Brad Keselowski send warning against NASCAR drivers ahead of return

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NASCAR drivers haven’t race on a real track since early March, however, as the sport set returns Sunday after missing eight events because of the COVID-19 outbreak, this will be the first time drivers get behind their wheel at the Darlington Raceway.

But the return of racing comes with complications and several changes that will make NASCAR quite different from a traditional race day. In the first four events, NASCAR announced for its return, there will be no practice or qualification — with an exception for the latter at the Coca-Cola 600.

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And since the countrywide coronavirus pandemic began months ago, drivers haven’t been behind the wheel of their stock cars or had the chance to run test laps.

However, that makes Brad Keselowski a bit nervous. While the 2012 Cup Series winner spoke with NBC Sports on Wednesday, Mike Tirico asked how much trust he has in his fellow, rusty drivers.

Keselowski said: “Very little to none.”

But he also stated how the NASCAR world’s pivot to iRacing during the pandemic may affect drivers on the track when they initially return for the first of four races in two weeks.


The No. 2 Team Penske Ford driver told Tirico:

“There’s been a lot of talk about how NASCAR pivoted into e-racing, and if you followed the iRacing series that NASCAR had, they had some good success with that, ratings and so forth. But the reality is it’s not the same.

“The tactics are not the same. It looks pretty good, the graphics are pretty cool, but the way the cars drive is not the same. The way the race slows is not the same. Everything about it is much, much different.

“So the problem with that is if you’ve had success with some of the simulators or the internet events, you build almost a false sense of confidence. And that false sense of confidence, when you get on the real race track, can be a big problem. So there’s a lot of drivers that have been putting a lot of time behind the simulator, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.”

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105 thoughts on “Brad Keselowski send warning against NASCAR drivers ahead of return”

  1. Mark Dedrick

    Hey brad they are the best drivers in the world so if you don’t trust your fellow drivers get out of your car and let some one that can drive a real car, drive the number 2

    1. NASCAR Has become a big JOKE. I have raced all over the country in dirt cars, and don’t even watch nascar anymore because of Their bull s rules.

      1. But yet here you are, comment ing on a Nascar page , but you don’t watch it anymore. So for you it’s kinda like an exgirlfriend that you can’t stand but you still stalk her on social media. I think you
        have some feelings in there somewhere ??

        1. Man let’s just light the fuse stand back and wait for it .nothing is the same as [the good ole days] right? Let’s have fun boys

          1. Walter Miller

            No prep. Water burn out only. Run what you brung straight off the trailer.

      2. Ever since the Great One passed away NASCAR has changed the rules every year and has made it into something I don’t even care to watch, I would have a party every Sunday for the race now I don’t care about it because NASCAR killed its own sport

    2. He, being a past champion and successful driver probably is just looking out for all the drivers safety. I have been a fan of Nascar for a while but i still think they should have at least 1 practice session so they can check out their cars and make adjustments. Safety is bigger than popularity!

      1. Eric Wendlandt

        Racing happens all over the country with no practice these are supposed to be the best

      2. His concerns are well founded, as a professional he knows there is a big difference between a simulator and reality. He has a right to examine the situation like an airplane pilot checking his equipment would, it’s his life in the line. They do more than run around a track during qualifying. Each car is different and each had been changed and modified before each race.

        1. Pilots don’t get to test fly the plane before they take off, they do a walk around and safety check. Nothing stops a driver from doing a walk around or test flipping switches.

          1. Tricia Harper

            Pilots don’t have 39 other planes taking off at the same time. Brads concerns are valid.

      3. James Ferner

        I agree, maybe at least some hot laps with limited amount of cars at a time to at least feel the car before putting 40 out on the track. Kind of like dirt racing right?

        1. Completion caution lap 30. That’s 30 laps of practice and qualifying in one. They are freezing the field under caution.. Not use to Brad K whining.

    3. As far as them being the “Best”ah no. They are good, some are great, but there are a lot of great drivers who do not ever get the chance, don’t look good on TV or aren’t articulate enough for commercials or interviews or just don’t fit the 5’9” champagne image of modern NASCAR.

      1. Richard Petty allegedly said nearly the same thing years ago when asked what it was like to be “the greatest race car driver in the world” and his reply was “I’m not, I just happen to be driving the car”. Or something to that effect. I said “allegedly” because I didn’t fact check it (I’m sure someone will). I can say that I met him in the pits at one of his grandson’s ASA races and my impression was that he is humble enough and affable enough to have said exactly that so that’s always been good enough for me. I agree with you 100%, there are men and women out there who just never got that big break, even more who never had the chance or circumstances to get behind the wheel. Well said OP, I couldn’t agree with you more.

      1. It’s not really a free country, you cant just show up at a Nascar event with a car and enter. There are skill requirements to race at that level which 99% of people dont possess. The ” it’s a free country argument ” is always a poor excuse.

    4. Best drivers in the world…lol that’s too funny…if they got in a two seat F1 car most of the Nascar drivers would themselves

      1. Ron McDonald

        I think in the 70’s and early80 ‘s they proved that nascar drivers were the best when they mixed it up with drivers of every type when ABC ran the iroc series. And not one other type of racer from f1, indy cars ,motorcycles, sprintcars, ect. Ever

        1. That was mostly good ol boys from NASCAR Running on Superspeedway in a stock car type vehicle with a few drivers from other series invited. Nothing INTERNATIONAL about. Name 1 NASCAR driver who has won a championship in an F1, IndyCar, .sprint car, IMSA, LeMans prototype Or any of the three USAC divisions, I can only think of one, Ken Schrader. IROC proved Noth8ng.

    5. Kim Bartlett

      they are some of the best drivers in the world, some of them are still working their way up. There’s nothing wrong with not trusting the other drivers because it’s too easy to make a mistake just with Brad how many times have people tried to block and do it poorly and caused a big wreck. Go out race be safe. And as for the comment of let somebody else Drive the number 2 hell Brad is the best since Rusty drove it.

      1. Lol that is so true, krashloski and logoonbag need to becareful because as they are watching Kyle in slides Denny to jack them both up and all the while Kyle is laughing his off. That happens to be the best reason i still watch nascar

    6. Craig Emerson

      Mark Dedrick.. If you think its going to be easy, why don’t we see your name above the window net!!!?

    7. Do you drive 200 mph in a stock car with racing tires and your head restrained from moving more than an inch? Didn’t think so.

    8. Best drivers in the world? Do you watch World Rally Cup? Do you watch World of Outlaws Sprint cars? Do you watch Formula One? How about the German Touring cars? You are severely limited in your perspective if you think these are the top automotive pilots.

      1. Man, I get drive 200mph is crazy, against a wall with 20 or cars inches from you. But I would do that all day long vs a rally car leg up Pikes Peak, lol.

    9. He shouldn’t worry about the other drivers he is the worst driver and the most reckless in the field .He has caused more accidents than anyone . He is one of the reasons I don’t watch NASCAR any more

    10. Only someone who never drove one of them cars would say something like that.
      All he is saying they need practice.

    11. Carolyn Hill

      Get out of the car Brad and put in Kyle Larson. Everyone makes mistakes and mis speaks.

      1. Ronald Kuykendall

        Since someone else brought it up let me expand.
        The word or however you decide to spell it,will never go away until people ( African Americans) STOP USING THE WORD!
        And just because you put an “a” on the end instead of “er” makes no difference. It is a word people. That’s all, just a word. Can we move on and find something else to be offended by?

    12. Josh Hardesty

      I agree with Brad, its gonna take a few close calls or incidents to get the real feel of the cars

    1. 2 or 3 breaks (segmemts) in a 500 hundred mile or lap event? To me that is not racing. Green, white, checkered flag up to3 tries……not racing. What was wrong with the way that it was? Is it that younger drivers can’t race that long and need breaks. The older drivers didn’t complain and some drivers had no power steering.

  2. he hurts no matter how long he drives. so just think what all them other drivers will have to say about him.

      1. Andrew Little

        Look people, he is a veteran. His comments have nothing to do with competition, it is all about safety.

  3. Brad, what makes you think that you are going g to be better than everyone else? Let everyone race and may the luckiest winn and I hope it’s not you, Kyle or Joey.

  4. Brad start in the rear and ride there all season let’s see where u end up next year …and by the way I challenge u on iracing any day u won’t big boy

      1. Exactly. Keep speaking from the heart Brad. Don’t have to always agree, but you help keep things real. Love it.

    1. Oh please. Brad? We’re going to worry about poor little Brad being scared? ? grow a pair little boy. Let the real men race

  5. Jim Marshall

    I would like to see the traveling nascar show like back in the 50’s. Everyone showed up and just races, same car night after night. If you tear it up well you just don’t race. I wonder how many pansy ass drivers from today could survive.

    1. To the folks on here claiming Brad can’t drive, have any of you ever witnessed him in person? In an underfunded truck at one of the toughest tracks to pass on? Well if you were at the 2006 Orilley’s 200 @ Memphis Motorsports Park then you had to have seen the talent that Brad has behind the wheel. I was there I saw the talent I went home and told everyone that given the right opritunity Brad will be Cup Champ one day. 2012 proved me correct. When you finish 16th on the lead lap at Memphis in an underfunded truck that you are a substitute driver in, well folks that’s raw talent. Go get em Brad you are the Man!!

  6. Byron is good at video games, Brad is good at the real thing, I am a Chevy guy, but have always respected Brad for his honest thought as on the betterment of the sport he i involved, The 2 is in great hands, if you can’t see that, stay in the past, like I says, I am a Chevy guy

  7. Well, whether you agree or disagree with his statement, we will find out soon. I like the Penske drivers and I hope he stays with them. I wish Nascar would go back to the way it was years ago, but I doubt that will happen. Finally, I hope Kyle Larson gets another ride.

  8. Brad, if you’re scared, hand over the wheel to someone who isn’t! They, as well as you haven’t driven during this time! Can they trust you? Stop being a baby and cowboy up!! Or get out!! Let’s go racing!!

  9. Eric Wendlandt

    Racing happens all over the country with no practice these are supposed to be the best

  10. Brad makes a valid point and he is right, the simulators give you a sense of false confidence. I myself have driven a simulator and then went and hopped in my late model and there is no comparison whatsoever. These drivers are professionals and I believe they will leave the simulator confidence at home with the simulator. As far as trusting your competitors, every driver out there is for himself, teammates or not, their paycheck depends on their performance period. NASCAR needs people like Brad, you don’t have to like him and you don’t have to agree with him but you gotta respect him because he has reached the pinnacle as a champion and that in itself deserves respect. If what a driver does was easy, everybody would be doing it.

  11. Anyone can drive a car around a track. Going out without practice is what separates the men from the boys. Those that succeed and are able to race are considered men at least for the day, unless they are buttheads and just don’t feel like driving professionally.

  12. David Harbaugh

    I had to stop watching NASCAR it’s just not racing anymore switch to F1 far more talented drivers and no intermissions

  13. Everyone is going to be a bit rusty! That is except brad! I’ll bet a lot of the other drivers said the same thing about him!!!!

  14. Walter Johnson

    The best racing that is televised is when You and Kyle B get into it! You two could have a race without anyone else there and I would go see it!!! I have watched racing and raced over 60 years and think Iknow talent leave the health comments and the word scared to the people in the stands!!!! You don’t need this type of exposure!!!! Us people that know! KNOW Good luck on Your New Ride!!!!!!

  15. Who gives a dam what that buck tooth whinning says anyway. We need more that are happy to be out there racing no matter what happens. There are still a few. Nascar has ruined racing. Trucks are the only thing good to watch

  16. So let’s see. They’re are alot of great drivers that NEVER get the chance. See the irony of your statement. Think before you hit send.

  17. Everyone wants to go back to the good ol’ days of racing. Back when you just show up to a track, roll the car off the trailer and hit the gas for the first time when you see the green flag. No practice. Just bring it and run it. Make those adjustments during the race. The better prepared you are on arrival, the longer you can be competitive on the track. I like it!

    The cars may not be stock cars, but this does bring a level of excitement and unknown to the track that makes racing more fun to watch for spectators.

  18. Racing is for entertainment, Period. I do not want to see anyone hurt trying to entertain me. Brad’s comments are spot on, ESPECIALLY if there are no practice sessions. Brad, you just went way up on my Cool Meter! – Ted Halpin, Leawood, KS

  19. Apples to oranges. A race car is not an airplane and needs a shake down to fine tune and for safety. Each car even from the same team is a little different in handling characteristics and react differently to each particular track.

  20. Will the cars go thru inspection as before till there favorites pass,, or they gonna let them drive them to the track like ole school drivers . Brad can start n Park.

  21. Nathan Bennett

    Obviously his concerns are valid and he’s looking out for the safety and best interest of all his fellow mates . He’s simply indicating that the several weeks being off track with much time being spent in simulation would have possibly altered the perception of what goes on behind the wheel in real time . So these last few week would have been long enough for these Nascar drivers to become complacent and could have adapted to the virtual changes . Point well suited for the world of Nascar . Be safe on the track as you all get back into the swing of things !

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