Brad Keselowski won’t face NASCAR punishment

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Brad Keselowski won’t face punishment for labeling NASCAR “an entertainment sport and not a fair sport” after being black-flagged for a restart at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

NASCAR senior vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said the sanctioning body would try to talk Monday with Keselowski about its call but wouldn’t penalize the Team Penske driver.

“That’s frustration,” O’Donnell said during his weekly appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR’s “The Morning Drive” program. “I get that. There’s a lot on the line. I don’t think you’ll see us do anything. I certainly disagree with the way Brad positioned it. It’s a tough call.

“We’ll talk to Brad today. I’m sure he still won’t agree, but it’s something we’ve got to do. It’s open dialogue. We’ll explain why we made the call from our standpoint and go on to Dover.”

NASCAR has fined drivers such as Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman (once secretly until changing its policy three years ago) for making disparaging comments.

Echoing NASCAR chairman Brian France’s repeated stance, O’Donnell said criticism was within bounds as long as it avoided denigrating the quality of the competition.

“Many times, the competitors aren’t going to agree with those (calls), and that’s OK,” O’Donnell said. “We’re going to let those go. If it goes too far, it’s talking about the racing in general. That’s where it goes a step too far, and we have to step in.

“We haven’t seen any of that. In fact, we’ve seen the opposite from drivers. Frustration on a call is expected. This is the Chase. There’s a lot going on. Drivers all want to win a championship. I’d be upset if Brad wasn’t.”