Race Weekend Central

Brad Keselowski Frustrated After Pocono Penalty For Body Modification

Pole sitter Brad Keselowski entered Pocono Raceway Monday with high expectations. He left it scratching his head at how a victory could have potentially slipped away via a NASCAR penalty.

The white No. 2 car led the field to green for the first time in 2016, and the 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion was attempting to win his first race at the 2.5-mile track since his lone victory in August 2011.

However, Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano had other ideas from the drop of the green flag. Logano, who is winless in 2016, took the lead from the get go. His No. 22 car paced the field for the first 17 circuits until Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Kenseth took away the top position from the 14-time Sprint Cup winner.

But the key moment for Keselowski came during a competition caution on lap 15. That’s when the No. 2 Ford came down pit road for what appeared to be a routine stop.

However, as Keselowski’s No. 2 pit crew changed tires on his car, one member was seen going shoulder-first into the door. NASCAR recognized the move as a body modification, alleging the crew member did it on purpose to give the car an aerodynamic advantage.

Keselowski was penalized, forced to come back down pit road after leading the field back onto the racetrack following the circuit’s first shot to add fuel to the cars.

“I don’t know what they saw, so it’s not really fair for me to say anything about that,” Keselowski told a group of reporters on pit road after the race. “I can tell you that every car I saw had body modifications on it after pit stops. I don’t know if ours was more egregious or even if we had one. Of course, it’s frustrating to come through from the back. We almost got back to the front, but came up just a little bit short.”

When the race went back to green flag conditions on Lap 20, Keselowski was forced to go down pit road again. This time, he was given a pass-through penalty for the alleged modifications according to the NASCAR rulebook.

From there, the heat was on to fight his way back through the pack. At least Keselowski’s No. 2 car was on a different fuel strategy after topping off his vehicle while his team attempted to fix the dent in his car. Only a handful of laps off sequence, he worked his way to 18th by the halfway mark.

Then, while the leaders attempted to save fuel in the closing laps during the final caution, Keselowski’s car was sent roaring to the checkered. Led by crew chief Paul Wolfe, he was able to go earn his fifth top-5 finish of 2016 and close within two seconds of the leaders by the checkered flag. Keselowski wound up third in Monday’s Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 but it took the entire race to get there.

“Every car I would pass, it would take 10-15 laps just being stuck in the wake,” Keselowski said. “That’s just part of it, I guess. All in all, a pretty decent weekend for us with the Miller Lite Ford and Team Penske. I’m proud of that effort to run up front and have another solid weekend. We’ve had a lot of those lately and it doesn’t go unnoticed by me.

“I’m really proud of my team for those efforts. We just want to keep it going. I want to turn them into wins, but, all in all, a lot to be proud of and we’ll keep on going.”

Keselowski later told ESPN he was frustrated by an in-race replay suggesting the team had incurred the same type of “hip-check” fix in Las Vegas, earlier this year only to make a mistake. Furious at Gordon, a former teammate when Keselowski raced for Hendrick several years ago, it’s clear the two will need to mend fences in the coming days.

About the author

Joseph started with Fronstretch in Aug. 2014 and worked his way up to become an editor in less than a year. A native of Whitestone, New York, Joseph writes for NASCAR Pole Position magazine as a weekly contributor, along with being a former intern at Newsday and the Times Beacon Record Newspapers, each on Long Island. With a focus on NASCAR, he runs our social media pages and writes the NASCAR Mailbox column, along with other features for the site.

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It seems his car had all the lug nuts on. I wonder how many others did too after watching the pit stops.

Biff Baynehouse

Dead nuts on BK! Kudos! JG is definitely unprofessional & biased, but that is hardly the tip of the anti-Ford ice-berg of bias when it some to Nascar & their “broadcast good-ole-boy partners”.
BK, CLEARLY the fastest car on the track today & pole sitter, gets ding for something EVERYONE else does, seemingly because he is in a Ford. JG erroneously blows the call regarding the BK body mod in-race penalty & lies about completely irrelevant circumstances drawn from his ’12 driving experiences.
Lagano, most likely the 2nd fastest car of the day & outside pole sitter, gets punted in a high speed corner. DW & JG giggle at Joey’s misfortune like 3rd graders & mention NOTHING about the incredible skills JL displayed in keeping his car straight & off the walls.
Saturday, Ford RFR NXS driver, Ryan Reed, cut a tire spun & got pile driven in the driver door by Clements. MW & DP, before knowing if Reed was in good health, erroneously state, also while giggling at Reed misfortune, “he got sucked around” & “he got loose.”
That is just this weekend! There are innumerable instances of TV broadcaster & Nascar rules delineation bias NOT just in recent history. It is common practice & has been as long as I have been following Nascar. Yet NOW, after 40+ years of following MANY differing sports, I can definitively say this week’s Nascar broadcasts are EASILY the most heavily bias sporting events I have ever witnessed in my life. We now have, on a consistent ongoing basis all week on race Hub & UNCHECKED event commentators openly mocking Ford competitors, ignoring Ford competitors & circumstances & lying about Ford competitors & circumstances.
And the fun part is, JG, a TV guy, actually made a snide [tweeter] retort against BK, after BK when out of his way to CORRECT JG’s ERROR! Repulsive!
Lest we forget, BK at Martinsville (I believe) got a restart violation black flag AFTER MK (at Richmond) & JG (at Chicago) completely ignored restart rules & committed much more egregiously violations, but were NOT penalized.
Lest we forget, how many times have the one of the 4 car Yota JGR drivers gone out of their way to wreck Team Penske cars this year alone (I count at least 10)! These facts have NEVER been publicized ANYWHERE! Not to mention what occurred at Martinsville last year, with MK intentionally wrecking BOTH TP cars & critically hurting JL’s chase contention, of which at the time he was in a CLEARLY dominate position!


I didn’t see the race, but the booth bias has been a breaking point for me and mine for some time. If you pay attention you do see what is said about certain drivers and you notice what isn’t said about certain drivers. Things are twisted too..one driver does it COOL!, another driver does it BAD! That goes for the manufacturer as well. Guess Ford doesn’t cut the checks the way the other two manufactures do. We watch old races on Youtube and there is a world of difference in the reporting the race. The “old way” is much, much better. It is about the race, not about the egotistical announcers or their personal likes and dislikes regarding a particular driver. The abject obvious gushing over certain drivers, accomplished or not is really bad, and yet they continue to do so unchecked and sound foolish in the process. Unprofessional at best.

Again I didn’t see the race, but Brad brought up some good points, and from what I read around the web so far, some people see his point of view and then others don’t. But it looks like in many cases it is the bashing of Fords and the physical appearance of Brad. You can’t make this stuff up. Pathetic. But to be fair to the simpleton’s, I don’t think their I.Q. can really relate to what he is saying, so in their jealous haste they are like little poodles nipping at the ankles, in this case the ankles are one’s looks.

Yes, bias and agenda promotion, subtle or not so subtle has taken on a life of it’s own in the past few years….Go JuneBug, Go Danica, Go Kyle 1, Go Kyle 2, Go Gibbs, Go Toys, Go Chase, Go Bill Elliott, Yeah me..on my past accomplishments….oh and then there is the rest. Lol.

If Logano did what Newman did, the hypocrites would have had the pitchforks and torches ready.

The whole thing is a very biased and extremely hypocritical and getting worse, what a shame. My useless and helpless two cents.

Bette Geraud!,

Anyone that watched the race could see one of brads crewmen pushed The rear panel of his car in !And all watching the race could see it !! I am not sure what the person above meant about the way Brad looked ? He looked like any other driver who is tired at the end of a race !!! With Joey for sure it was Payback time ! Thought Newman did a pretty smooth job !! Joey and his ” pushing “people on restarts has caused too msny accidents and drivers are getting tired of it. He used to be such a nice guy think from what I have read about him. He still is until he gets behind the wheel !! The announcers !!! Oh boy ‘ DW should be retired ! Jeff I have been very disappointed with — he has so much knowledge to share but my goodness he shows who he favors especially Chase ,who is impressive BUT announcers should be impartial !!!!

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