Brad Keselowski still isn’t ready to join the David Reutimann Fan Club.
Keselowski underlined his annoyance at Reutimann’s Martinsville Speedway race finish two weeks ago in a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway Friday.
Reutimann’s car stalled on the track at Martinsville with two laps to go, forcing a caution and basically reassembling the top 10. Keselowski was among those impacted. He fell from a probable top-five finish to ninth.
Reutimann’s car was failing, but he was trying to finish the race so that a respectable finish would keep his car in the top 35 in owner points. He finished 35th in the race.
“When it comes to situations like that, I always try to put myself in that person's position and say, ‘What would I do?’ ” Keselowski said Friday. "And I sure as hell would not have done what he did. Even knowing all the points stuff, I still wouldn’t have done what he did."
Keselowski, who severely criticized Reutimann in the minutes following the Martinsville race, remained irritated Friday. He was not impressed with the excuse that Reutimann was trying to protect top-35 points status.
"I don't understand it," Keselowski said. "I don't know what he was thinking. I don't care who tells you what – at the end of the day, you hold the steering wheel and push the pedals. You make the decision."
Keselowski said extra rubber on the track surface at TMS could have an impact in Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500.
“When we got to the track this weekend, it appears that somebody has been running on it,” he said. “I think there was an IndyCar tire test or something. I don’t know what tires they were running on, but it
changed the track. They laid down a real slick topcoat of rubber that we haven’t been able to wear through.
“Usually, the Cup cars are able to wear right through that and get to where we lay down our own stuff. That hasn’t been the case so far, and that’s really affected it.’
Keselowski said if the rubber isn’t worn off by Saturday night’s race, the event could be very interesting. “I think the cars will certainly be a handful…, especially after five, 10, 15 laps,” he said. “It will very much be a handling race if that’s the case.”
Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEED.com and has been covering motorsports for 30 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.