The headline says it all. As the season is just a few weeks away from its conclusion, emotions are on edge — for Chase-eligible drivers and non-eligible alike. It reared its ugly, heart-elevating head seconds after Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag for the third year in a row at Texas’ fall race.
Brad Keselowski just isn’t making any friends, and it sounds like Jamie McMurray is close behind him.
The first part of the Texas race featured long green flag runs, and was both drama free, and quite honestly, excitement free as well. But the final 90 laps of the race, and the immediate post-race made up for the relative boredom of the first part of the race.
It’s pretty perplexing even now why Jeff Gordon chose the outside lane for the final restart, but old tires, and the top lane allowed a desperate Brad Keselowski to nose in between the No. 24 and 48 in the front row. Gordon tried to close the door on the 2 car, and a tire was inadvertently cut on Gordon’s car.
Post-race, Gordon was quick to pull up next to Brad K and express his displeasure. The two and their teams surrounding had choice words, but Kevin Harvick, who had been watching from the 2’s deck lid, shoved Brad Keselowski toward Gordon and all hell broke loose. NASCAR would be fools for any of the post-race activities turning into penalties. They’re eating this all up as much as the fans.
Everyone is realizing the clock is ticking on the 2014 season, and this includes Brad Keselowski. We’re not big fans of the Penske Racing drivers around these parts (and based on the pre-race intros, we’re not alone), but I’m not sure Brad K did anything other than being aggressive in the closing laps. Sure, Jeff Gordon was poised to get his ticket to Miami, but Brad K. was in the same boat — and even more desperate, further back in points.
But Brad K. can’t have it both ways. Back at Charlotte, he was upset with No. 20 driver, Matt Kenseth when the No. 20 tried to force a pass between Brad K and the wall. It seems Brad Keselowski has a bit of a double standard, and he’s not making any friends in the garage. Much like Kevin Harvick said that Kenseth won’t win the Chase, I’m pretty sure that unless Brad’s teammate and him somehow clear the field, because come Homestead, there are very few friends to those two.
While it wasn’t covered on the broadcast, post-race, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. also expressed his displeasure for a fellow driver driving beyond his skill level — Jamie McMurray. It sounds like it was another case of over-driving and being overly aggressive. Another driver also expressed his displeasure for the No. 1 and No. 88’s beating and banging. I believe it was Denny Hamlin, but couldn’t find the comment while writing this post.
Regardless, if anything, it shows the season is winding down. People are getting frustrated. Drivers are taking more risks, and NASCAR and track owners should be eating it up. Enjoy Phoenix and Miami-Homestead. I know I will.