The dust has settled from the race, and post race antics, at Charlotte Motor Speedway after the running of the Bank of America 500.
Apparently Brad Keselowski decided that the current Championship Chase needed a bit more drama! Boy, did he deliver while at the same time the former Cup Champion could have damaged his Chase hopes.
During the cool down laps Keselowski, who is the driver of the No. 2 car, suddenly rammed Denny Hamlin's car while still circling the track as they slowed to enter the pits. Keselowski was not finished as he proceeded to ram Matt Kenseth's car while he was sitting on pit road taking off his safety gear. That sent Kenseth into the back of Tony Stewart. In turn Stewart backed into Keselowski.
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Were you thinking that was the end of it? Nope, things were just getting started as National TV race coverage was winding down. An observant TV director must have been watching camera feeds from his cameramen around the track. As the announcers were winding things down camera’s cut to scuffles breaking out.
Should Know Better!
The best was Matt Kenseth pulling his best professional wrestling moves as he caught up to Keselowski between two haulers. The fight was on and being broadcast live. Kenseth later said he thought that Keselowski should know better to pull such unsafe maneuvers since he was a past Cup Champion.
"Besides the race, he (Keselowski) knew I was out there and on that restart wrecked me," Kenseth said. "I guess I shouldn't have went out there. Really the safety -- he was doing something with Denny there, and I don't know if he was mad at him.
"I had my HANS off and my seat belt's off and he clobbers me at like 50 (mph). With the accidents and stuff that we've had around here -- the race is over and we're trying to come back to pit road. If he wants to come and talk about it like a man, then go do that -- but to try and wreck somebody on the racetrack and to come down pit road with other cars and people standing around with seatbelts off and drive into the side of me is just inexcusable. There is no excuse for that. He's a champion and he's supposed to know better than that."
Now the question for NASCAR is if they are going to fine and dock some points from Keselowski and possibly his team and owners? There’s plenty of background cases to look back on if you’re looking for recent examples.
During a Truck Series race a few seasons ago in 2011 an angry Kyle Busch plowed into the back of Ron Hornaday Jr. pushing him into a wall. The event was not chase related but penalties against Busch included being suspended from the Cup race two days later.
In 2012 during the Chase, driver Jeff Gordon wrecked Clint Bowyer. Gordon was fined $100,000 and docked 25 points. Penalties also were given to his team and owner. The move sealed Gordon’s fate and he was eliminated from the Chase.
We will have to wait for the official word from NASCAR but there is a good chance that Keselowski may have ruined his Chase dreams this season. Especially if NASCAR considers the incidents as three separate things and apply three separate fines and point penalties for each one.