Steve O’Donnell disagrees with Brad Keselowski and his recent assertion that the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series requires a new or improved car.
The vice president of competition was asked about Keselowski during his weekly radio segment on SiriusXM NASCAR radio and believes the 2012 Cup Series champion made a series of knee-jerk reactions to crashing out of the Quaker State 400 on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.
Keselowski expressed dissatisfaction with the current formula after he got loose in turn 3 on the first lap of the second stage, collecting Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson in the process. He claims the current car is undrivable in traffic.
“It’s a poorly designed race car, and it makes racing on tracks like this very difficult to put on the show we want to put on for our fans,” Keselowski said. “You do what you can to gouge and claw on the restarts and get everything you can get. You have to put yourself in bad situations to do that, and that is where we were. If you don’t make those moves on the restarts, then you run in the back. Or you have a bad day.”
He didn’t stop there.
“It’s time for the sport to design a new car that is worthy of where this sport deserves to be and the show it deserves to put on for its fans,” Keselowski said.
O’Donnell said he was disappointed in Keselowski because the 33-year-old was one of the architects of NASCAR’s current lower downforce competition package.
“Well, my immediate reaction is that Brad Keselowski had input on this rules package,” O’Donnell said. “You know, I think he was frustrated. He had a tough night. These cars are supposed to be hard to drive. These are the best drivers in the world.”
O’Donnell said NASCAR isn’t close on designing a next-generation Cup car and isn’t sure they need to expedite one, either.
“We’ve got one of the best seasons we’ve had in a while in terms of different winners. I chalk that up as frustration and heat of the moment. It’s something that we always work on, improving the racing. We are putting together what could be a future car with the industry, but that’s down the road (and) years in the making.
“Hopefully, that’s heat of the moment because he’s capable of getting up on the wheel and winning races.”