Keselowski accuses NASCAR of targeting his team

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Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski angrily attacked NASCAR following last night’s NRA 500, accusing the sanctioning body of unfairly targeting his Penske Racing team.

The Penske cars of Keselowski and Joey Logano flunked pre-race inspection before the race at Texas Motor Speedway and had their rear-end housings confiscated. Keselowski (ninth) and Logano (fifth) still battled to earn top-10 finishes, but that didn’t stop the former from unleashing a tirade against NASCAR afterwards.

“I have one good thing to thing to say [about the race], and that was my team and the effort they put in today in fighting back with the absolute [expletive] that’s been the last seven days in this garage area,” Keselowski said according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“The things I’ve seen over the last seven days have me questioning everything I believe in. I’m not happy about it. I don’t have anything positive to say, and I probably should just leave it at that.”

In addition to his rules troubles at Texas, Keselowski was also slowed up in inspection prior to last week’s race at Martinsville — which saw him penalized on pit road at Lap 451 because his right front tire was outside of his pit stall. He still managed to finish sixth in that event.

To top it all off, Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford was chosen after the race as the “random” car to be taken back to NASCAR’s research and development center in North Carolina along with the winning car of Kyle Busch.

Keselowski’s engineer, Brian Wilson, seemed to encapsulate his team’s trying night on Twitter: “Well that was a fun day.”

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”