Keselowski Won't Trash Decision
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on June 10, 2014 | 2:53 P.M. EST
"I felt like I made the right decision to try and do something, I just didn't execute it, so it's probably more frustration with not executing the move rather than taking the risk to make it, for me at least." (Photo: Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski is not second-guessing his decision in the closing laps of Sunday’s Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.
The team Penske driver was leading Sunday’s race at the 2.5-mile track but picked up a piece of trash on his front grille. That caused the air flow to his engine to be restricted enough that water temperatures began to rise at an alarming rate.
Rather than risk blowing his engine, Keselowski gave up the lead to Dale Earnhardt Jr. in hopes of using the turbulent air from Danica Patrick’s car as a method to remove the debris and then set sail for Junior and the lead once again.
However, that strategy did not pan out as Keselowski lost enough momentum behind Patrick’s car that he wasn’t able to mount a charge for the top spot and settled for second.
Despite several fans and even media members criticizing the move, Keselowski stands by his gamble.
“With the information we had at the time, I felt like I made the right decision to try and do something, I just didn't execute it, so it's probably more frustration with not executing the move rather than taking the risk to make it, for me at least,” he said.
“But it's hard to speak for everyone. I'm sure everyone has different feelings about it. But it was the right move. I told somebody I felt like I was playing a game of blackjack and I was sitting on 15 and the dealer had a face card. If you play by the rules, you should take a card and you should hit, and we did, and we busted. The dealer turns over his card and he was sitting on 15, as well, and so you knew he was going to bust out. That's part of it. That's the cards we play, and some of racing is always going to be chance, and you have to play it by the odds, and I lost. But that's just the way it goes.”
Keselowski is virtually guaranteed a spot in the Chase field thanks to his win earlier in the year. But that didn’t enter into his thought process in making the call to give up the lead to Earnhardt Jr. in hopes of removing the trash from the front of his Ford.
However, he’s not sure how another driver under different circumstances would have played out the scenario.
“You know, obviously if there hadn't have been a car in front of me I wouldn't have made a move,” Keselowski explained. "It’s not as though I let Dale go by me, which I think some people are under the impression that's what happened, and it's not. I just made a move on a slower car to try and take the opportunity I had, and it didn't work. That was kind of what happened. I didn't let Dale go and say, hey, I'm going to try to cool off my engine. I just didn't execute the move to try and clean it off, and Dale was close enough to get by me, especially with my engine starting to let go.
“You know, in that sense I don't feel like anyone would have done anything different.”
So after a couple of days to mull over the final laps at Pocono and ultimately the disappointment of finishing second, Keselowski is ready to move on. The way he sees it, dwelling on the frustration won’t do much good.
“Well, you know, I think each situation is a little different,” said Keselowski. “I'm not going to say that I got over it right away because that's not the case. But for me knowledge is power, and getting over something like that is knowing what I could have done better or should have done differently, and researching those things and finding that answer, and I think that's where I find the ability to move on.”