Keselowski Beats New Best Buddy In Michigan
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
Cage-match, fists dipped in broken glass-style feud? What cage match, fists dipped in broken glass-style feud?
Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards played nice on the race track in the Nationwide Series Carfax 250 on Saturday. And then, after Keselowski creamed Edwards on a restart with nine laps to go and went on to get the victory at Michigan International Speedway, both drivers went out of their way to way warm things about the other.
Edwards, who finished second – inches ahead of a hard-charging Kyle Busch – even made his way to victory not to pummel the victory but to praise him.
“Brad’s guys did a good job, he did a good job and they earned that victory,” Edwards said. “I wish we could have gotten a victory here for Jack and Ford and this Mustang, but this is a pretty good showing. I guess we will just go race tomorrow. Man, those guys did a really good job, congrats to Brad.”
Keselowski, for whom the victory was No. 4 on the season, was not about to be outdone in the warm words department.
He said of past problems with his new best buddy – which involved threats and horrific wrecks:
“I think the biggest thing in the contacts that we’ve had in the past, whether it convenient to believe or not believe, is that it’ has been accidental. It’s easy to look at them and say, ‘So and so roughed someone up.’ When in the seat, we all know that we’re just all sliding around and sometimes contact happens. I didn’t drive my car any differently today than I did in those other races where there’s been contact either by my fault of someone else. It’s just sometimes cars slip and make contact. It’s easy to report it in the media as intentional. It makes a better storyline. Sometimes, cars just run into each other. The recipe for the same cake (was present) today and it just didn’t get baked.”
Keselowski had started the race with a 327-point lead in the series standings over second-place Edwards. He picked up another 20 on Saturday.
Busch finished third in the race while Justin Allgaier was fourth and Paul Menard fifth.
But all eyes during the final laps Saturday were on two guys who have been put on probation for on-track bashings which could have resulted in series injuries – to them and to fans.
What all eyes saw was wonderful, close, respectful racing.
Edwards was asked about running next to Keselowski.
“The good thing is that we are both on probation,” Edwards said. “Both of us are probably thinking the same thing, don’t be the guy that messes this thing up. He raced me very cleanly and I thought we raced well together. That is the kind of racing that I am sure we both want to be doing and I had a really good time. That was fun to be able to race that close. When him and I and Paul (Menard) were all running one, two, three, that is as good as it gets.”
Justin Allgaier finished fourth and Menard was fifth.
Joey Logano was sixth and Elliott Sadler seventh.
Danica Patrick finished 27th.
It looked like Edwards would be the one accepting visitors in victory after he took the lead during a series of green flag pit stops with just over 20 laps to go.
When the stops cycled through, Edwards had a multi-second lead over Keselowski, who led when the stops started.
But with 10 laps to go, the caution flag waved. Edwards and Keselowski stayed out while Busch pitted for four tires.
“I knew I could get to him,” Keselowski said. “I didn’t think I could pass him. The yellow certainly was helpful.”
On the restart, Keselowski made his winning move.
“Brad and those guys just took off,” Edwards said.
Busch made his way from several cars back to get to Edwards and then pulled along side.
“Four tires was pretty good there at the end,” Busch said.
As they approached the finish line, Edwards went high and Busch low. It was Edwards by .002 seconds.
But it was Keselowski several seconds ahead.One Comment