Keselowski: Part wasn't installed properly
June 05, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
No. 2 driver says 'simple installation issue' to blame for six-point penalty
SPARTA, Ky. – Brad Keselowski said human error was behind a part failure last weekend that led to a penalty against his No. 2 team.
Keselowski on Tuesday was docked six points by NASCAR because his car was found to be too low in post-race inspection following this past Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series event at Dover International Speedway. Crew chief Paul Wolfe, who had just returned from a suspension for another violation, was also fined $25,000.
"It was a simple installation issue that we addressed. You kind of shrug your shoulders and say, ‘These things happen, let’s not have it happen again,’ and let’s move on."
Keselowski’s Penske Racing team said a part failure was the reason the vehicle failed to make minimum height, and that the penalty would not be appealed. During a visit with reporters Wednesday at Kentucky Speedway, Keselowski said human error was at the root of the problem.
“These cars in a sense are like Transformers -- I know that’s hard to see, but when they enter the race track, they go from making 1,000 pounds of downforce to over 2,000 pounds of downforce at the different attitudes and heights the cars travel. There are certain parts on them that make them return when they go through inspection, and one of those parts was just not properly installed, and the car didn’t return like it was supposed to,” he said.
“Did it necessarily affect the car’s performance in racing conditions aerodynamically? Probably not. But the rules are what the rules are, and they say the car has to return ... and ours didn’t. It was a simple installation issue that we addressed. You kind of shrug your shoulders and say, ‘These things happen, let’s not have it happen again,’ and let’s move on.”
Keselowski has now lost 31 points this season in penalties, and sits 10th in points. He does not yet have a race victory that would help the reigning series champion should he fall out of the top 10 and need to rely on a Wild Card to make this year’s playoff.
“I think that for us, we’re focused on the good runs, and keeping those going. Because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters,” he said. “We talked about having to make up points -- I don’t have to make up any points right now. I’m in the top 10, and that’s where my head’s at. Would I like to have a cushion? Absolutely. But I don’t have to make anything up. I’m already in the Chase right now as it stands today. So I think that’s an important part to acknowledge.”
Keselowski is the defending winner of Kentucky’s Sprint Cup race, and said Wednesday he would compete in all three events later this month at the 1.5-mile track. As part of his visit to the Cincinnati-area facility, he threw out the first pitch to Thursday night's Reds vs. Rockies game at Great American Ball Park.
Kentucky also hosts a Camping World Truck Series race the night of Thursday, June 27, with a Nationwide Series race the night of Friday, June 28 and the Sprint Cup tilt under the lights Saturday, June 29.
“This is probably by far the hardest tripleheader weekend,” he said, citing the heat of the summer weekend. “But those that know me would say I like to do things the hard way.”
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