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NASCAR’s team radio communication moment of the year revealed

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In advance of the NASCAR Champions Week ceremonies next week in Downtown Nashville, the sanctioning body is releasing the most memorable moments of the season as voted by the fans.

The radio scanner traffic moment of 2023 was deemed to be the moment Brad Keselowski started doing burnouts under a red flag in the summer race at Daytona International Speedway to the bewilderment of the entire field on the backstretch.

Keselowski was actually leading the Coke Zero Sugar 400, the regular season finale, with 63 laps remaining when he started to smell smoke and believed his RFK Racing No. 6 Ford Mustang had started to catch fire.

The only option available to him was to drive under the apron under red, where he proceeded to drive in circle until the smoke dissipated, confusing his fellow competitors.

“I was sitting there under red flag, it just started smoking really big out of the left front rocker panel,” Keselowski said after the race. “I knew that meant it was about to catch fire and I was going to get knocked out of the race.

“The only way to stop that was to get air moving through the car. Being under red flag, I had to improvise. There was a pad at the bottom of the racetrack. I knew I couldn’t drive around the racetrack without getting in serious trouble, but I figured I could get away with driving on that pad.

“I just ran on that pad until the flames and the smoke disappeared and called it good.”

The red flag means all cars are supposed to remain parked but NASCAR ultimately chose not to penalize Keselowski for reasons later detailed by league SVP of competition Elton Sawyer.

“Obviously, we are under red flag conditions and our pace car driver, when he was making laps there, noticed there was smoke coming out from under the 6 car,” Sawyer said. “I don’t know that we actually witnessed any fire but there was smoke.

“You have to give Brad some credit for his creativity there, that he starts doing circles. We look up from the tower and are wondering what he’s doing, what is going on, and as that all unfolded.”

Section of the NASCAR Rule Book, detailing red flag regulations, didn’t really offer a concrete prohibition of what Keselowski ultimately did either:

At the discretion of NASCAR, the Race may be stopped at any time it is determined the racetrack is not suitable for Competition. Vehicles must be brought to a stop in an area designated by NASCAR. Unless otherwise determined by the Series Managing Director, vehicles must not enter pit road under red flag conditions. At the discretion of the Series Managing Director, failure to follow the red flag procedures may result in a penalty up to and including the vehicle being parked for the remainder of the Race.

Keselowski did not enter pit road, did not receive service from the crew, and failure to follow the procedures may result in a penalty as opposed to will result in a penalty.

So, instead, it made for some humorous radio chatter and Keselowski will get a NASCAR award out of the moment.

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