RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski posted a season-best finish of seventh at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17. This run became less of a story after heavy contact between his No. 6 and Austin Dillon’s No. 3 during the Ambetter 301 Cup Series race.
The incident occurred during a Stage 2 caution. Dillon pulled up next to Keselowski and door-slammed him. The RFK Racing driver-owner then responded by hitting the No. 3 even harder and chasing it into the Turn 3 grass. There was no evident reason for the contact between the two drivers, but Dillon provided some strong comments during his post-race interview.
“You guys saw it, right? It’s just hard racing, I guess. We’ve gone at it a couple times [the] last two years,” Dillon told NBC Sports’ Kim Coon. “One time, I hit really hard. I just don’t like the way certain people race me. Probably not the right way to do it, under a caution.”
According to Dillon, there will not be a conversation with Keselowski before they head to Pocono Raceway for the July 24 race or at any point in the future. “Nah, I don’t talk to him,” he told Coon at the end of the interview.
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Keselowski Went the More Diplomatic Route With His Response
Dillon’s comments certainly created conversations among viewers and analysts alike. Many wondered what had happened on the track that led to the contact. The comments also prompted some questions to Keselowski after he climbed out of his stock car. Though he took a more diplomatic approach with his responses.
Keselowski fielded multiple questions about the contact. He responded by saying that the cars are hot and that it’s even hotter in the helmet. Keselowski added that all of the drivers are “probably guilty” of letting their tempers get the best of them during races.
Coon also asked Keselowski about Dillon’s comments and how the Richard Childress Racing driver does not like the way he races. Keselowski did not respond by throwing barbs in his peer’s direction. Instead, he said, “I will talk to him privately. I don’t need to be a jerk over the media.”
The ‘Hard Hit’ Dillon Referenced Occurred in 2021
One interesting comment that Dillon made during his post-race interview was that he had a hard hit in a prior incident with Keselowski. This was a reference to the 2021 race at Michigan International Speedway where he crashed after the end of Stage 2.
The incident occurred as the green and white checkered flag waved. Dillon used the side draft to gain a spot before crossing the start-finish line sixth overall with Keselowski just behind him. He then moved the No. 3 up the track while Keselowski moved the No. 2 down.
The two drivers made contact as Dillon spun off the nose of the No. 2 and hit the wall hard, which launched the No. 3 into the air and almost sent it upside down. The stock car slid down the track and came to a rest at the exit of pit road. Dillon avoided injury after the violent collision that totaled the No. 3, but he missed out on his best opportunity to potentially reach the playoffs.
Dillon explained to NBC Sports after exiting the infield care center that he moved up because he wanted to get off of the track apron, which was considerably rougher than the main lanes. He thought that Keselowski would give him room, but the driver of the No. 2 did not.
“I am bummed,” Keselowski told reporters after the 2021 race at Michigan. “I wanted of course to get a win and I hate that I had that contact with the [No.] 3. That really sucks for everybody. It really hurt our day and obviously ruined his. That was crappy.”
Nearly one year later, the two drivers made contact under caution once again. Though they were both able to drive away from the incident at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and continue competing for points.