Nascar owners respond to Brad Keselowski’s comments
Defending Nascar Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski is one of the most opinionated drivers in the Nascar garage. He is not afraid to say what he thinks and believes. On Thursday, Keselowski accused Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing of stealing information by hiring former employees from his Penske Racing team and other Ford teams.
“…When that happens, that puts walls up between the camps because you are giving up more than one piece of information – you are giving up two companies’ information – and trying to protect yourself against that, it forces you to put up walls” Keselowski said on Thursday, according to USA Today, MotorSportsTalk reports. “It doesn’t necessarily lend itself to working together.”
Keselowski claimed that Hendrick poached three employees from his team, which won the championship last year. He had worked for Hendrick in 2008 and 2009. Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick fired back at Keselowski’s comments.
“The comments Brad reportedly made were misinformed,” Hendrick said in a statement, according to USA Today Sports. “The truth is that we hired one tire changer, who was a backup for Penske and whose contract was up. We also brought over one mechanic from their Nationwide program and, when the Penske engine shop was closing, added a few of those people. What Brad left out was that his organization also hired one of our tire changers. All of this was above board and is part of doing business in a competitive environment. I take no issue with any of it, and I expect Roger would say the same.”
“Brad misrepresents the facts and spends a lot of time making insinuations and accusations about other teams when he should be focused on his own program and competing at a high level. I hope he figures that out and begins representing himself and the sport with more class.”
Hendrick is a friend of Keselowski’s team owner Roger Penske. Team owner Joe Gibbs has also responded to the comments.
“We were surprised to read the recent comments and accusations made by Brad Keselowski. Clearly those comments are misguided and irresponsible. Brad’s candor is well documented, but he would do well to only speak to subjects on which he is properly informed,” Gibbs said in a statement according to USA Today Sports.
“Obviously NASCAR is a very competitive environment and we take our hiring processes seriously at JGR. The individual he referenced in his comments was working outside of the sport of NASCAR at the time we hired him.”
“We have a great deal of respect for Roger Penske and his organization and I feel like I have always had a good personal relationship with Roger. We look forward to competing with Brad on the racetrack, but hope that he will use better judgment in the future before making such misinformed claims and accusations.”
A bigger partnership between Penske Racing and Roush Fenway Racing has been discussed as Ford looks to improve its performance. Ford only has two wins this season, Carl Edwards at Phoenix and David Ragan at Talladega.
Keselowski is currently ninth in points and will start 16th in Sunday’s race at Michigan.