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NASCAR Cup Series

Keselowski Aggravated with Penalty and Jeff Gordon

LONG POND, Pa. – Brad Keselowski rallied for a third place finish on Monday, but it was a position he didn’t feel he should have been in. Having started on the pole for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono Raceway, Keselowski and Team Penske teammate Joey Logano covered the field early. But the second caution changed the course of Keselowski’s day when the jackman of the No. 2 Miller Lite team made an unapproved body modification by throwing his weight into the right side of the car. NASCAR called Keselowski back down pit road for the team to fix the dent, which they argued, and then made the 2012 Sprint Cup champion serve a Pass Thru penalty when the race restarted. “Of course it’s frustrating. I don’t know what they saw, so it’s not really fair for me to say anything about that. I can tell you that every car I saw had some body modifications on it after pit stops out there today,” Keselowski said afterward. “I don’t know if ours was more egregious or even if we had one. That’s for the team guys to really answer. Of course it’s frustrating. “You don’t want to have to come from the back. Almost got to the front, just came up a little short. A lot of great effort for our team. We needed a tiny bit more left. I could have used a 500-mile race but that might not be the most popular opinion in the garage, but it is for me today.” Keselowski also lashed out at the television broadcast, specifically Jeff Gordon, when told they had indicated the penalty was similar to a modification the team made earlier this year in Las Vegas. “That’s because Jeff Gordon is in the booth,” Keselowski said. “They need to get some people that aren’t inbred to the sport and own teams and have internal knowledge, because that is pretty crappy. It is what it is.” After retiring from competition last season, Gordon moved to a TV role but still has an interest in Hendrick Motorsports. “It’s not that I don’t like Jeff Gordon in the booth, it’s just that you need to have people in the booth that don’t own teams or have commercial interests to the sport, because they say things that are very biased,” Keselowski said.

As has become standard procedure since a rule change last month, Keselowski stopped at the entrance of pit road for a lug nut check upon completion of the event. As he did, NASCAR officials took the time to get another look at the car before Keselowski drove down to the attention of his Penske team. A NASCAR spokesman later announced that Keselowski’s No. 2 was one of four cars that passed at-track inspection. It was not chosen to be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center. “It was a long day, but overall a decent weekend for the Miller Lite Ford. It wasn’t really two pit penalties it was two NASCAR penalties, and I’m not sure I really know what happened there,” Keselowski said. “At the end, I think we were capable of winning the race with a really fast car, even with the right side door torn up. I guess we had a little contact there when the 48 was spinning, so it shows how fast we were today. We had great pit stops but just didn’t bring home the win. “But we’re really close and been really strong and consistent lately, which is something we’re proud of.” EMAIL KELLY AT kelly.crandall@popularspeed.com FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @KellyCrandall The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement. 

By Popular Speed

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