NASCAR meets with Keselowski after USA TODAY cover story

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR executives met Friday with Brad Keselowski after the defending Sprint Cup Series champion outlined the c...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR executives met Friday with Brad Keselowski after the defending Sprint Cup Series champion outlined the challenges facing the sport in a Sports cover story in Friday's USA TODAY.
NASCAR Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes said Keselowski wasn't penalized. Jewkes said the meeting wasn't directly a result of the USA TODAY story, but it was discussed. NASCAR generally had been seeking more dialogue with its champion, according to Jewkes, and Friday provided the opportunity.
(Photo: Douglas Jones, USA TODAY Sports)
KESELOWSKI: Shares vision for NASCAR's future
"Brad has opinions, some informed and some less informed," Jewkes said. "The meeting was to improve the latter."
The Penske Racing driver met with NASCAR chairman Brian France and International Speedway Corp. CEO Lesa France Kennedy.
Keselowski tweeted afterward, "Spent some time with the Lesa and Brian from the NASCAR team after yesterday's article, the passion we all share for our sport is amazing!"
OPPORTUNITY: Want your face on Brad Keselowski's car?
Keselowski told USA TODAY Sports that he believes there are multiple entities that have to work together for NASCAR to be successful.
"We have sponsors — partners, or whatever the hell you want to call them — tracks, the sanctioning body and the teams. Those are our four groups, and how well they cooperate dictates what we have as a product for our fans. And our fans create everything," Keselowski said.
Keselowski also noted how television has changed the landscape of all sports and how that's affected attendance — especially in NASCAR. Keselowski speculated on why NASCAR hadn't adapted to that, mentioning Brian France and Lesa France Kennedy, specifically:
When Bill France Jr. was in charge of NASCAR, he had control of all these pieces and wasn't at the mercy of the TV world. He had control of the tracks and NASCAR, which is now divided in two with Lesa (France Kennedy, president of International Speedway Corp. that controls 12 tracks) and (NASCAR Chairman) Brian (France). France Jr. had relationships with the sponsors, drivers and teams. Now we don't have that. Those three other pieces are segregated. Those three pieces need to get together. And until all three of those can unite, we're a house divided, and we're making bad decisions that are affecting how to generate revenue for the sport.
In today's sports world, you have to be very powerful in drawing people to TV, and we're not TV-friendly. That's one of the key areas for success. Part of that is we're not delivering a product. And we're fighting the tracks. We have to be up on the wheel a little more and looking for what's in front of us, and when we see it, we have to be able to react on it. And in order to be able to react on it, we need to be united.
It's not the first time the outspoken Keselowski's comments have drawn the focus of NASCAR. He was fined $50,000 for criticizing fuel injection in November 2011, the last in a policy of "secret fines" that NASCAR eliminated last year.
Keselowski became the first Sprint Cup driver to send a tweet during a race when last year's Daytona 500 was delayed by an inferno. He tweeted again in a November race at Phoenix International Raceway but was fined $25,000 and placed on probation.

Brad Keselowski won his first career Sprint Cup championship, Nov. 18, 2012 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Keselowski won two of the 10 Chase races and five races overall in 2012.  Mark J. Rebilas, US Pesswire
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