NASCAR: Brad Keselowski Says Huge Penalty Is ‘Not Crippling’

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

Despite being hit with the harshest penalties of the Next-Gen era, NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski still has hope for the season. His crew chief was fined $100,000. His No. 6 RFK Racing team lost 100 points and 100 owner points. Keselowski has dropped to the mid-30s in the Cup Series standings. Oh, and if he does make the playoffs, he has had 10 playoff points taken as well.

That would demoralize just about any driver. Basically, Keselowski is starting from scratch even though he’s raced in all five races this season. COTA is the first place for Keselowski to bounce back and he’s hoping he does in a big way.

Earlier today, after qualifying was over at the Texas track, the No. 6 driver talked to the media. Of course, they had to ask about the penalties.

“No, it’s not crippling. It’s not what we want. Nobody wants to be in this position,” Keselowski said. “We’re going to get out of this what we make of it. And we can use this as a moment to drown in our own tears, or get stronger and be better. I’m committed to the latter of the two.”

Of course, there’s saying something and then there is doing it. Keselowski is going to have an uphill battle if he plans on making the playoffs. With a win and a top-30 finish in points, he could find his way into the playoffs. So, as long as there are less than 16 winners this season, that could be a backdoor entry. That won’t be easy, though.

After working his way up to 122 points on the season, going back to 22 has to hurt. Sunday is the first on a long road to the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Brad Keselowski Will Have to Battle for the NASCAR Playoffs

When the season began, teams knew that penalties would be harsh. Even though the cars are new, NASCAR President Steve Phelps made it clear. So, there isn’t any sympathy in NASCAR for the No. 6 team. The uphill battle to the playoffs begins this weekend and it will be a slow climb back to the top-16.

“They knew what the penalties were up front for manipulation of a spec part,” Phelps said about the incident.

When you consider that Keselowski was in the top-16 before the penalties, it just makes the task ahead look even more difficult. This season has been led by young drivers. Guys like Austin Cindric, Ross Chastain, and others have made a big statement this season with top finishes and great races. COTA. Tomorrow. March 27, where will Keselowski find himself? His best finish on the season is 9th at Daytona. He’s gonna need better finishes than that if he wants to build his points back up.