Brad Keselowski said there is a reason that both Penske and Roush Fenway Racing have been slow to share information on their Ford’s this season. That reason being– Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing.
Keselowski, last years Sprint Cup champ said that both teams, referring to Hendrick and Gibbs have a “nasty habit” of outbidding their employees and stealing information.
Keselowski claims that Joe Gibbs Racing “stole” RFR’s aero director, Vojin Jaksic, and by doing so, “took all their information.” He said Hendrick Motorsports outbid and took three employees from his Chase-winning team.
Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports took offense to Keselowski’s comments.
“The comments Brad reportedly made were misinformed,” Hendrick said. “The truth is that we hired one tire changer, who was a backup for Penske and whose contract was up. We also brought over one mechanic from their Nationwide program and, when the Penske engine shop was closing, added a few of those people. What Brad left out was that his organization also hired one of our tire changers.
“All of this was above board and is part of doing business in a competitive environment. I take no issue with any of it, and I expect Roger would say the same. Brad misrepresents the facts and spends a lot of time making insinuations and accusations about other teams when he should be focused on his own program and competing at a high level. I hope he figures that out and begins representing himself and the sport with more class.”
Jimmy Makar, JGR VP of racing operations said Jaksic has been a part of the team for over a year.
“We’ve had people leave, too,” Makar said. “It is an open market. People are free to come and go as they please if their contracts are up.”
Keselowski said that the taking of employees and stolen information is what has helped both the Chevrolets from Hendrick, and Toyota’s from Gibbs win 9 of the first 14 races this season.
Keselowski is currently 10th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings and has five top-5 finishes so far this season.
“There’s a reason why those two teams are higher up on the board, because they have more money and sponsors to do so,” Keselowski said. “It’s almost like Major League Baseball in that sense. The Yankees and the Red Sox are always going to be able to outbid the Oakland Athletics. That’s just a part of the deal, and you find yourself trying to play Moneyball to beat them.”
Keselowski added that “it’s terrible for the sport, but it is what it is, and that’s part of modern-day racing.”