Skip to content

Keselowski: Pocono decision was like “playing a game of blackjack”

Jun 10, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

Samuel Deeds 400 At The Brickyard - Practice Getty Images

Faced with the prospect of not making it to the finish line thanks to, of all things, a hot dog wrapper on his grille, Brad Keselowski decided to gamble on Sunday at Pocono Raceway.

Keselowski held a narrow lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. with five laps to go but was also driving a rapidly overheating car. Spotting the lapped car of Danica Patrick, he tried to use the airflow around her car to knock the wrapper off and get his car cooled down.

But Keselowski lost momentum in the process, and that allowed Dale Earnhardt Jr. to take the lead. The Hendrick Motorsports driver would not relinquish it, going on to his second win of 2014.

In the immediate aftermath, Keselowski said he should have kept going. But two days after Pocono, he seemed content with the decision he made.

“I told somebody I felt like I was playing a game of blackjack and I was sitting on 15 and the dealer had a face card,” he said during a teleconference this afternoon.

“If you play by the rules, you should take a card and you should hit, and we did, and we busted. The dealer turns over his card and he was sitting on 15, as well, and so you knew he was going to bust out.

“That’s part of it. That’s the cards we play, and some of racing is always going to be chance, and you have to play it by the odds, and I lost. But that’s just the way it goes.”

From his perspective, what occurred to him at Pocono was simply a move that didn’t pan out.

“I didn’t let Dale go and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to try to cool off my engine,'” he said. “I just didn’t execute the move to try and clean it off, and Dale was close enough to get by me, especially with my engine starting to let go.

“You know, in that sense, I don’t feel like anyone would have done anything different.”

But with Pocono done and dusted, Keselowski is now shifting his focus to racing in his home state of Michigan next weekend.

Considering the overall performance that he and Team Penske teammate Joey Logano have had this season – they have earned three wins between them – he has a reason to be excited about his prospects.

Keselowski has won twice at the Michigan International Speedway in the Nationwide Series, which were emotional experiences for him. But it’s clear that a Cup win at MIS would mean even more.

“I remember that after I won a Nationwide race there, just literally locking myself in the bedroom of my motor home after the race and sitting at the edge of the bed and thinking about how awesome that was and what it meant to me and all those things – and that was a Nationwide race,” he said.

“That wasn’t a Cup race. I can only imagine what it would mean to me at the Cup level. I can tell you it wouldn’t be like any other win.”

Latest Posts
  1. Ricky Taylor, Auberlen on pole for TUDOR at Long Beach

    Apr 17, 2015, 9:16 PM EDT

    Photo: IMSA Photo: IMSA

    Ricky Taylor, Bill Auberlen secure pole positions for Round 3 of TUDOR Championship season in Long Beach.

  2. Power, Pagenaud laugh off last year’s Long Beach contact in post-practice press conference

    Apr 17, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

    A quick flashback to last year's Pagenaud, Power contact. A quick flashback to last year's Pagenaud, Power contact.

    Some good banter between Simon Pagenaud and Will Power occurs during post-practice press conference, as the two laugh off their contact here last year.

  3. GP2: Vandoorne continues pole position streak in Bahrain

    Apr 17, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    © GP2 Series © GP2 Series

    Five in a row for the McLaren junior driver as he starts the 2015 season in style.

  4. Raikkonen and Vettel cautious about challenging Mercedes in Bahrain

    Apr 17, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    Mideast Bahrain F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Ferrari’s long run pace suggests that Mercedes may not have it all its own way on Sunday.

  5. INDYCAR confirms more aero kit updates coming to Long Beach

    Apr 17, 2015, 5:41 PM EDT

    KimballRahal AP

    More from INDYCAR has been released regarding aero kit updates.

  6. Button upbeat despite two practice stoppages in Bahrain

    Apr 17, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    He may have only completed 17 laps in total on Friday, but Jenson Button remains positive about McLaren’s progress.

  7. Red Bull GRC: Media day series notes

    Apr 17, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

    GRClogo2

    Red Bull Global Rallycross rolls out a series of announcements for media day, Thursday in Long Beach.

  8. Dixon leads Ganassi 1-2 in Long Beach opening practice

    Apr 17, 2015, 4:24 PM EDT

    Scott Dixon Getty Images

    Scott Dixon on top in opening practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series at Long Beach.

  9. Brake problems hinder Toro Rosso in Bahrain practice

    Apr 17, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Carlos Sainz Jr. AP

    A mixed day for both Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

  10. Bottas pleased with practice showing, but thinks there is more time to find in Bahrain

    Apr 17, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Practice Getty Images

    Williams usually reserves its pace for Saturday, but Valtteri Bottas bucked the trend in Bahrain on Friday.

  11. Hamilton sure Mercedes will avoid Malaysia issues in Bahrain

    Apr 17, 2015, 2:36 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Briton pleased with Mercedes work following practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday.

  12. Sato looks for a St. Pete encore and/or Long Beach repeat on Sunday

    Apr 17, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Getty Images

    He’s not the race defending champion, but as the most recent Long Beach winner still in the IndyCar field, Takuma Sato is indeed one to watch this weekend.

  13. Hamilton, Raikkonen, Vettel and Perez under investigation for incidents in Bahrain GP practice

    Apr 17, 2015, 1:22 PM EDT

    Mideast Bahrain F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    A busy night for the stewards in Bahrain due to two incidents at the end of FP2 on Friday.

  14. Rocky Moran Jr. to replace Huertas in Coyne’s No. 18 for Long Beach

    Apr 17, 2015, 12:32 PM EDT

    Shell Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston - Day 3 Getty Images

    Rocky Moran Jr. to make IndyCar debut this weekend with Dale Coyne Racing in a last-minute fill-in role for Carlos Huertas.

  15. Rosberg heads up Mercedes one-two in Bahrain FP2

    Apr 17, 2015, 12:31 PM EDT

    Rosberg 174av Getty Images

    Normal service is resumed in FP2 as Mercedes dominates proceedings, but Ferrari proves that it could be in the running for the race win on race day.

  16. Could Long Beach provide the venue for Pagenaud’s first Penske win?

    Apr 17, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    PagsStPete AP

    Picking a winner from the Team Penske quartet is always a challenge, but Simon Pagenaud has his best shot yet to break through this weekend.

  17. Max Chilton adjusting to life outside F1, embracing Indy Lights opportunity

    Apr 17, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Photo: Carlin Racing Photo: Carlin Racing

    Max Chilton reflects on his new dual role with Carlin in Indy Lights, and a bit on his Nissan LMP1 role as well.

  18. WATCH LIVE: FP2 for the Bahrain GP on NBCSN and Live Extra from 11am ET

    Apr 17, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Practice Getty Images

    Can Mercedes strike back in FP2? Or will Ferrari continue to lead the way in Bahrain?

  19. Raikkonen: Ferrari atmosphere better than ever

    Apr 17, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Raikkonen 174 Getty Images

    Finnish driver delighted with how things are going at Maranello in 2015, but says his future is down to the team.