Earnhardt Jr. Says Keselowski A Very Good Talker
By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Brad Keselowski said last week that Hendrick Motorsports might be fudging on the rules directed at rear ends and suspensions to gain a competitive advantage.
He backed off those comments somewhat Thursday evening during a media function at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked on Friday if Keselowski, who used to drive for Earnhardt’s JR motorsports in the Nationwide Series, was playing mind games with the Hendrick camp.
“No, not really,” Earnhardt said. “I do know Brad pretty well. Brad is a really good guy. He has a pretty good heart.
“He is a really great race car driver and I wish he would concentrate on that. I think he likes to talk a lot, but I think his true skills shine on the race track and not really behind the microphone.”
During the early days of his career, five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson struggled mightily at Bristol Motor Speedway.
But that all changed four years ago when he adopted a new methodology for maneuvering the .533-mile oval.
“There really has been a change and it’s been with me and the way I drive the car,” said Johnson, who has six top 10 finishes including a victory in his last seven Bristol starts. “For the longest time, I was driving the track incorrectly and then we would build a set-up to support my driving style here. I’d get into the race and things wouldn’t work. So it’s a tough challenge for a driver. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the sport or what you’ve accomplished, there are tracks that challenge each team and driver differently than others.
“There are some tracks you to go and I know how to drive it and I roll right into a rhythm and I’m good and we’re working on the right things. It didn’t happen here for the longest time. I’m very happy to now understand how to drive the track so that we can tune the car the way I really need to drive it and what I need in the race. And that’s been the difference.”
Most Sprint Cup drivers were reluctant to offer an opinion on the type of racing the revamped surface at Bristol will produce during Saturday night’s IRWIN Tools Night Race.
But Kyle Busch didn’t mince words following the first Cup practice when asked about track conditions.
“I think it’s terrible,” Busch said. “That’s about it.”
– Jeff Hood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgOne Comment