Brad Keselowski spin leads to 14-car crash at Talladega

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Already multiple laps down, Brad Keselowski got loose and lost control on Lap 137 of today’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway to set off a wreck that involved 14 cars.

Early in the race, Keselowski failed to clear Danica Patrick for the lead and was sent spinning out to bring a caution at Lap 14.

While his car appeared to be unscathed after the incident, he was forced to pit for a torn water line and returned six laps down.

But Keselowski was among the leaders when he spun in front of Trevor Bayne, who was fourth at the time, and ended up collecting Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon directly.

Multiple others behind that cluster, including pole sitter Brian Scott, were unable to escape.

“When they wreck in front of you and you’re right in the middle, there’s nowhere you can go, which is unfortunate,” Scott said to Fox Sports. “That’s Talladega, I guess.”

Afterwards, Keselowski accepted responsibility for the melee.

“It just broke loose and spun out on me,” he said. “I don’ t know if I ran over something or just busted my rear end, but I feel bad for the guys that got caught up in it.

“We were just trying really hard to get our lap back there and we couldn’t catch any yellows or any breaks, so I had to be really aggressive and hope for something to happen our way.”

Kenseth and Gordon both indicated that they would try to get their cars repaired and turn some laps before the finish.

“I thought [Keselowski] was a bunch of laps down trying to get back on the lead lap, and he just spun out in front of all us and tore up a bunch of good race cars,” Kenseth said.

“All the right-front suspension is tore off, so we gotta switch all of that out and fix the A-frame mount, then go out and run for a little while, I guess.”

Here is the list of those drivers that were involved in the crash:

2-Brad Keselowski
7-Michael Annett
14-Tony Stewart
18-Kyle Busch
20-Matt Kenseth
21-Trevor Bayne
23-Alex Bowman
24-Jeff Gordon
26-Cole Whitt
27-Paul Menard
33-Brian Scott
38-David Gilliland
48-Jimmie Johnson
51-Justin Allgaier

‘Still quite early’ for Ricciardo to think about Red Bull F1 future

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Daniel Ricciardo feels it is “still quite early” to make a decision about his Red Bull Formula 1 future despite seeing teammate Max Verstappen announce on Friday he would be staying with the team until 2020.

Verstappen, 20, put pen to paper on an enhanced F1 contract with Red Bull, with his previous deal due to expire at the end of next season in parallel to Ricciardo’s own agreement.

Ricciardo was asked following practice on Friday why he is yet to strike a new deal for himself with Red Bull, and explained he is in no rush to make a final decision when he has over a year to run on his current contract.

“It’s not that I’ve said no to anything. It’s just still quite early I think,” Ricciardo explained.

“People talked a little bit about contracts and the silly season for next year, but I thought that would still happen next year. It’s still quite early.

“If I’m to try and extract some positives out of his news it’s that it gives us good confidence for next year. He and his management see a lot of positives in the team to continue like that.

“I’m 100 per cent here next year, I can at least say that, and I think it gives both of us confidence that we’ll keep progressing the way we are.”

Red Bull said upon announcing Verstappen’s new deal that it wants to “build a team around him”, with the 20-year-old standing out as a once-in-a-generation talent.

The focus surrounding Verstappen has not left Ricciardo feeling as though he is in the shade or in any way playing second-fiddle to the Dutchman, stressing he has no internal concerns at Red Bull.

“For sure, as far as media goes, he certainly gets a lot of attention. He’s broken records for his age and things like that, so rightly so,” Ricciardo said.

“Take the media out of it, as far as inside the team, new parts on the car, things like this, there’s always been parity and equality.”

Verstappen is only the third driver to commit to a deal beyond the end of next season, following Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari and Fernando Alonso at McLaren on multi-year contracts.

All 10 F1 teams have at least one free seat for 2019, making Ricciardo a possible candidate for seats with either Mercedes or Ferrari were he to consider a move away from Red Bull.

Speaking to British broadcaster Sky Sports, Red Bull F1 advisor Helmut Marko said he felt Ricciardo was “putting himself on the market” by waiting to make a decision on his future, but that talks would take place when possible.