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Brad Keselowski after crash: Time for NASCAR to design 'worthy' car

SPARTA, Ky. -- Brad Keselowski isn't sure the current version of the NASCAR Cup Series car is aerodynamically good enough to allow a driver with a fast car to pass on tracks such as Kentucky Speedway.

Keselowski crashed on Lap 88 at the 1.5-mile track on Saturday night, getting loose on his own while digging for positions on the first lap of a restart. He took out Jimmie Johnson in the process. He took the blame for the crash but said it was a result of him trying to do too much because there are so few opportunities to pass beyond jockeying for positions on a restart, when drivers are double-file.

"It is a poorly designed race car and it makes racing on tracks like this very difficult to put on the show we want to put on for our fans," a frustrated Keselowski said. "You do what you can to gouge and claw on the restarts and get everything you can get.

"You have to put yourself in bad situations to do that and that is where we were. If you don't make those moves on the restarts, then you run in the back. Or you have a bad day."

Kentucky Speedway had a new asphalt surface for the race to fix some issues with its 2016 repave, and track officials tried to grind tires into a couple of the racing grooves to help with grip and create multiple grooves.

"They made a good effort," Keselowski said. "It was better than nothing, but there are limitations.

"The way this car is, it needs a lot more help than [that]. ... It is time for the sport to design a new car that is worthy of where this sport deserves to be and the show it deserves to put on for its fans."

Kyle Larson didn't have as difficult a time passing Saturday night. He twice rallied from the back to second, which is where he finished behind dominant race winner Martin Truex Jr.

"My car was really good, so I could get a lot of cars on restarts staying lower than them, and once it got spread out a little bit, it became tougher, which is natural," Larson said. "I don't know. My race cars have been really good this year, so passing hasn't been an issue for me or the 78 [of Truex].

"But I could see how other teams who aren't as good and maybe more even with the rest of the field probably have a more difficult time passing."

NASCAR senior vice president Steve O'Donnell, speaking in his weekly segment on SiriusXM's NASCAR channel, said he was disappointed by the comments from Keselowski -- a member of the drivers council that advises NASCAR -- and that any redesign of the current NASCAR car is years down the road.

"Brad Keselowski had influence on this rules package," O'Donnell said. "I think he was frustrated, he had a tough night, and the cars are supposed to be hard to drive. ... Personally, I'm a little disappointed in the comment, for sure.

"Brad is a leader in our sport. So I understand heat of the moment, but it's definitely disappointing to see that because I think you've got to take the entire context and that's more of our job. You can't react to one event unless it's a safety thing where you have got to make an immediate change."