INDIANAPOLIS – Brad Keselowski may have been grateful to walk away from a scary crash at the end of the first stage in Sunday’s Big Machine Vodka Brickyard 400, but he didn’t mince words afterward.
Keselowski had a series of scathing comments for Indianapolis Motor Speedway regarding safety, after he was caught up with Erik Jones in a crash that ended the opening 50-lap segment under caution.
The 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion was battling Jones for position on a restart on lap 49 when he pinched Jones against the curb entering the second corner. That led to Jones spinning out, collecting Keselowski and sending the No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang into the outside wall.
Keselowski’s machine then shot across the track and down into a tire pack lining the exit of the infield road course at IMS, with the car climbing up on two wheels and coming to rest off the ground.
Despite the odd angle of landing, Keselowski put the window net down and exited his car under his own power. However, the hard hit didn’t mean he was short on things to say after exiting the infield care center.
“We had new tires and we were racing some cars that didn’t have new tires,” noted Keselowski. “I wanted to make the pass there and got real tight to the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and lost the nose in the air. I was trying to leave room and probably came down on Erik (Jones) more than I thought I did and he got real loose. After that, there was no air on my car and I hit the wall there.
“There is this spot on the wall with just an atrocious angle,” added Keselowski. “I don’t know what that spot is for, but it does not need to be there and we found it. That’s how racing goes. We find the things. This track was part of the safety revolution about 15 to 20 years ago, and I think it’s time for another.”
Pressed further and asked if he thought the tire pack he hit was more beneficial than a SAFER Barrier in that spot, Keselowski circled back to the odd shape of the wall he hit in that particular spot.
“I think there probably should not be weird angles like that to wreck on,” he said. “It is what it is and I’m just glad I’m okay.”
To his credit, Jones assumed responsibility for the accident after being checked and released from the medical center.
“I just got loose and made a mistake. I didn’t think Brad (Keselowski) would be so tight on me, and I just lost it,” explained Jones. “It’s my fault. I feel bad for the 2 (Keselowski) and I feel bad for our team as well. It’s a shame, we had a good Stanley Camry and I just hate seeing it come down like that. I just wasn’t anticipating enough and I drove in too hard for it.
“We’ll move on, but I wish we could have had a good day,” Jones continued. “Our car was really strong and we had a shot to probably win today. Things just didn’t work out.”