happen our way. And, I had to be running up towards the front. So, I feel bad that we got cars tore up and that we were laps down when we did it, but, you know, we’re trying to race too. It just didn’t work out for us.
Some drivers had a problem with Keselowski’s actions.
Matt Kenseth, who was involved in the accident, said:
Brad made a pretty bold move early, a mind-boggling move, I guess you could say, to go in front of Danica [Patrick] early and spun out in front of the field and got away with it. I thought he was a bunch of laps down but maybe he was trying to get on the lead lap and just spun out in front of all of us and tore up a bunch of good race cars.
Jeff Gordon, one of the drivers who was knocked out of the race in the incident, added:
I had seen him for several laps driving over his head being pretty aggressive I guess trying to get his lap back. I knew he was laps down, but he wasn’t doing anybody any favors, nor himself. Then ultimately that was a wreck. I would like to see the video to know exactly what happened. Somebody might not have given him an inch there, but he was certainly taking probably more than he should have been in the situation he was in.
At first, I didn’t fault Keselowski. His car got loose and he spun. It wasn’t like he made an overly aggressive move that caused a wreck. He got loose and spun. It happens.
But, the more I think about it, the more I think he deserves the criticism he’s getting.
If it had been earlier in the race, or if Keselowski was only one lap down, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with what he was trying to do. But, with 52 laps to go, and being six laps down, Keselowski should’ve been more content to ride around and get whatever he could in terms of positions.