Brad Keselowski would like to see NASCAR make some significant changes to the Cup Series cars.
Keselowski expressed his displeasure with the current specifications of cars at NASCAR’s top level following an accident during Saturday night’s race at Kentucky. Keselowski’s car got loose in turn 3 of the first lap of the second stage and collected Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson.
Keselowski was under Bowyer as his car got loose.
[Related: Martin Truex Jr. wins at Kentucky]
“I just got in an aero wake and it pulled me around,” Keselowski said. “I knew I was in a bad spot. I was trying to lay up but there is only so much you can lay up here because you get ran over from behind. The air pulled me around.”
Judging from Keselowski’s ensuing comments, that aero wake has a lot to do with the way that the cars are designed.
“They made a good effort,” Keselowski said when asked about Kentucky’s efforts to put rubber down in the racing groove in the corners to help with the racing quality. “It was better than nothing but there are limitations.The way this car is,it needs a lot more help than a Tire Dragon. It is a poorly designed race car and it makes racing on tracks like this very difficult to put on the show we want to put on for our fans.
“You do what you can to gouge and claw on the restarts and get everything you can get. You have to put yourself in bad situations to do that and that is where we were. If you don’t make those moves on the restarts, then you run in the back. Or you have a bad day.”
And then he said this.
“It is time for the sport to design a new car that is worthy of where this sport deserves to be and the show it deserves to put on for its fans,” Keselowski said.
We then asked him on Twitter about what he would suggest to change on the cars.
We need the cars to be difficult to drive by themselves but not undrivable in traffic. This was key back in the day for best drivers 2 shine
— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) July 9, 2017
NASCAR has chopped downforce off the cars in each of the last two seasons in an effort to promote better racing, especially at intermediate tracks. But the tweaks that NASCAR has made can only go so far. As the sanctioning body changes the rules, teams and their incredibly smart engineers figure out ways to get downforce back into the cars.
In our view, Keselowski is referencing wholesale changes to Cup cars to remove the importance of front downforce. With cars engineered to have the front bumper as close to the track as possible, turbulent air ahead creates massive problems. A car in “dirty air” behind another car has a tough time going as fast as it would with no traffic ahead.
That dirty air then forces drivers to either drive more conservatively in traffic. And drivers don’t make too many passes by being conservative. It’s a conundrum likely only solved by massive changes in the way cars are built.
Keselowski subsequently pre-emptively apologized for the way some may view his comments, though it was clear that his comments were borne of a combination of frustration and a desire to see NASCAR make improvements and not a diss of the sport.
The wreck dropped Keselowski three spots in the points standings to eighth. But with two wins to his credit in 2017, his season isn’t about the points standings nearly as much as it as about amassing as many playoff points as possible.
– – – – – – –