Incident lit fire under Keselowski at Kentucky for third win in 2012
By RICK MINTER / Universal Uclick
The results of Saturday’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway show that, among other things, a mad Brad Keselowski is one fast fellow.
Keselowski tangled with Juan Pablo Montoya early in the opening Sprint Cup practice on Friday, an incident Keselowski blamed on Montoya pulling in front of him, and it forced Keselowski’s team to prepare a backup car in a hurry in the triple-digit heat.
But once the race was under way Saturday night, Keselowski dominated en route to his third win of the season, a victory that all but assures him of a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the championship battle that begins after eight more races.
Keselowski’s crew chief Paul Wolfe said the mad factor appeared to be in play at Kentucky.
“There are definitely a lot of instances where I’ve seen Brad be able to find speed in the race car when he is ticked off,” Wolfe said. “Whether or not he’s doing it, it seems like it happens.”
Keselowski admitted that the incident with Montoya was on his mind over the weekend.
“I don’t like being pushed around, and I felt like what happened on the race track, that someone was pushing me around, and I don’t like that,” he said. “I hate that. I can’t stand it, and I won’t stand for that. I can’t stand it.”
He said that while some might say that being mad in a race car can be a bad thing because of safety concerns, he’s not sure a rush of adrenaline is a big negative after all.
“Maybe it’s not. I don’t know,” he said. “I ain’t the one to answer that.
“But I do like the result, and whatever way, whatever I’ve got to do to get them, I’ll get them. But I’m not going to be pushed around, and that’s one code that I’m going to continue to live by.”
Keselowski added that the most important factor in the victory was the speed of his backup car.
“This car was fast from the second we unloaded it,” he said.
And he said his car needs to continue to be fast if he’s going to make a serious run at the title.
“You’ve got to win races,” he said. “You don’t back your way the Chase. Don’t rest on your laurels. You’ve got to have fast car when’s the Chase starts with great reliability and great execution.
“It’s going to take all three.”