Brad Keselowski, with the notable exception of Tony Stewart, is quite simply the single most outspoken Sprint Cup champion ever since Dale Earnhardt Sr. some 20 years ago. Unlike Stewart, who typically just complains about the media and other drivers, and unlike Earnhardt, who was outspoken in that he’d put people in the wall; Keselowski’s issue is generally relating to the inner workings of NASCAR. It’s rare that a driver will talk about the incompetence in NASCAR management, and even rarer when that driver just happens to be a Sprint Cup champion. In fact, only two Cup champions have put NASCAR to task like that: Keselowski and NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison.
Bobby Allison is easily the greatest driver to have only won the Cup once, with 85 (NASCAR claims it is 84) victories. Off track, while Allison is more known for the tragedies of his fellow Alabama Gang members (To be exact best friend Neil Bonnett and his sons Davey Allison and Clifford Allison), Allison was always a harsh critic in how NASCAR was ran. He often alleged that Richard Petty got away with breaking the rules, and cried foul that Petty’s 200th win car had a huge engine with a large fuel cell, larger then allowed. He also claimed that he was discriminated against for being Catholic and was robbed of a victory that would break his tie for 4th on the all time wins list with Darrell Waltrip, who he’s still to this day not exactly buddies with. While Bobby’s claims sound like he’s complaining, he does have solid grounds – Petty was found with an oversized engine at Charlotte in 1973 and Petty had been caught with another oversized engine once again a few weeks before his big 200th victory at Daytona in 1984. Both engines were found after Petty won and Petty kept both victories.
Keselowski, meanwhile, has outright said, among other things in an interview with USA Today, that “We haven’t adapted as a sport” and “what NASCAR needs to do is somehow wean ourselves off our sponsors and make the sport more affordable to where you can basically race off the purse”. While Brad doesn’t complain about specific drivers like Allison did, both do not like NASCAR. The only difference is that Bobby believed NASCAR discriminates towards certain drivers, while Brad believes NASCAR is ran out of touch with the realities of today.
At the end of the day, no matter what you or I believe, both drivers are Sprint Cup champions. Bobby might of made excuses in many people’s opinion, but there is no denying he is one of the true greats in all of racing. You might not agree with Brad, and believe NASCAR is being ran perfectly fine in spite of the dwindling attendance and lack of full time teams, but there is no denying he is becoming one of the true greats of racing whose opinion should at least be tolerated.