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NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell responded to Brad Keselowski’s Saturday comments following a wreck at Kentucky Speedway, saying he was “a little disappointed” in the remarks from the 2012 series champion.
Keselowski, after a wreck that ended his night early, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio he was “frustrated” after his early exit.
“I am probably as much frustrated with myself as I am frustrated with the situation and frustrated with the sport that we can’t design a better car than this that you can race without having to do everything on the restart,” he said at the time. “That is all part of it I guess. It is where we are right now.”
“I was a little disappointed in the comment for sure,” O’Donnell told hosts Mike Bagley and Pete Pistone. “Brad’s a leader in our sport. I understand it was heat of the moment, but definitely disappointing to see that.”
The Generation-6 stock car was introduced for the 2013 season, with key improvements from its predecessor in the way of brand identity, safety enhancements and total weight.
NASCAR has experimented with different rules packages since the introduction in an effort to produce the best side-by-side racing. Currently, the 2017 rules package focuses on a further reduction of downforce (namely a smaller spoiler) and additional safety enhancements.
“My immediate (feedback) is Brad Keselowski had input on this rules package,” O’Donnell said. “I think he was frustrated, he had a tough night. The cars are supposed to be hard to drive. These are the best drivers in the world.
“I chalk that up with frustration, heat of the moment. But, yeah, we always work on improve the racing. We are working, as we always do, with the industry to put together what could be that future car, but that’s down the road. That’s years in the making.”
Later, Keselowski backed off his initial statements, sending a message on social media following Saturday’s race.