NASCAR and conspiracies have always gone hand in hand.
Remember back when Jimmie Johnson won five straight championships and everyone from fans, to other teams were calling him out and demanding that NASCAR Officials level the playing field? While it was never exactly determined whether Johnson and his team had cheated their way to multiple championships or if he really is just that dominant, the lore of the story lingered on for years and caused many heated debates.
That lore was renewed during qualifying when Brad Keselowski made a comment about Toyota laying back in order not to draw too much attention from NASCAR and warrant another leveling of the playing field. Of course teams, drivers and fans of The Toyota camp ridiculed Keselowski on twitter for the remarks and Kyle Busch even called Keselowski a moron, but was he right all along?
“About this time every year NASCAR takes all the cars to kind of check to make sure that the competitive balance is where they want it to be, and I think we’ve seen the last two or three weeks that the Toyota cars are pretty dominant,” Keselowski said after qualifying. “We had a strong suspicion that those guys would kind of tune it down this weekend, so not to post a pretty big number in inspection that maybe balanced back out the competition, potentially that’s right,” because our team hasn’t done much differently and those guys are just not as fast as they’ve been the last few weeks.”
With that being said, and the way the final laps of the Pure Michigan 400 played out Sunday in mind, is it possible that he was right?Whether you want to believe this theory is up to you, but here are the facts as they have been presented to NASCAR fans so far.
- Brad Keselowski nabbed the pole for The Pure Michigan 400 and went on a rant about Toyota holding back this weekend.
- Despite leading and looking strong multiple times throughout the race, Martin Truex JR somehow blows the final restart and blames it on a wheel spin, which allowed Larson to race by.
- Toyota has led practice or nabbed the pole in almost all of the last five races and sometimes both.
- . Brad Keselowski was criticized by Kyle Busch for whining about not having enough speed when Toyota teams didn’t complain when they were behind at the beginning of the season.
- Toyota didn’t win until Martin Truex JR took the checkered flag at Las Vegas in the spring and they didn’t get their second win until Martin Truex JR did the same thing again at Kansas.
“That’s just Brad being Brad, I guess” Busch told Kenny Wallace during the Fox Sports 1 pre race show when asked about Keselowski’s comments ,” We just put our heads down and went to work. Those guys just want to complain about it (instead of) going back to work and (getting) faster.” Busch also noted that Fords were a lot faster then everyone else at the beginning of the season, but no one said anything.
Martin Truex commented on the finish after the race and told reporters that, ““We had that red flag for the first time and really I just sat there while I got the tires cold and then only had one lap to come to the green and get some heat back in them. I just struggled getting going, just spun the tires.
“I didn’t really expect it, Truex JR continued, “because I hadn’t had any trouble with that all day.”
What are your thoughts? Was this a strategic move on Toyota’s part or is Brad Keselowski just sour about not having the kind of performance he’s wanted lately? Let us know in the comments below!