Merely minutes after Martin Truex Jr’s 8th win and first championship victory Brad Keselowski was in the media center to talk about his part in the Championship 4. At the forefront of Brad’s mind wasn’t his finish in the championship. Rather politicking against the advantage Toyota has at the moment.
“When that car rolled out at Daytona, and I think we all got to see it for the first time, I think there were two reactions,” Keselowski said. “One, we couldn’t believe NASCAR approved it; and two, we were impressed by the design team over there.”
NASCAR has to approve body changes, he is right there. The other two manufacturer also has to approve body changes. Meaning Brad’s friends over at Ford approved the Toyota body. It’s a massively impressive body for sure. Every part is perfectly molded for downforce if you were designing a perfect car you’d design the Camry. Form the nose to the quarter panels to the fender flares. Toyota has a clear advantage in the aero field.
“You know, with that said, I don’t think anyone ever had a shot this year the second that thing got put on the race track and approved. It kind of felt like Formula 1, where you had one car that made it through the gates, heads, and tails above everyone and your hands are tied because you’re not allowed to do anything to the cars in those categories that NASCAR approves to really catch up.”
He isn’t wrong here. Toyota’s dominance, especially in the second half of the year, was very Formula 1-esque. In the last 19 races of the season, Toyota won 14 of them. For comparison, Mercedes AMG F1 have won 11 of 19 races this season. Toyota as a team has been more dominant than Mercedes over the same number of races. Meaning Toyota>Mercedes so they’re the true World Champs.
NASCAR should allow the other two manufacturers the opportunity to catch up. Whether that’s body enhancement or engine enhancement the balance of power in NASCAR this season was not equal. In a sport that preaches parity, it certainly lacked anything resembling that the second half of the season.
“As to what will happen for 2018, you know, I don’t know,” Keselowski said. “I would assume that Chevrolet will be allowed to design a car the same way that Toyota was for this one, but Ford doesn’t have any current plans for that. If that’s the case, we’re going to take a drubbing next year, so we’ll have to see.”
Listen I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news to Brad here but 2018 is going to be much of the same for you. Unless NASCAR allows Ford to up their engines a little to remain competitive with Toyota the Ford boys will be fighting an uphill battle, never making it true to the top to plant their flag. Chevy is coming out with the Camaro which looks a lot like the Camry in terms of built-in downforce.
Ford might want to bring a new body out. The Ford Fusion body will be in its 6th year of service in 2018. That’s an ancient body now. Chevy retired the SS body after 5 years, Toyota is on their third different Camry body since 2013. Ford needs to come up with something new, run a Mustang body, run a focus body, just do something that might be productive.
Brad knows how to play the game. He’s dropping soundbites hoping someone at NASCAR or Ford is listening to him. The same way Dale Jr. mentioned the Penske cars were swerving after the checkered flag to reset the rear end of their cars and NASCAR paid attention. Brad is trying to do the same, again. He isn’t wrong but it’s unlikely anyone listens.
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