NASCAR Darlington 2013: David Ragan accepts Keselowski’s apology
Following his victory Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, David Ragan wasn't surprised that Brad Keselowski took to Twitter to express is outrage over an infraction he thought Ragan had committed.
"I wasn't really surprised by the tweets afterward because Brad is known to speak his mind, whether he's right or wrong or he knows the whole story or half the story," Ragan said Friday at Darlington Raceway. "Brad's a smart guy. He's the champion. He knows the rules; I just don't think he understood what was going on."
Keselowski, the defending Sprint Cup champion, wrongly believed Ragan had lined up improperly on the final green-white-restart and instead should have been placed in the inside lane.
"Me thinks if someone looked at what happened on that restart they might feel differently about that finish," Keselowski posted on Twitter immediately after the race.
But Ragan did nothing wrong and had been in the proper lane from the onset, which NASCAR confirmed post-race. In fact, due to miscommunication within his team, it was Keselowski who was lined up incorrectly.
In an open letter posted on his website Tuesday, Keselowski admitted his mistake. "I owe David Ragan and his fans an apology. I placed blame on David Ragan for the restart lineup confusion when it wasn't his fault," Keselowski wrote.
He also phoned Ragan to say he was sorry, a gesture that was appreciated greatly.
"He knows the difference between right and wrong and it's good that he admitted it," Ragan said. "A lot of guys wouldn't have admitted their mistake and they would have went on.
"There were never any hard feelings toward Brad, but that was cool for him to do that. He certainly didn't have to. That was something he did on his own and I've got a lot respect for him for that."
When asked Friday why he issued an apology, Keselowski said it was because he wanted to clear the air in part because a television show he wouldn't identify had replayed some of his in-race communication with his team.
"I think people got upset about it," Keselowski. "There's one particular TV show that likes to take half of my audio and play the worst parts and made it a worse situation than probably what it needed to be, so I had to do what I could to showcase, one, that they didn't know what they were talking about and, two, that I felt like David did deserve the credit for the win."