The 2021 Daytona 500 may have dealt with a lengthy rain delay, but there was no lack of drama. The event quickly unfolded on the final lap, with Brad Keselowski‘s failed pass-up attempt to grab the win resulting in a massive pile-up crash involving several others. Following the race, Keselowski doubled down on his actions.
Daytona 500 features wild finish
In the days ahead of the Daytona 500, there was plenty of build-up through the various storylines around the event.
The race featured an early pile-up that took out a substantial part of the field. The event took a wild turn on the final lap with Brad Keselowski’s failed attempt to secure the win. Keselowski maneuver cost his Penske teammate Joey Logano the chance to get the checkered flag.
The wreck led to longtime driver Michael McDowell earning his first NASCAR Cup Series win in his 358th career race. Despite that, the focus after the event centered on Keselowski’s comments.
Brad Keselowski remains unapologetic for creating Daytona 500 crash
Late in the Daytona 500, Brad Keselowski positioned his way into second place with an opportunity to secure the win.
However, things quickly became unraveled on the final lap as Keselowski attempted to move ahead of his Penske teammate Joey Logano. The former Cup Series champion hit the back of Logano’s car and spun out, leading to a huge car pile up that involved Logano, Kyle Busch, Bubba Wallace, and Kyle Larson.
Following the event, Keselowski expressed during a post-race interview with NASCAR on Fox that he had no regret for his actions on the final lap.
“Had a big run down the backstretch. Wanted to make the pass to win the Daytona 500,” Keselowski said. “It ended up really bad. I don’t feel like I made a mistake, but [I] can’t drive everyone else’s carl…Had to run, made the move, it just didn’t work out.”
The 37-year-old had one goal in mind to win a race that he’s never won in his NASCAR career. Instead, it pushed him out of a possible second-place finish back to 13th.
His emotions were running high in the interview, especially after footage showed him throwing his helmet against his car following the crash. Keselowski has never been one to hold back his feelings, and his comments following Sunday’s race were another shining example of that.
Joey Logano take the high road
It’s not the start to the 2021 season that Brad Keselowski and several other drivers wanted after wrecking on Sunday night.
There was a golden opportunity for Keselowski and Joey Logano to capture a strong start to the year, but the desire to win the race overruled everything else. Although it wasn’t the best look to see Penske teammates crash, many other drivers would have attempted to make that final push to grab the victory.
Despite the crushing result for the race, Logano took the high road voicing praise toward Michael McDowell winning his first Cup Series race. (H/T Sporting News)
“Pandemonium, I guess. Chaos struck,” he said. “(Keselowski) kept trying to back up, trying to get a run. I was trying to back up to him to keep the runs from being too big and just, I guess he got to the back of (McDowell) and it ended up being a really big run coming at me and it seemed like we all just collided in one spot.
“It’s a real bummer that none of the Penske cars won, but at least a Ford won and I’m really happy for McDowell.”
Beyond all that, the tone is set for the 2021 season that will see plenty more intense moments ahead.