Toyota camp lashes out at Brad Keselowski for Twitter comment
No driver likes to lose.
But some drivers take it harder than others.
Brad Keselowski triggered a Twitter war with the Toyota camp on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway. The catalyst? A response to a four-car train of Toyotas topping the speed chart in first practice.
“We are all in for a rude awakening,” Keselowski tweeted. “Haven't seen NASCAR let a manufacturer get this far ahead since the 70s.”
The responses rifled back fast and furious, first from Kyle Busch, who offered a simple, “STFU” with a crying emoji. Cole Pearn, crew chief for Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team asked Keselowski, “Were you alive in the '70s?,” along with a contemplating emoji. Denny Hamlin joined in as well, telling Keselowski to concentrate on his own program.
Busch elected to let his qualifying speak for itself. He put the No. 18 Camry on the pole for Sunday’s Tales of the Turtles 400 — his seventh pole of the season. Busch said Keselowski is the only driver complaining about Toyota’s dominance.
“He seems to be the only one,” Busch said. “If you ask Brad, he can fix the world’s problems, that’s all there is to it. It’s just a fact of the matter that no one else is doing anything, they’re putting their head down and going to work, and he thinks that somehow the big brother is going to come up and help him.
“I don’t know what the point is, we all just work hard and do our jobs, we’ve gotten to where we are and we’re going to keep doing that. I wouldn’t think that all the speed we’ve got for the rest of the year is just here this weekend or the past six weekends. I would like to think it’s here for the next 10.”
Keeping a level playing field
It’s unlikely “big brother” or anyone else will help Keselowski following his post-qualifying response. Keselowski, who qualified fifth behind the Toyotas of Busch, Hamlin and Truex, as well as the Ford of Kevin Harvick, was asked if there was something specific that provoked his earlier comments.
“No, other than NASCAR’s complete ineptitude to level the playing field which is the precedent that has been set the last few years,” Keselowski said. “Other than that, no. There are natural cycles where cars, teams, manufacturers whatever go up and down. At the start of the year we were at the top of the cycle. And at this moment we are not where we need to be.
“With respect to that, we were at the top and it seemed like there were a lot of rules changes us to slow us down and now you have cars that are so much faster than the field and the complete ineptitude by anybody. That is frustrating, because parity is either good or it is bad. I don’t care either way. But when you are at the top, you like being at the top. Everybody likes being at the top.”
When Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked to weigh in for the Chevy camp, he wanted no part of the feud. He credited JGR’s work ethic with the organizations ability to outshine the field.
“I just look at the board watching the times,” Earnhardt said. “I see Fords and Toyotas up there in the top 10. I don’t just see one manufacturer. I think that Joe Gibbs and that whole organization have done an incredible job of getting four teams to work very closely together. And, I’ve never seen it done any better, where one organization literally has four cars that seem almost equal every week.
“I don’t think there is anything (NASCAR) can do. We all sort of have the same rules to live by. So, all the cars should be pretty close. We could complain, but Kyle Larson runs too good for all the Chevys to complain. If Kyle Larson wouldn’t run so damn good then we’d have an argument.”
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