Matt Kenseth was not pleased with Brad Keslowski following Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
As is often the case, tempers simmered throughout the Charlotte NASCAR race, drivers bumping, rear ending, and fighting for position. In other words, racing.
But the tempers were quickly cranked up from simmer to boil in what should have been a cool down lap following the race’s finish. Brad Keslowski, the NASCAR champ known to ruffle a few feathers, inexplicably rear-ended Matt Kenseth as he and other drivers pulled on to pit road, according to SB Nation.
Kenseth caught up to Keslowski as Keslowski seemingly tried to escape the heated post-race scene by sneaking off between some trailers. Keslowski seems home free, but then comes Kenseth, full sprint, ready to tear into something, and piles head-long into a surprised Keslowski.
The quarrel unfolds from there, race crews from both sides, and others, joining the melee. Kenseth felt he had good reason to go after Keslowski, the latter’s actions putting the safety of Kenseth and several others at risk.
“I had my HANS (safety device) off, my seatbelts off and everything and he clobbers me… The race is over, you come back to pit road. If he wants to come up and talk about it like a man, go do that. To wreck somebody on the race track and come down pit road with other cars and people standing around and my seatbelts off and drive in the side of me is inexcusable. There’s no excuse for that… He (Keslowski) is a champion. He’s supposed to know better than that.”
Along with Kenseth, Denny Hamlin was another driver quite upset with Keslowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion.
In fact, it was Hamlin sparring with Keslowski that set the whole Charlotte brawl in motion in the first place.
During the cool down lap, Hamlin brake-checked Keselowski, prompting Keselowski to try and swipe Hamlin’s race car as the drivers exited the race track. But Keselowski missed Hamlin and slammed into the back of Tony Stewart, who then struck Kenseth’s car. That’s when a peeved Stewart cranked it into reverse and backed up hard into Keselowski.
Out of their cars, Hamlin tried to go after Keslowski, but was held back.
“(Keselowski) just ran right into us,” said Hamlin. “I just showed my displeasure on the cool down lap. Then on pit road, he ran into the (Kenseth) and (Stewart). Then he ran into us again. Then he was doing burnouts in the garage area. He was just out of control… What goes around, comes around.”
For Keslowski, however, this wasn’t how things went down at all. In Keslowski’s version of what led to the NASCAR Charlotte post-race brawl, Kenseth and Hamlin were clearly at fault.
“For some reason after the race (Denny Hamlin) stopped in front of me and tried to pick a fight. I don’t know what that was about. He swung and hit at my car. I figure if we’re going to play car wars under the yellow and after the race, I’m going to play, too… Those guys can dish it out and they can’t take it. I gave it back to them and they want to fight.”
Keslowski and Kenseth representatives met with NASCAR officials following the incident. NASCAR says they’ll review all that happened, and dole out any punishment at a later date. If there are any sanctions against Keslowski, Kenseth, or others involved, they will be be announced Tuesday.
[Image and Video via YouTube]