NASCAR, Keselowski meet after run-in

Updated: November 15, 2009, 3:30 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- NASCAR chairman Brian France and other top officials talked to rookie Brad Keselowski before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway about his over-aggressive driving that has angered several drivers.

Newton: Let 'em race

The feud between Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski should be handled on the racetrack, writes David Newton. Blog

"It's hard to bust a guy for being aggressive, but there's a fine line between being aggressive and destructive," Series director John Darby said. "From listening and talking to people, he's already got a few drivers upset.

"Typically if you leave it alone you get a worse situation, so we'll talk to him."

Keselowski said the meeting was good and that he was impressed that France was part of it.

"It's the first time I've ever had a conversation with him," Keselowski said. "It's good to know he cared enough to be there and is paying attention to what is happening in the sport."

The meeting was called in response to Saturday's Nationwide Series race at PIR in which Keselowski reignited his feud with Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin first tapped Keselowski, who responded by hitting him twice, the second time sending Hamlin into a spin. Hamlin then issued a warning, saying "there's a lot of guys that owe him" and "a lot of guys that have a lot of chips that they're going to cash in."

"I'm just going to be the first to the pay window," said Hamlin, referring to next week's Nationwide finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Keselowski said little time was spent talking specifically about that incident and that as far as he's concerned it's over.

"We talked about a lot of things that will help me going forward," Keselowski said. "It was good for me and I think good for them. I don't really spend a lot of time thinking about what happened with Denny."

Asked if he thought the meeting was necessary, Keselowski smiled and said, "I don't have all the answers."

Darby said there are no plans to talk to Hamlin and he's not worried that the retaliation will take place in the Cup race.

"We just want to understand the situation better," Darby said of talking to Keselowski. "Typically with rookie drivers when you see them take a path like this it's not going to do their future any good."

Keselowski, who drives for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, replaced David Stremme last week in the No. 12 Cup car that he'll drive fulltime in 2010 for Penske Racing.

He's had several run-ins with Hamlin in the Nationwide Series dating back to May of last season when crews for both teams got into a shoving match after the checkered flag.

It escalated again two months ago at Dover when Keselowski wrecked Hamlin late.

Keselowski got his first warning from Darby in the Cup race at New Hampshire. He ignited a multicar wreck in the closing laps at Talladega a few weeks ago when he got into the back of Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch while driving for Phoenix Racing.

"Every young driver who comes into this sport sometimes needs guidance," Darby said. "We've had meetings with Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson when they came on board."

Roy McCauley, Keselowski's crew chief in Cup, is not concerned about the aggressiveness.

"I think he's done a good job driving for us," he said. "Personally, I think he's the best driver in the garage."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

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