Minter: Keselowski Adds Tough Guy To Resume
By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
It’s pretty certain that any remaining questions about whether Brad Keselowski would make it in the Sprint Cup Series were answered by his “Ironman” performance in winning on Sunday at Pocono Raceway while driving with a foot badly injured in a crash at Road Atlanta four days before.
But it’s not the first time that Keselowski has shown that he belongs among the elite on one of the most elite racing circuits of all.
He showed his nerve and judgment when he held his ground and beat Carl Edwards at Talladega for his first Cup win. And he showed plenty of class in how he handled the aftermath, especially since Edwards ended up in the catchfence and parts of his car in the grandstands.
Keselowski also showed courage when he left what looked like a sure thing at JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports to move to Penske Racing. And he regularly took the high road last year following several controversial incidents with Edwards, one of which nearly sent him into the grandstands at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
He’s managed to avoid being branded a punk or a villain, and he’s built a strong relationship with the media, something some of his peers never seem to figure out how to
Last year, as he walked into the media center at Daytona International Speedway for a pre-season interview session, Keselowski made a comment about making two appearances before basically the same group in consecutive days.
Was this a way of complaining or just a way of letting the group know that he knew his agenda for the next day?
If it was complaining, his timing was bad because that comment came just as word spread that NASCAR Scene was ceasing publication and that there would be fewer Cup races on network TV.
He was asked if the developments worried him. His answers should have tipped off any doubters that Keselowski, despite being about half the age of many in the room, was one of the most mature of the bunch.
Here’s some of what he said:
“As a kid growing up in the sport, the Scene was like a fixture for me. My parents would bring that home every week from when they were at the race track. So even if I didn’t go to the race, I’d get the Scene. I grew up in kind of this middle zone, so to speak, where the Internet was just starting to come in, but I really didn’t have it…. It was kind of this middle zone where I didn’t really have it to get news.”
He said that for reliable accounts from the racing world he counted on reliable beat writers like those who wrote for Scene and for major newspapers. Without them, he said, there’s no real way to assure that what you’re reading is indeed true.
“That makes you wonder how the next generation is going to get their news from credible people, credible journalists and so forth,” he said. “That scares me more than anything else.”
He went on to say he’s not surprised by the shift in racing media, which has seen traditional news outlets replaced by websites of various nature.
“Naturally businesses are going to come and go,” he said. “That’s the American way. That’s capitalism. But what scares me is the top trusted media, the people that you believe in when you can read a story and know that they’re telling you the truth and know that there’s no bias, that this is the real deal, and to see some of those organizations go away is really scary for me.”
What’s not scary is having a driver like Keselowski among the elite in NASCAR.
– Rick Minter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgOne Comment