Things could get interesting for top-ranked Monster Energy Cup driver Brad Keselowski at Talladega Speedway in Alabama this weekend. After winning on Nascar's biggest track in 2016 and 2014, he will be arriving this year on suspension following infractions at his March 19 race in Phoenix, AZ, where he won second place.
Keselowski's race car failed its post-race inspection for having a too much rear steer. As a result, he received a $65,000 fine and his crew chief Paul Wolfe was suspended for his next three races. He also lost 35 driver points and 35 owner points in the race, causing his second place finish to become voided.
Because of the suspension, Wolfe will not be in attendance at Talladega this weekend. Keselowski will instead be working with a suspension crew that Team Penske has been appealing. Team Penske engineer Brian Wilson will be replacing Wolfe as Keselowski's crew chief in Talladega.
The National Motor Sports Appeals Panel upheld most of the penalties during their last hearing on April 12. The final hearing of the appeal is scheduled for Tuesday, May 9. Although Wolfe did earn back the right to work as crew chief during his appeal, he is choosing to sit out Talladega as a preventive measure.
Despite the drama, Keselowski still has a lot to look forward to this weekend. Talladega Speedway holds a lot of special memories for him. It had been his dream to race on it, ever since his first time racing it on a video game with his brother in 2003.
His first time racing it in real life in 2009 was a surreal experience. After winning there four times since then, he is on track to potentially join the ranks of Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Pete Hamilton and become a Talladega legend. But of course, that will depend on how things go this weekend with his suspension crew.