Opinion: Keselowski The Mouth That Roared
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on June 15, 2013 | 10:10 A.M. EST
“There’s a reason those two teams are higher up on the boards than us — they have more money and sponsors to do so; it’s almost like Major League Baseball in that sense." (Photo: Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, Mich. - One thing’s for certain - covering NASCAR is a whole lot more interesting with Brad Keselowski around.
The opinionated reigning Sprint Cup Series champion is once again back in the spotlight after calling out both Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing for “stealing” Penske employees.
Keselowski’s remarks drew the ire of first Rick Hendrick, who called for the champ to “ show more class” as well as Gibbs, who referred to the comments as “misinformed claims and accusations.”
It’s just the latest in a long list of hullabaloos Keselowski has found himself in and most likely won’t be the last.
In this recent case Keselowski crying foul over personnel moving from one race team to another rings a little more than hollow. NASCAR racing is not unlike any professional sport or business for that matter where teams/companies hire employees with experience working for competitors. To suggest some form of confidentiality or non-compete clause in contracts be exercised is both irrational and naïve.
Keselowski’s baseball analogy comparing Sprint Cup Series teams also falls flat.
“There’s a reason those two teams are higher up on the boards than us — they have more money and sponsors to do so; it’s almost like Major League Baseball in that sense,’’ Keselowski told the Detroit Free Press referring to Hendrick and Gibbs. “The Yankees and Red Sox are always going to outbid the Oakland Athletics. That’s just part of the deal. So, you find yourself trying to play moneyball to beat them.”
To suggest Penske Racing, with the wealth and resources of mogul Roger Penske behind it is somehow the “Little Sisters of the Poor” of the Sprint Cup Series garage compared to Hendrick and Gibbs is downright laughable.
So as Keselowski fights to stay inside the top 10 of the Sprint Cup standings as the series races here in Michigan on Sunday, he finds himself smack dab in the middle of a firestorm – just as he did here last year when he called out Hendrick for rear end irregularities, was called on the carpet by NASCAR in February for outspoken comments about the sport in a USA Today interview and lashed out again at the sanctioning body back at Texas in April.
While NASCAR, team owners, sponsors and some fans may not like it, in reality I think in an odd way it’s good for the sport.
In an age when corporate speak and political correctness draw the ire of fans who view NASCAR as becoming more vanilla, Keselowski is more than a scoop of Neapolitan ice cream. He adds color, flavor and even recognition to the NASCAR world even if it does come with a price at times.
I may not always agree with what comes from the fertile mind of Brad Keselowski but I for one am glad he’s around.
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will air live coverage of Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan Int'l Speedway beginning at 12 Noon (ET) with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com.
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.