Two different incidents evolving Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman...
Brad Keselowski tried to go up the middle between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson late in the Chase race at Texas.
The result? A cut tire and a 29th-place finish for Gordon, a fight on pit road and criticism of Keselowski from many of his peers.
Last Sunday at Phoenix, Ryan Newman door-slammed Kyle Larson on the final lap to pick up the one position he needed to advance to the Championship 4 Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
I’m a threat to those that are established in the sport.
For the most part, Newman got a pass for doing what was necessary to retain his title hopes.
To be sure, there were differences between the two incidents. Newman’s move worked — he got the position he needed. Keselowski’s didn’t, in the sense that it didn’t propel the driver of the No. 2 Ford to the victory he sorely needed.
And Newman began apologizing immediately after the Phoenix race. At Texas, Keselowski was unapologetic.
“Clearly, the standards are different across the driver platforms,” Keselowski said on Thursday, appearing as the owner of championship contender Ryan Blaney's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry. “I think we all see that. I can sweat that, or I can sit here and point out that I’m still the youngest one of the guys that have won a championship in the last decade, which makes me kind of the newest guy in the circle.
“I’m a threat to those that are established in the sport. I understand that. I accept that, and they’re going to try to put a double standard on me to hold us back. I’m not going to stand for it, and I’m to continue to do the things I do, knowing that and hoping it will put me in a position to be a threat for many years to come.”
Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service