Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski has sustained a major setback early on in today’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway that put him in the garage for a short time.
During yellow-flag pit stops under the Lap 40 competition caution, Keselowski and Kurt Busch were behind Kasey Kahne as he was making his way into his stall. That forced Keselowski to check up and Busch then clipped Keselowski, inflicting serious front-end damage to the former Sprint Cup champion’s No. 2 Ford Fusion.
Martinsville’s pit road, which features the smallest pit boxes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, is notoriously tight and incidents such as these are far from uncommon. Keselowski noted this in his comments to Fox Sports, but then pointed the finger of blame at “The Outlaw.”
“Typical Martinsville stuff – it’s Lap 50 and everybody’s got to give and take on the race track and on pit road,” he vented. “The 5 car was pitting in the stall in front of me…I saw him checking up and I started to check up and I barely got in the back of him.
“And then, Kurt just accelerated and drove through us – absolutely drove through us. I tell ya, man, I’m about tired of his recklessness…Kurt tore the whole suspension off the car, so it won’t turn, won’t do anything. So, thanks Kurt, thanks a lot.”
Keselowski would return to the race on Lap 77 but with the entire front end bodywork of his car gone. He came back at 31 laps off the pace and shortly after he hit the track, he rubbed against Busch in frustration before letting him go past into Turn 3.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.