PC: @RFKRacing on X
Coming into the 2023 NASCAR season, Brad Keselowski was my least favorite driver in the series. I had spent the last two seasons hating on Keselowski because, in last year's Daytona 500, Keselowski pushed Stenhouse a little too hard when he was leading the top line with just six laps to go in the race.
Since that race, my wife and I have gotten significantly into NASCAR. This season, I can proudly say I have either watched or listened to every single race. If I was watching the race, I had Stenhouse's scanner and onboard camera on my phone with the broadcast on the TV.
My wife quickly became a Bubba Wallace fan. She liked that he is the bad guy of NASCAR that everyone seems to root against, and she enjoys going against the grain of just about anything. After the Coca-Cola 600, I had to come home with a Bubba Wallace t-shirt and diecast for her.
That said, we both were going for Bubba tonight. We were going for Bubba and anybody who already had a win this season. With the threat of Chase Elliott not making playoffs, we knew team Hendrick and every Chevrolet driver would do what they could to put Chase in a winning position.
Since Ty Gibbs was taken out of the race early, and there was then no shot at him making the playoffs, that minor threat was eliminated. As the race began to wind down, Elliott was put in the best possible position to win. Alex Bowman and William Byron lined up behind him. They prepared to push him to the lead and across the finish line, securing his spot in the NASCAR playoffs this season, but Brad Keselowski, Chris Beuscher, and RFK Racing had other plans.
As the race entered overtime, Elliott led the bottom line and was in a very good position to win. Keselowski and Beuscher got in front of that bottom line to block Elliott from getting ahead, and Keselowski pushed Beuscher to the win, which is why Keselowski has now got my stamp of approval.
Heading into the playoffs this year, I look at who is in, and there isn't a single driver that I would be upset with winning the championship. Obviously, above all, I am rooting for Stenhouse and Bubba, but now that Keselowski has my stamp of approval, I don't have to worry about somebody I hate winning the championship.