Friday, September 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

In the Pits: Keselowski made move he thought would win Pocono

By
June 11, 2014 |

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Winning, we’ve been told since the beginning of the year, is all that matters now in NASCAR.

A win should earn a driver a coveted berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Multiple victories would give a driver valuable bonus points to be used when seeding the Chase field.

Brad Keselowski wants those bonus points. He’s already got the one victory needed to put him in the title hunt, and now it’s about separating himself from the field.

Yet there seemed to be some questioning, criticism and second-guessing after his failed strategy to win on Sunday at Pocono Raceway. Keselowski dominated the race and seemed headed to an easy win until debris — a hot dog wrapper? a napkin? let’s just call it garbage from the grandstand — somehow found its way to the front grille of Keselowski’s car. It’s a common occurrence in racing, where properly disposing of trash is not a common occurrence, and the results can wreak havoc on a race car.

That’s the position Keselowski found himself in during the closing laps at Pocono, where his shot at what had seemed to be a sure victory was suddenly in question. Debris on the grille causes engines to overheat, and drivers don’t have a ton of time to figure out a way to knock the garbage off the nose. As temperatures rise, the engine begins to lose some of its power, and if it gets hot enough, the engine will blow.

From Keselowski’s view inside the cockpit of the No. 2 Ford, he couldn’t win the race with the debris on his car. Either the engine was going to break, or Dale Earnhardt Jr. was going to run him down.

“I think I was going to get passed because I was really down on power down the straightaway,” Keselowski said. “I don’t know. I think so, but it’s hard to say.”

So Keselowski tried to get the debris off his car by running behind Danica Patrick in the hope that air coming off her lapped car would blow the garbage away. Only she didn’t seem to know what he was doing, and appeared to try to get out of the way of the leader.

He misjudged his move, lost momentum and Earnhardt chased him down for the lead. Keselowski’s only hope was to catch Earnhardt and get close enough to the new leader to free the debris so that he could he could attempt to get back to the front.

It didn’t work. Earnhardt cruised to the victory, Keselowski settled for second and there was plenty of head-scratching about his decision.

The second-guessing from fans and commentators is ludicrous. In a winning-is-everything environment, Keselowski is being criticized for trying to win.

Even Earnhardt conceded Keselowski did what he had to do.

“I don’t know what his temperatures were, but they must have been very, very hot for Brad to do that,” Earnhardt said. “That had to have been the toughest choice for him. I felt really bad for Brad to be honest in that particular instance to see him in such a situation that he had to be that desperate.

“He’s the kind of guy that would have just put his foot in it and tried to make the motor last. But apparently it was just more than he could ask for the engine to do.”

Keselowski saw he had no other option than to try to force the issue.

“I was trying to do something to help my car out, and I knew it (the engine) was going to break, and I was going to get passed,” he said. “I was trying to make whatever move I could do to help clean it off.”

His car made it to the end of the race. Why not just roll the dice and push it until the engine blows?

In Keselowski’s educated opinion, his fate was inevitable.

“We weren’t going to make it,” he shrugged. “It was already starting to (blow). It is just one of those deals.”

The circumstances surrounding Tony Stewart’s botched race Sunday are different from Keselowski’s situation. But the motive — winning — remains the same.

Stewart had cycled into the lead with 48 laps to go when he was caught speeding on pit road, costing him a shot at his first win of the season. Stewart was pushing hard in an effort to make it back to Victory Lane.

“100 percent driver error,” Stewart said. “Great race car, just the driver screwed it up this week.”

Keselowski also admits he made an error in how he attempted to get the debris off his car.

Mistakes happen. The driver and the team pick themselves up and move on to the next one, as both Keselowski and Stewart indicated they’d do.

Since when, though, do we fault them for doing what they thought was needed to win? It is the only thing that matters anymore.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Missouri Street Theatre set to open ‘Bonnie and Clyde’

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Shelter uses technology to reunite pets, owners

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Weekend full of jazz on tap in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Royal Tailor plans high-energy, genre-blending show

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Police make child molestation arrest

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Dignitaries celebrate opening of $30M courthouse

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police arrest 2 in robberies investigation

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 10 Comments | Gallery

 
Police seek help to find missing Fairfield man

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Fairfield eyes sale of excess government land

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Men, again, are seen as missing in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 6 Comments | Gallery

Stolen vehicle investigation leads to 3 arrests

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Weather for Sept. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

Suisun City police log: Sept. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Man arrested in fast-growing California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Strong Senate vote for Obama on Syria rebel aid

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Scots reject independence in historic vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Passenger says JetBlue plane filled with smoke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Law makes earthquake insurance more understandable

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
GOP pushes diverse candidates, but will it matter?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

PG&E emails may have violated rules, judge says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
500 Berkeley students missed sex abuse classes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Boxer indicates big decision to come next year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Father arrested in fatal stabbing of 6-year-old

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Health exchange addresses dropped policies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
UC system plan calls for anti-sex abuse effort

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Democratic state lawmaker arraigned on DUI charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Sheriff: Fla. man kills 6 grandchildren, daughter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Couple in Craigslist slaying sentenced to life

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
In wake of beheadings, Busch Gardens removes props

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Trooper ambush suspect added to most wanted list

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
CDC tells healthy adults not to forget flu vaccine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Border Patrol to test wearing cameras

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Kansas court: Remove Democrat from Senate ballot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Ukraine’s pleas for lethal aid from US go unmet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
British hostage appears in new video

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Witness: 21 killed by Mexico army had surrendered

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Militant gains illustrate plight of Syrian Kurds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Series of attacks kills at least 36 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Sierra Leone to shut down for 3 days to slow Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Opinion

 
Did the ‘War on Poverty’ fail?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
Do you feel more secure?

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

My support for anyone but Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 17 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Mother-in-law bothers me at work for kid’s minor infractions

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Sept. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: ‘Leave You’ has A-list cast, B-grade result

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Adam Driver shifts into hyper drive

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

 
‘The Voice’ winner goes to Broadway’s ‘Pippin’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
TV Guide Network renaming itself POP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Peter Fonda’s ‘Easy Rider’ bike going to auction

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Sept. 19, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

Darrell Hammond takes over for Don Pardo on ‘SNL’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

The Roosevelt trail, from Maine to North Dakota

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Vanden volleyball team remains undefeated in SCAC play

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

 
49ers’ Derek Carrier ready to step in at tight end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

Raiders seek ways to get Reece more involved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Athletics out of top wild-card spot as Texas sweeps

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Nashville new home for Athletics’ Triple-A team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
 
Falcons romp to 56-14 win over hapless Buccaneers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
2-time Grand Slam winner Li Na retires from tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Stacy Lewis, Mi Jung Hur share LPGA lead in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
WR Simpson, in more trouble, released by Vikings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Royal & Ancient votes to admit female members

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
MLS says Chivas USA might not play in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Tiger Woods says he might coach himself

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Police: Cardinals RB Dwyer head-butted wife

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Prep football capsules: Week 3

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
Signups for Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

Appeals court reconsidering Barry Bonds conviction

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Nissan’s small car excels at affordability

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Self-driving cars now need a permit in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Ellison gives up Oracle CEO role, becomes chairman

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
California bill increases Hollywood tax credits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Fed keeps rates low, but brace for the inevitable

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Alibaba prices IPO at $68 per share

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

Home Depot says malware affected 56M payment cards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Applications for US jobless benefits fall sharply

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

Apple locks itself out of devices with passwords

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Alibaba’s plan: Today, China. Tomorrow, the world.

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Chevron meets new, voluntary shale drilling rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Margaret King

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Mae Frances Jones

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9