Brad Keselowski unapologetic about mistakes others make
If Jeff Gordon is hoping for an apology from Brad Keselowski, he won’t be getting one anytime soon.
Brad Keselowski didn’t apologize after nearly wrecking Jeff Gordon during the November race at Texas Motor Speedway. And is he not going to express remorse now. In fact, Keselowski is not only unapologetic; he also feels little compassion about what transpired.
It was during a late restart when Keselowski, attempting an audacious pass, made contact with Gordon, resulting in Gordon incurring a flat tire and subsequently spinning out. The incident was a catalyst for a post-race brawl between the two drivers and their respective teams on pit road.
Initially, Gordon said he was upset with Keselowski’s attempt to split him and Jimmie Johnson. Gordon later clarified that it was Keselowski’s lack of remorse that angered him the most. A similar sentiment was later expressed by Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick, who said Keselowski’s lack of contrition — not his aggressiveness — was most upsetting.
Keselowski, though, doesn’t care if others are offended with how he conducts himself. Why? Because Keselowski believes that Gordon was to blame for the incident.
“I hate it when other guys have bad days,” Keselowski told reports during Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. “But when it happens, sometimes it comes down to accountability. And I try to make it a point whenever I make an aggressive move or one is made upon me that that person has an opportunity to come away clean.
“If that person either does not take it or doesn’t succeed at it, then I don’t feel any fault or blame and don’t see any need to apologize. As to the scenarios that have happened this year that others think I need to apologize for or have made it a point to say so through the media, they’ve been incidents where, quite honestly, they’ve made mistakes and they’re unwilling to recognize them and I do not feel the need to apologize for someone else’s mistake.”
When confronting Keselowski, Gordon wasn’t necessarily looking for a full apology. What Gordon sought was the courtesy of being allowed to vent without Keselowski briskly walking away.
To that point, Keselowski thinks Gordon needs to hold himself accountable. If the roles were reversed, Keselowski wouldn’t have begrudged Gordon for attempting a pass through a hole Keselowski had left open.
“No I don’t feel bad,” Keselowski said. “The opportunity was there for other individuals to get out of it scott-free and they didn’t capitalize on it. I hated that it ruined their day, but I don’t feel bad for making the move. I have no need and feel no desire to apologize for laying it all out on the line trying to win a race.
“I guess maybe they want me to apologize for putting them in a scenario where they made a mistake, but they had an opportunity to not make it and they did. I feel no sympathy for someone who makes their own mistake other than I don’t wish it upon them.”
Earlier in the same race, Paul Menard completed a similar pass of Keselowski. Menard’s maneuver was successful, Keselowski said, because he recognized he had left himself vulnerable. And instead of forcing the issue, Keselowski chose to concede the position.
“A baby seal doesn’t want to get ate by a whale, but a whale’s got to eat,” Keselowski said. “And when (the seal) does (gets eaten), should he be mad at the whale or should he be mad he wasn’t the fastest swimmer?”