Keep on Rolling with the Flow

Brad Keselowski won at Atlanta Motor Speedway last year. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, February 23, 2018, 1:48 p.m.

“See, there are two levels of trouble I can get in. The trouble I can get in with NASCAR and the trouble I can get in with my wife. One is going to cost me a lot financially and the other is going to cost me a lot more financially.” — Brad Keselowski

By Monte Dutton

Keselowski said the above back during the NASCAR Media Tour on January 24. He provides snappy quotes every day. He has his detractors, but he’s got enough strength of conviction to say what he thinks. He knows the consequences. If a man spends all his time saying what people want to hear, or what NASCAR wants them to hear, he won’t please anyone but NASCAR officials, be they image makers, technical officials, or men in suits who watch from glass towers.

The problem with image makers is they like for the images to be the same. This becomes a problem for NASCAR because most fans like a little variety in their heroes, or what’s the use of having them?

Guys like Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, the Busch brothers, and Denny Hamlin have been around long enough to realize they can’t possibly please everybody, and in the age of social media, trying to please everybody can seriously mess with a man’s mind. Some fans are humorous. Some are humorless. It’s a big, old goofy world, as John Prine sings.

Brad Keselowski & Paul Paul Wolfe (John Clark photo)

Last week, when Keselowski provided commentary for Fox’s telecast of the Daytona Xfinity Series race, I thought he made everyone on the broadcast seem better.

What drives me crazy are the people who think you can please everybody. Or that you should. I get tired of people who act like the fan base is somehow monolithic, which means, literally, formed of a single, huge, block of stone.

Some people hate Toyota. Some people don’t. Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t. Almond Joy has nuts. Mounds don’t.

Some people don’t like my tweets because I promote my books. Everyone on social media promotes something, whether it’s their opinions, their politics, their dogs, their kids, their casseroles, or their cars. It’s not too hard to just pass the stuff by.

Sometimes people post, Hey, you forgot to mention so-and-so. No, I didn’t. I just chose not to mention it. Occasionally, I think about posting, Well, sir, I had no way of writing what you thought, so, reluctantly, I just fell back on what I thought. I respect the opinions of others, and I don’t ever “unfriend” anyone because I disagree with them. I unfriend because I’m offended by what they write if it happens to be personal, vulgar, or insulting. Occasionally, someone posts that they won’t want to be Facebook friends with anyone who doesn’t agree with them, although they don’t usually phrase it just that way. If I unfriend them, it’s only because they literally asked for it.

It’s out of control, but it’s just a consequence of outrageous freedom. Freedom has never rung more loudly. Freedom is inherently uncontrollable.

Control is fleeting. Life is like a race car.

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About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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