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“Want People to Like Us”: Brad Keselowski Warns NASCAR on Handling Driver Feuds and Penalties

Gowtham Ramalingam

“Want People to Like Us”: Brad Keselowski Warns NASCAR on Handling Driver Feuds and Penalties

NASCAR penalizing Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $75,000 for punching Kyle Busch after the All-Star race in North Wilkesboro kindled all sorts of chaos in the Cup Series field. Many drivers viewed it as an extreme punishment since the promotion used the fight to market itself on social media. Meanwhile, RFK Racing co-owner Brad Keselowski detailed that opinion to the press in Charlotte.

He told Frontstretch that NASCAR ought to be careful about the message that it was sending across the garage and other levels of sport by levying such fines. While empathizing with the promotion for its need to take action he also noted that there is a competitive side to such fights and it just reflects the passion that drivers and crews have for the sport.

Underlining the need for drivers to be liked, he continued, “We want the attention. We want people to like us. We want people to talk about us. We don’t always get that when we have great events. It seems kind of silly to me.” He contended that the non-traditional media, such as social channels, don’t talk about spectacular racing moments but focus on such fights that create negative outlooks on drivers.

All said and done, the driver admitted that he wouldn’t have handled things differently from how NASCAR had he been in its shoes. NASCAR’s YouTube page put up quite a few videos of the fight. The one in which Stenhouse Jr. and Busch are in the garage area has garnered over 275,000 views. There were also many posts about the fight, driver reactions, and in-car radio feeds on NASCAR’s social media.

Keselowski is not alone in pointing out the popularity benefits that the promotion has received via the fight. Chase Elliott was quite surprised to learn the amount of the fine levied. Hearing it from the press in Charlotte, he said, “That seems wild to me. Yeah, that seems like a lot for that situation. You’re going to fine him, but you’re going to promote it? Like, what are we doing? That’s a little strange to me.”

More along the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin have come out criticizing the promotion for the huge fine as well. However, from NASCAR’s point-of-view, Stenhouse Jr. was in clear violation of the code of conduct and deserved whatever came to him. Members of his crew and his father were issued notices of suspension alongside the fine.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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