Safety, Racing and Richmond

Safety, Racing and Richmond Steven B. Wilson for Speedway Digest

Its been a little less than a week since Brad Keselowski went for a weird ride at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that saw his car sitting on the tire barrier and he having to crawl from the car as it sat nearly on its side.

In the advent of the SAFER barrier tracks are relying less and less on these old barriers and moving towards covering nearly every inch of track wall with SAFER to reduce injuries to drivers.

Keselowski for his part following the incident has spoken with officials at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on his incident there.

“I didn’t talk to NASCAR on it I’ve talked a little more to the track which is good as I think they are more in charge.” Said Keselowski

Safety is something that Keselowski would like to see more of an evolution in the next couple of years and coupled with the new Gen-7 car that is due in the sport it might be perfect timing for that to happen.

“I’d like to see the cars continue to evolve; I’d like to see the safety equipment continue to evolve. It continues to get better and I think there is a lot more we can continue to do on the concussion side.” continues Keselowski

“I’d like to see the road courses step up some more as I think they are a little behind everyone else.”

Keselowski for his part sees the tire barriers as a bit of antiquated safety protection and “band-aids to suboptimal wall angles”. Instead he would be in favor of seeing the poor walling be fixed for the detail that goes into the Cup Series events.

As the focus now shifts to the Playoffs, Keselowski and Penske racing head into Las Vegas this weekend to kick everything off with the second round coming next weekend at Richmond Raceway.

As Keselowski reflects on the No. 2 car and Penske Racing’s success at the track it’s something, he’s never felt pressure from Penske to go and win instead as he says its been about as a driver coming into an event and putting pressure on yourself to win.

 “Richmond is a short track and such a cool track.”

However, when it comes to putting down some sort of track substance to open the racing grooves that he’s “okay with whatever the tracks want, I’ll just go out and race it and be the best I can be.”

As the playoffs begin this weekend in Las Vegas its but a short ten week stretch that will crown a champion in the Cup Series. For Keselowski he’s looking long term in what it will take to be there in Homestead and contend for his second championship.

“It’s a tough ten race stretch, glad to have the opportunity to win the championship. We got to make it count, we’ve got to have the speed, execution and luck on our side. We haven’t had that over the last few years.”

While earlier this week Penske Racing added a new driver into the fold of their organization through their affiliation with Wood Brothers Racing announcing the Matt DiBenedetto will pilot the famous No. 21 machine in 2020.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for Matt. Its good to see for him as he’s caught some bad breaks and some good breaks. Its good to see him catch a good break.” continued Keselowski

Richmond for its part since moving into the Playoffs is a tough track to drive with a such few opportunities for passing. For him to go to victory lane next Saturday night Keselowski and his team are looking for some more long run speed.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs kick off the weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday at 7 P.M. on NBCSN then moving to Richmond Raceway under the lights on Saturday, Sept. 21st.

 

 

 

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Steven B. Wilson

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