Brad Keselowski challenges Jeff Gordon’s comments, raises questions about who is in TV booth
The feud between Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon – who can forget the dust-up they had at Texas in 2014 – apparently never ended, even with Gordon’s retirement after last season.
The battle flared up again – mostly on social media – after Monday’s Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.
Keselowski took umbrage over comments Gordon made on the Fox Sports 1 telecast when Gordon incorrectly stated that Keselowski’s penalty for unapproved body modifications Monday was similar to a penalty Keselowski received during his win at Las Vegas earlier this year. Keselowski was penalized at Las Vegas for speeding on pit road.
NASCAR penalized Keselowski on Monday after the team’s jackman slammed his body into the side of the car while retrieving the right rear tire on a pit stop. Gordon noted such a maneuver could help improve aerodynamics.
After the race, Keselowski was asked by reporters about Gordon’s comments on the broadcast.
Keselowski said Gordon is biased because he is a former driver and still holds an ownership stake in Hendrick Motorsports as part-owner of the No. 48 Chevy of Jimmie Johnson.
“They need to get some people that aren’t inbred to the sport and own teams and have internal knowledge, because that is pretty crappy. It is what it is,” Keselowski said, according to several media outlets including USA Today, ESPN.com and The Charlotte Observer.
Keselowski later added: “It’s not that I don’t like Jeff Gordon in the booth, it’s just that you need to have people in the booth that don’t own teams or have commercial interests to the sport because they say things that are very biased.”
Here’s the on-air exchange between Gordon and broadcast boothmates Mike Joy and Darrell Waltrip that drew Keselowski’s ire:
Mike Joy: “On the first pit stop, a crew member leaned into the right side, altering the bodywork … slipped into the bodywork … and they had to do a drive-through after the race went green. Boy, has he recovered.”
Jeff Gordon (talking over a replay of Monday’s incident): “Do you guys remember the last time that this happened and the results? I think it was Las Vegas. Same penalty. Here it comes … hip check. Bam.”
Joy: “What does that do?”
Gordon: “It just caves in those doors, and what it does is it creates a flare in the fender right in front of the right-rear tire. What that does, and they’ve found this in the wind tunnel – it just creates a little more sideforce; gives them a little bit more downforce and speed to be able to lean on. You can maybe free up the car a little more and have a little bit more to lean on to make the car go faster.”
Joy: “And to your point, when that happened at Las Vegas, where did he end up?”
Gordon: “He won.”
Gordon then took to social media to counter Keselowski’s comments.
Keselowski’s sister, Dawn Nicholas, even got into the fray, standing up for her brother.