Brad Keselowski: NASCAR "can't have cars leaving the ground"

Brad Keselowski says there should be one primary focus following his teammate Joey Logano’s terrifying accident Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

“I mean, no doubt we got to find a way to keep cars on the ground. I don’t care what the (aero) rules package is,” Keselowski said following his victory in the GEICO 500. “We start there – can’t have cars leaving the ground.”

On the final lap of the first stage of Sunday’s race, Denny Hamlin turned Joey Logano while racing down the backstretch. Logano’s No. 22 Ford cut left with the left-side of his car getting hit by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. which seemed to lift his rear wheels off the ground.

The front of Logano’s car then seemed to make slight contact with the passing car of William Byron, which helped send Logano’s car up and over and into several barrel rolls before coming to a rest on all four wheels.

Logano was unhurt.

“We’re pretty good drivers, but none of that stuff works when we’re in the air – the gas pedal, brake pedal, steering wheel, shifter,” Keselowski said. “We’re not rudders. When that thing gets in the air, it lands where it wants to.

“What goes up must come down. It’s not a jet-propelled airplane. We have no way to control where it comes down, so we absolutely have to find a way to keep them from coming off the ground.”

While Logano believed the current aerodynamics rules package contributed to his wreck, Keselowski remained noncommittal.

“This particular rules package, my feelings on it, it’s so easy to build a run, incredibly easy to build a run,” he said. “I don’t know if you have to have quite as much tact. But it does make for more side-by-side racing. I think the fans like that. There’s some tradeoffs.

“As for whether or not it causes the cars to go airborne or not, I would let the aero guys probably answer that better than I could.”

NASCAR officials said they would be working with Team Penske officials once Logano’s car is back in North Carolina to see what can be learned from the wreck.

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This particular model car in the Cup Series will not be used after this season but the series still has two superspeedway races remaining in 2021.

“I think when cars kind of take flight because of impacts, I think we all just assume that’s the way it’s going to be. If you run over somebody, somebody hits you, gets things moving, that’s one thing,” said Travis Geisler, Team Penske’s competition director.

“When a car kind of takes off on its own, that’s a different level of concern from an industry standpoint. We need to spend some time looking at it. We’ll go through the car (on Monday) with NASCAR, with a lot more of a mind for inspection on what happened to the car.

“There’s only two more (superspeedway races) left, but one more race left is too many if you’re not 100-percent sure you’re as safe as you can be. We’ll do what we can there, try to learn with the NASCAR folks, try to address anything we can.”

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