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NASCAR America: Brad Keselowski’s critical comments of Cup car came at wrong time

Brad Keselowski didn't hide his frustration well after his early exit in Kentucky. Should one of NASCAR's stars be held accountable for his critical comments?

Shortly after he was eliminated from the NASCAR Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in a Lap 88 crash, Brad Keselowksi made comments about the current generation of Cup cars that put the Team Penske driver in hot water.

Keselowski said the Gen 6 car is a “poorly designed race car and it makes racing on tracks like this very difficult to put on the show.” He went on to add, “It is time for the sport to design a new car that is worthy of where this sport deserves to be and the show it deserves to put on for its fans.”

On Monday, the comments were addressed by NASCAR’s chief racing development officer, Steve O’Donnell, who called Keselowski’s statement “disappointing.”

“You can’t react just to one event, obviously, unless it’s a safety thing where you’ve got to make an immediate change,” O’Donnell said. “For us it’s balancing what we’ve seen over the entirety of the year to so far.’’

Keselowksi’s comments, which the driver later tried to clarify on Twitter, were discussed by NASCAR America’s analysts, who also believe the comments came in the wrong conditions.

“He is a leader in this sport,” Jeff Burton said. “I don’t think after getting wrecked early in the race is the right time to be saying ‘the world needs to change.’ ... I respect Brad a great deal, I just think you have to be careful when you take a big, broad swipe like that. The inference is the racing’s no good. ... If you take the year in whole, this year has been a lot of fun to watch.”

Steve Letarte’s comments came after he reached to Keselowski to discuss the what he said.

“I was extremely frustrated when I read these comments because I feel the sport has worked tirelessly to improve the type of racing,” Letarte said. “After that conversation (with Keselowski) I feel better about his intent. That he feels it needs to continue to move forward, that the car could be worked on. But I’m very disappointed in (how he) delivered his message. ... He has every right to be vocal, but I think his choice of words were very poor and the entire context in which his comments came out I don’t think was positive for him or the sport.”

Slugger Labbe described the comments as having come out in the “heat of the moment” but as being the culmination of a frustrating part of the season for Keselowski, who has four DNFs and just two top 10s in the last seven races.

Watch the video for the full discussion.