Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts

Keselowski slices hand on broken bottle in Victory Lane (PHOTOS, UPDATED)

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A broken champagne bottle forced Brad Keselowski to get stitches to his right hand at Kentucky Speedway’s infield care center after winning the Quaker State 400 on Saturday night. Before going in for his stitches, he waved his bloody hand to the assembled photographers in Victory Lane. Photo: Getty Images.

UPDATED (12:22 a.m. ET): Sporting a bandaged right hand with a NASCAR Sprint Cup winner’s sticker on it,  Brad Keselowski exclaimed “Hey everybody!” as he finally entered the Kentucky Speedway media center for his post-race press conference.

A few questions into the presser, Keselowski was asked which was more treacherous: Victory Lane or navigating the 1.5-mile oval’s rough surface.

“The front-stretch bumps are a concussion, and Victory Lane is bleeding of the hand,” Keselowski mused. “I guess I don’t have enough to lose upstairs to worry about the first one.

“So, the champagne. I should have stuck with beer.”

Keselowski also added more details about the incident, saying that he thought he hit the bottle on the corner of the podium before it broke on him.

“I don’t know, I was trying to get the top off and shaking [the bottle] at the same time,” he said. “People were spraying me and I couldn’t really see all that well. It was just one of those deals.

He felt that his bandaged hand would not hinder his ability to drive in next Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.

“Last time I had stitches, it was seven days or so, and we’re going to Daytona, which is probably the easiest track you could ask for,” he said.

“I didn’t break any bones or any of that stuff. I just put in a big gash, so I don’t think it’ll be an issue.”

UPDATED (11:37 p.m. ET): Ford Racing has tweeted a photo of Keselowski’s bandaged right hand after cutting it with the broken champagne bottle in Victory Lane. The manufacturer reports that he needed four stitches.

After winning tonight’s Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway, Brad Keselowski ended up going to the track’s infield care center after slicing his hand open on a broken champagne bottle.

Photographer Kirby Johnson Gordon was able to catch a shot of the bottle apparently exploding in Keselowski’s hands, which led to the injury.

And from ESPN’s Jim Noble:

Obviously, the incident has held up the usual post-race media proceedings at Kentucky. Keselowski led 199 of 267 laps tonight en route to his second win of the season.

We’ll have more on the situation as it develops…

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Carlos Munoz

Carlos Munoz
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MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the driver-by-driver roster in this year’s Verizon IndyCar Series. Next up in 13th is Carlos Munoz, who fell back to earth a bit after winning Indianapolis 500, then series rookie-of-the-year honors in consecutive years.

Carlos Munoz, No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda

  • 2014: 8th Place, Best Finish 3rd, Best Start 3rd, 3 Podiums, 5 Top-5, 8 Top-10, 0 Laps Led, 10.5 Avg. Start, 12.6 Avg. Finish
  • 2015: 13th Place, 1 Win, Best Start 4th, 1 Podium, 3 Top-5, 7 Top-10, 25 Laps Led, 14.0 Avg. Start, 12.1 Avg. Finish

Munoz fell down to earth a little bit in his second full season in IndyCar, albeit not as badly as fellow 2014 rookie Jack Hawksworth, who’d switched teams and had a myriad of issues throughout the season. He won his first race in the rain at Detroit race one, which was well judged, but there were precious other highlights from the driver who has showcased “wow” potential in the past.

His qualifying fell off year-to-year and that was probably the single thing to pinpoint as to why the decline occurred, falling from eighth to 13th in points. What had been a 10.5 average in 2014 fell to 14th this year, and behind teammates Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Ovals seemed his strongest type of circuit this year on the whole. Like teammate Justin Wilson, he’d been in position to score what would have been his third straight Indianapolis 500 top-five finish if a late splash of fuel wasn’t needed. Sixth at Texas from fourth on the grid marked his best overall weekend of the year, and fifth at Iowa and Pocono were also fairly good results.

But whereas Munoz picked his spots well last year and delivered a handful of podiums, his Detroit win marked his only podium visit this year. He didn’t really make much of an impression and was more anonymous than not over the course of the year. His future with Andretti is uncertain for 2016.

Williams maximizes wet setup work despite limited running in Sochi

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With action pretty much limited in both practice sessions due to the diesel spillage in free practice one and rain in free practice two for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, teams could only do limited wet-weather runs.

Williams Martini Racing tried to make the best of the circumstances, as one of only five teams that completed laps in FP2 (McLaren, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Ferrari) with eight cars.

Felipe Massa led second practice but it was an essentially meaningless session.

“It was quite a stunted session today which stopped us from completing all of the work we wanted to,” said Rob Smedley, Williams’ head of vehicle performance. “We had planned to run in the wet but we had a strange situation this afternoon in that half of the circuit was much wetter than the other half which made most of the tests null and void.

“We have been working on the wet set-up of the car and so wanted to get out at the end of FP2 to see the progress we have made. In a similar vein to our low speed corner work in Singapore, we seem to be making progress. We got through all of the bits and pieces we wanted to get through in terms of control systems and power unit set-up, and we have to go into tomorrow with a good plan for FP3 to get the car set-up for qualifying and the race.”

Valtteri Bottas finished third in Sochi a year ago, while Massa seeks a rebound after a fuel flow issue in qualifying resigned him to a Q1 elimination and an 11th place finish.