Wild race blows championship open for Keselowski


Published — Tuesday 13 November 2012

Last update 13 November 2012 6:35 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

AVONDALE, Arizona: When the fighting stopped, the oil had dried and the last of the wrecked cars had been towed away, Brad Keselowski found himself on the brink of a first Sprint Cup title for himself and team owner Roger Penske.
Only he wasn’t in a celebratory mood.
He entered Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway trailing five-time champion Jimmie Johnson by seven points and had the better car all day. And moments after Keselowski raced his way into the lead, a blown tire caused Johnson to crash and take his battered car to the garage for repairs.
It helped Keselowski, who finished sixth, to a 20-point lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship heading into the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he’ll clinch the title with a finish of 15th or better.
“I wanted to take the points lead by winning a race and not relying on a failure,” Keselowski said.
Johnson’s sudden misfortune was a dramatic and stunning turn in the most chaotic race of the year.
It proved to be just the warm-up act in a race that could go down as the one many fans will call the best of the season.
Probably for all the wrong reasons. And that’s what had Keselowski so upset.
“I’m more just disappointed in the quality of racing that we saw,” he said. “I thought it was absolutely ridiculous, and I was ashamed to be a part of it.”
Kevin Harvick snapped a 44-race losing streak by beating Kyle Busch on a pair of late restarts, the ironic winner on the same weekend news leaked he’s reportedly signed a deal to leave Richard Childress Racing to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.
“We have 2012, we have 2013, and regardless of what happens on a business side of things, Richard Childress and myself will always be friends, good or bad, and may agree to disagree,” Harvick said, “but we still have a lot of racing left to do and we owe it to our sponsors and our company to go out and do exactly what we did today and be men and do the best we can for everybody.”
Harvick and Busch crossed the finish line ahead of a melee of crashing cars, a chain reaction caused in part because NASCAR failed to throw a caution when Danica Patrick was spun on the restart. Then others slid in oil, into Patrick’s wrecked car, bounced all over the track, and even Keselowski was hit.
“There was a lot of stuff on the race track, there was oil all over it. Ray Charles could see that,” second-place finisher Denny Hamlin said.
Busch, who finished third, also saw the oil all over the track.
“Not sure if (NASCAR) had time to react to all that, but granted, you would expect that they would see all of that and see the oil slick,” he said. “I mean, it wasn’t small by any means. It was three feet wide.”
But the carnage was simply the final exclamation point in a sequence triggered by four-time champion Jeff Gordon. He intentionally wrecked Clint Bowyer, and that led to a full brawl in the garage and a red-flag of nearly 15 minutes for clean up on the track.
Keselowski was tweeting during the delay from inside his car — a practice he first did during a jet fuel fire in the season-opening Daytona 500 — and NASCAR had officially reached three-ring circus status.
“The sport was made on fights. We should have more fights. I like fights,” Harvick said after the race. “They’re not always fun to be in, sometimes you’re on the wrong end, but fights are what made NASCAR what it is.”
This one began as the field closed in on what should have been the final lap and Gordon slowed his car to wait for Bowyer so he could intentionally wreck him as retaliation for several weeks of on-track contact between the two.
After Gordon climbed from his car in the garage, he appeared to be jumped from behind by one of Bowyer’s crew members. It led to a full brawl between the crews, with Bowyer sprinting from his car to join the fracas. Bowyer was held back by NASCAR officials from entering Gordon’s hauler.
“It’s pretty embarrassing,” Bowyer said. “For a four-time champion, and what I consider one of the best this sport’s ever seen to act like this is pretty ridiculous.”
Both drivers and their crew chiefs were called to the NASCAR hauler for a meeting with series officials, and police officers stood outside on guard.

Gordon said he’s had problems with Bowyer all season and had reached his limit.
“Things just got escalated over the year, and I’d just had it,” he said. “Clint has run into me numerous times, wrecked me, and he got into me on the back straightaway and pretty much ruined our day. I’ve had it, fed up with it and I got him back.”
He said he didn’t know what penalties might be coming from NASCAR.
“They’ve got to do what they’ve got to do, and I guess I had to do what,” he said.
NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the situation would be looked at further this week.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

• Which particular aspect of Saudi Arabia do you like the most?The country as a whole, large deserts merging with seas, green areas, mountains.• Can you tell us your favorite and oft-repeated Arabic word?Each word which remains in my memory helps me...
RIYADH: Millions of citizens have joined Education Minister Azzam Al-Dakheel in offering condolences and prayers for the Holy Qur’an teacher who took his last breath while teaching students in the classroom. “Teaching is not just a job. Rather, teach...
RIYADH: Three soldiers laid down their lives as Saudi forces thwarted a Houthi infiltration attempt in the Harath district of Jazan. The infiltrators planned to target two watchtowers with machine guns and missiles, said the SPA.Saudi soldiers confro...
MAKKAH: One Pakistani died when a 16-year-old Saudi lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a barber’s shop in Makkah’s Shra’eh area, according to Fawzi Al-Ansari, spokesman of the traffic police. The driver and a Yemeni sustained injuries.In an...
JEDDAH: The Kingdom has recorded 21,761 people with AIDS in the country since 1984, divided into 6,334 Saudis and 15,427 non-Saudis, a local publication reported to mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. In 2014, there were 1,222 new cases recorded, with Sau...
RIYADH: The National Center for Assessment (NCA), known here as Qiyas, announced Monday that a foreign academic has won its 2015 award for Excellence in Research and Development.George Engelhard Jr. will receive his award at the Second International...
RIYADH: The Cabinet on Monday welcomed the recommendations of the 34th meeting of the GCC Interior Ministers in Doha and highlighted the statement made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif at the meeting on the importance of global cooperation to fight...
RIYADH: Difficult terms and conditions as well as the complicated process have disappointed many women who aspired to contest the third municipal council elections.This resulted in limiting the number of women candidates to just 979 against 5,938 men...
JEDDAH: More donations are needed to assist children with disabilities in the Kingdom because treatment costs for one child is about SR100,000 a year, said Prince Sultan bin Salman.Prince Sultan, who is the chairman of the Disabled Children’s Associa...
DAMMAM: Six elementary school students have been isolated on suspicion of having swine flu, said officials at King Fahd Bridge Elementary School in Alkhobar. The Department of Health Affairs in the Eastern Province sent a medical team to transfer the...
JEDDAH: The General Directorate of Passports is continuing its efforts to fight fraud and attempts to circumvent visa regulations, said director Suleiman Al-Yahya.“We are implementing the directives of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, deputy premier a...
JEDDAH: In an effort to provide citizens with healthy and equitable living conditions, Jeddah Municipality has begun a unique initiative to solve the problem of food waste.To do this, community workers have distributed some 900 containers across the...
RIYADH: The Riyadh Municipality clamped down on a commercial center in the capital for want of license and due to several irregularities. Abdullah Al-Tayyar, head of the Rawdah municipality in the Riyadh region, said the management of the commercial...
Dr. Hanan Al-Ghamdi, assistant professor of Hepatobiliary and Laparoscopic Surgery at the University of Dammam, has warned that Saudi Arabia is located in the ‘red zone’ in relation to the prevalence of overweight and obese nationals.“The overall pro...
RIYADH: Three Saudi companies won the prestigious Prima Duta Awards 2015 conferred by the Indonesian government for promoting trade between the two nations.The awards were handed out at the Indonesian Embassy in the Diplomatic Quarter on Sunday to Sa...

Events & Exhibitions

Stay Connected