The Final Word – Charlotte was a Happy Place, Though it Made Junior Sad, and Some Mad at Brad

Charlotte in the night and what a web it wove. Essentially, you could sum up the action by first pointing out that Kevin Harvick once again had a dominant car. The difference this time is that he won the darn thing, the Closer closed, and the Happy boy is now locked into the Chase right through to the Arizona 500.

Secondly, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had bad vibrations, bad enough to snap his shifter. It was not as bad as Kansas, but finishing 20th a race after coming home 39th is not what the lad was looking for. For either he or Jimmie Johnson to make the Chase, Kasey Kahne cannot. Harvick and Joey Logano are locked into the next round after Talladega, while the other five contenders are close to it, barring very bad things. Of course, Talladega is where very bad things are known to happen.

Very bad. Some think that describes Brad Keselowski and the boys seemed to be lining up to kick the crap out of him. A come to Jesus meeting seemed to be in order, where one’s feelings were not the only things destined to be hurt. In hearing Brad tell it, all I heard was that everyone else started the problems by attempting to pay him back for things he had already done.

With around 60 laps to go, Brad went either looking for an off ramp or he deliberately swung way wide on a restart to deliberately block Matt Kenseth and force him into scraping the wall. He then did a little tap-tapping on Denny Hamlin in his bid to move forward, causing an anxious moment or two late in the race.

Somewhere in there, or so Keselowski says, Hamlin tried to retaliate, so as the race ended Brad tried to perform a P.I.T. maneuver on Hamlin’s auto. Then, he claimed Kenseth had torn off his right front, which seemed perfectly fine when it hit Matt’s parked car post-race on pit road. At the time, Kenseth had already taken off his restraining devices, making it truly a stupid move. Unfortunately for Bradley Aaron, he also caught Tony Stewart, even though he claimed it must have been Kenseth who hit him. As Brad backed up, Stewart put his own in reverse and made damn sure Keselowski’s front end was indeed torn up, causing the boy to get out of Dodge but quick.

By the time he parked, Hamlin was hunting him down. There was pushing and yelling, but the two never seemed to get together. Brad was directed to his hauler, but hauled himself out to walk off into the night between the trailers. That is where Kenseth caught up to him, and they did get together. Another big crowd gathered, more pushing and yelling ensued, as the post-race action got more exciting than anything we had just seen out on the track.

In the end, Brad gave his side of the story, NASCAR was going to ponder what took place, and no doubt nothing of consequence will come out of it. Do you remember how I recently mentioned that after initially not being much of a fan I was starting to warm toward Keselowski? Not today. The boy seems on the verge of becoming what Kurt Busch had once been, a malady that seems curable only by a treatment made popular by a certain Dr. James (Jimmy) Spencer.

What we learned is that the next time Keselowski causes one of those racing deals, that block will result in him being sent into the wall. The next time he says what happened, I will want to see what really did happen, as ole Brad seems to ignore a few facts in his summation of events. I do not like his chances of advancing to the next round of the Chase, as I think he just lost a few friends from his Facebook list.

Talladega is next, and sometimes things just happen at Talladega.

The eight who rate…
1 – Joey Logano – 1 WIN – 3088 POINTS – Locked in
3 – Kevin Harvick – 1 – 3081 – Locked in
2 – Kyle Busch – 0 – 3082 – 26 Points to the good
4 – Ryan Newman – 0 – 3077 – 21 Points to the good
5 – Carl Edwards – 0 – 3076 – 20 Points to the good
6 – Jeff Gordon – 0 – 3074 – 18 Points to the good
7 – Denny Hamlin – 0 – 3073 – 17 Points to the good
8 – Kasey Kahne – 0 – 3057 – 1 Point to the good

Four who need to do more…
9 – Matt Kenseth – 0 – 3056 POINTS – 1 Point out
10 – Brad Keselowski – 0 – 3038 – 19 Points out
11 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 0 – 3031 – 26 Points out
12 – Jimmie Johnson – 0 – 3031 – 26 Points out

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


  1. BK’s vibration was in his head. The only way “nothing of consequence” will come out of this foolishness will be Penske’s influence with NA$CAR, and don’t think for a minute that he can’t do it. (He didn’t get the name Captain for no reason.) I say $250,000 fine(for endangerment to a driver unhooked, and to people that were defenseless in the garage area) and be relegated to the last starting position for every remaining race.

    Also a few trips to a shrink.


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