Perhaps Fans Are Too Hard On Keselowski

Misan AkuyaCorrespondent INovember 18, 2009

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 06:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #12 Penske Dodge, stands on pit road during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Brad Keselowski is a driver that doe not tolerate being pushed around.  He has shown that many times this year.

This he has had 2 run ins with now Penske racing teammate Justin Aliager (Bristol and Memphis) both times Aliager was contesting for the lead, both times Aliager came out wrecked.

He has been in it with Denny Hamlin twice this year.  At Dover he flat out took out Hamlin, at Phoenix he repaid Hamlin for a bump the previous corner by spinning him out.

And he spun Carl Edwards out at Memphis killing any chance that Edwards had on catching Kyle Busch for the points championships.

And at Talladega while trying to push now teammate Kurt Busch he instead crashed him resulting in the elder Busch to finish 30th and crush any hope for Penske to win it's first championship.

Most fans, media and even drivers have called the budding star reckless. 

Not at all.  He is just a young driver trying to find his way.

Look at 2 of NASCAR's greatest drivers of all time.  7 time champion Dale Earnhardt and 2 time champion Tony Stewart.

Early , in the middle and in the late stages of Dale Earnhardt's career he was involved in several crashes caused by him.  There was Rusty Wallace's amazing tumble at Talladega that was caused by Earnhardt spinning him out.  There was Bristol the summer of 1995 when he crashed 3 drivers including the eventual winner Terry Labonte who was wrecked by Earnhardt crossing the start finish line.

1999 another crazy Summer ar Bristol, Earnhardt made a last lap attempt on Labonte which resulted on him being wrecked by Earnhardt once again, this time Earnhardt won while Labonte didn't have the chance to cross the start finish line.

Dale Earnhardt had his run ins with now Nascar Analyst Darrell Waltrip.  DW thought that Dale was "trying to kill him" as in the 80s these two were inseparable. 

There was a famous race at Richmond when both were going hard for the win, Earnhardt started the wrecked which caused both to loose control and allowed a then young Kyle Petty to win his first ever cup race.

Dale Earnhardt's biggest rival was Geoffrey Bodine.  Like Keselowski with Hamlin, these two no doubt about it hated each other. 

Bodine was a Yankee, Earnhardt was a good ole boy, both weren't going to take crap from anyone and didn't mix well on the race track.

Most of the time the contact came from Earnhardt to Bodine.  One weekend Bodine was wrecked by Earnhardt both in the nationwide race and in the cup race.

Even Dale's friends at time were none to happy with the Intimidator.  Rusty Wallace threw a water bottle at Earnhardt after he was wrecked by him in the Sharpie 500 in 1995.

Then there is Tony Stewart.  When Stewart came into cup in 1999 he took no prisoners. 

Stewart made himself be known by winning 3 races and finishing 4th in points ahead of Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon.  Along the way he angered a few drivers.

At Watkins Glen early in the laps he and Jeff Gordon were racing very hard.  It resulted in the two making contact sending Gordon to the garage for repairs, while Stewart was able to finish 6th.

After the race was over, Gordon and Stewart had a very heated discussion.

In 2001 on the last lap of the Food City 500 Tony Stewart was in 4th and Jeff Gordon was in 5th.  Jeff Gordon spun Tony Stewart out resulting in Stewart to finish outside the top ten.

Upset, Stewart returned the favor after the race spinning Gordon out on pit road.

In 2004 Tony Stewart and Rusty Wallace both made contact at Auto Club Speedway.  Both didn't wreck but after Wallace was in a wreck that started because eventual 2004 champion Kurt Busch lost it, He made some comments towards Stewart saying that he had "enough of that guy" and saying how Stewart gave him the finger and said "I'd like to shove that finger somewhere."

Tony Stewart won his first race of the 2004 season at Chicagoland but not at the expense of a good friend and a young driver who he was mentoring.  On a restart Kasey Kahne had no tires, Stewart had 4 fresh tires.  Stewart took off fast, made contact with Kahne entering the corner causing Kahne to spin out , hit the wall very hard and get Dale Earnhardt Jr, Scott Riggs, and Jeff Burton involved.  It took the rest of the season for Stewart Kahne's friendship to mend.

In 2005 at Dover Tony Stewart was fast and coming while Jeff Gordon was going back to the pack.  Stewart made contact with Gordon much like Keselowski with Hamlin at Dover, spinning Gordon into the wall.

Now these 2 drivers are legends in NASCAR and racing in general.  Before Earnhardt's he had built a huge fanbase.  Tony Stewart currently enjoys arguably the 2nd to 3rd strongest fanbase in NASCAR, and his overall merchandise sales are only 2nd to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Brad Keselowski has a very bright future ahead of him.  If Roger Penske can provide him the cars, Keselowski will drive them his best,win races, championships and make a huge mark in the sport. 

Aggression is a good thing and all drivers have wrecked another time a time or 2.  Those 2 legends are perfect examples.