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The Full Monty: Brad Keselowski vs. The World, who's right and who's wrong?

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NNSracing.com Editor Lee Montgomery

By Lee Montgomery
lee.montgomery@nnsracing.com

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Brad Keselowski can't seem to get out of his own way.

But that's not his fault. Nor should he change anything, especially the way he drives.

Kyle Busch said Friday night that Keselowski needs to look in the mirror, for he has brought all the controversy that seems to srround him on himself.

Busch would know, I suppose. And to steal a line from a colleague, maybe Busch needs to look at a replay.

Let's take a look at a replay of the controversial moments in the career of Brad Keselowski.

He and Carl Edwards get together at Memphis in 2009. Keselowski wins; Edwards said it was no big deal. Next year, in a Sprint Cup race at Atlanta, the two get together again - in what looked like a racing incident to me - and Edwards later intentionally wrecks Keselowski.

At Gateway earlier this year, Keselowski and Edwards are racing for the lead when they slide up the track together in Turn 1. Again, a racing incident. Edwards intentionally wrecks Keselowski off Turn 4 and wins the race.

And how about the Keselowski/Denny Hamlin dustups of 2008-09? It started at Charlotte, when Hamlin rubbed Keselowski's car under caution after Keselowski raced him too hard.

At Dover last year, Keselowski tried to get under Hamlin off Turn 2, but Hamlin inched lower to block, and Keselowski didn't lift. Hamlin went for a spin.

Later that year at Phoenix, the two got together on a restart, and Keselowski came back and punted Hamlin off of Turn 4. Hamlin vowed pay back the next week at Homestead, and he did by spinning Keselowski.

The end, as far as Hamlin is concerned.

But with Busch, perhaps not.

Taken as a whole, Keselowski looks like an over-his-head driver who gets in a lot of wrecks. Taken individually, he doesn't look like an instigator.

That's why you have to always dig a little deeper. In Friday's incident with Busch at Bristol, the two raced side-by-side for six of seven laps late in the race. Busch then made a great move and slid in front of Keselowski off Turn 2. It looked to me as if Busch slipped just a tad as he was sliding in front of Keselowski, and Keselowski tapped him in the rear bumper.

Could Keselowski have backed off? Perhaps. But say your favorite driver was racing instead of Keselowski. What would you want him to do in that spot? Keselowski believed Busch wasn't clear, and he had every right to that spot as Busch. Hard to argue against that. And hard to argue it was a simple racing incident.

But Busch then goes and intentionally wrecks Keselowski and brags about it after the race. NASCAR did nothing, just like it did nothing at Gateway.

Some would say Keselowski was taken advantage of because he is on probation, but I don't believe Busch is thinking, "Hehehe, I can get him because he's on probation." So I think that's not an issue.

The issue is, what is over the line? Keselowski has been in a lot of racing indents, yes. But they were racing incidents. Has he ever intentionally wrecked someone?

That's just what Edwards did, and that's just what Busch did.

So who's right and who's wrong?