Blogs > Nascar: Beyond the Track

Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Brad Keselowski's success no doubt has Rick Hendrick wondering what could have been, wishing he kept Brad in Hendrick lineup

Rick Hendrick has few regrets in his NASCAR career.

The man has won a boatload of Cup championships, between the efforts of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Terry Labonte.

He has won 250 total races between the Cup, Nationwide and Trucks series, is arguably the owner of the best team in NASCAR, and many other team owners would love to be in his shoes and have his stats.

But trust me, he does have some regrets. Most recently, that regret has to be letting Brad Keselowski leave the fold at Hendrick Motorsports.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. brought Keselowski up to the big leagues, and for a while Keselowski was seen as a future Hendrick driver. Problem is: There was no place for him to go when the time came to move up to Cup from Nationwide.

Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. weren't going anywhere, and that final spot on the Hendrick lineup was filled by Mark Martin -- and Hendrick agreed to honor that contract.

So what did Brad do? He bolted to Penske Racing. Many people thought this move would mean a step down in terms of performance, but as Keselowski has shown this year (he dominated at Bristol to win this past weekend) and all last year (3 wins to charge into the Chase, and a strong run within the Chase), he is definitely a driver with the potential to be one of the all-time greats.

If Hendrick had realized this was the case, he might have tried harder to keep him ... maybe by restructuring Martin's deal or moving him to a satellite team. But he didn't, Brad left, and Hendrick is out of luck.
I once predicted that Brad would move back to Hendrick after a lackluster performance at Penske. Boy was I wrong. Brad is the talk of the racing world, for everything from his prowess on track to his prowess at social media, and Penske looks likes a genius for snatching him up when he had the chance.

Sure, Hendrick does have Kasey Kahne in his lineup now in the 5 car, but I bet you Brad's career numbers will end up being better than Kasey's, and that Rick Hendrick really wishes he hadn't let such a talented young driver go.

Become a fan of the Facebook page NASCARBeyond

Follow me on Twitter:


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home