Keselowski attacks Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports for hiring process

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Keselowski made some serious allegations in the media this week about the hiring processes of some big teams in NASCAR.

Brad Keselowski is well knowned for being the reigning champion of the Sprint Cup Series, but that’s not all. The Rochester Hills, Mi., native also stands behind his comments when he faces the media. Last Thursday when he met with Ford Motor Co. employees in Dearborn, Mi. was no exception.

The driver of the Ford Fusion #2 of Penske Racing had some strong words that directly hit Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing and opened a debate regarding the hiring habits of some organizations in NASCAR.

Asked about Ford-backed teams opening up lines of communication in an effort to improve performances on the track, Keselowski said in USA Today: "There are little things you can do. What keeps it from going too far is the fact that Hendrick and Gibbs have this nasty little habit of going to other teams and outbidding other people and taking those employees and stealing our information, and, when that happens, that puts walls up between the camps because you are giving up more than one piece of information -you are giving up two companies' information and trying to protect yourself against that, it forces you to put up walls. It doesn't necessarily lend itself to working together."

Rick Hendrick
Rick Hendrick

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Keselowski added specific examples of his comments when he said that "Gibbs stole the Roush aero director and took all the information and Hendrick took three employees from our Chase-winning team last year."

While the Sprint Cup Series circus is in Michigan this weekend for the 15th stage of the season, Keselowski's remarks quickly summoned answers from Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing.

Rick Hendrick's team responded that Keselowski needs to represent the sport "with more class" in a statement that also said: "Brad misrepresents the facts and spends a lot of time making insinuations and accusations about other teams when he should be focused on his own program and competing at a high level. I hope he figures that out".

"We were surprised to read the recent comments and accusations made by Brad Keselowski. Clearly those comments are misguided and irresponsible. Brad’s candor is well documented, but he would do well to only speak to subjects on which he is properly informed", came from JGR's owner, Joe Gibbs. "Obviously NASCAR is a very competitive environment and we take our hiring processes seriously at JGR. The individual he referenced in his comments was working outside of the sport of NASCAR at the time we hired him"

Coach Joe Gibbs
Coach Joe Gibbs

Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

"We have a great deal of respect for Roger Penske and his organization and I feel like I have always had a good personal relationship with Roger. We look forward to competing with Brad on the racetrack, but hope that he will use better judgment in the future before making such misinformed claims and accusations".

Hendrick and Joe Gibbs have won nine of the 14 points paying races in the season so far, plus one victory from Stwart-Haas Racing, a team with a technical partnership with Hendrick. On the other side, Keselowski, with Penske Racing (which moved from Dodge to Ford in 2013), has struggled with just one top 5 in the last ten races, with no victories for the moment and sitting ninth place in the standings.

What is Keselowski doing here? Is the Sprint Cup Series champion serioulsy attacking Hendrick and Gibbs for their hiring policy or just looking to create some noise for a season that hasn’t been up to the level he expected?

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Commentary
Tags attack, hendrick, hiring, joe gibbs, keselowski, media, michigan