All in favor: Keselowski lauds NASCAR Deterrence System

The 2012 Sprint Cup champion, who has often been vocal in past criticisms of NASCAR, believes the new hierarchical method of handing out penalties more clearly defines parts that are legal and illegal.

Brad Keselowski speaks during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway.

Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Brad Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, said Thursday that he's strongly in favor of the new NASCAR Deterrence System that creates a tiered system of penalties to address rules violations.

Keselowski said the system could level the playing field, especially with NASCAR's new, expanded rulebook, which more clearly defines parts that are legal and those that aren't.

"I think it's huge," Keselowski said. "I think it's the most under-reported thing you're talking about. It completely changes the game because we have this balance in this sport between fair play and innovation and it's a constant battle as to what teams are fast each and every week. Fair play and innovation are two distinct differences and that essentially comes down to the gray areas of the rule book and how they're defined. That's being re-defined with this literature and this process. I think it's tremendous for the teams and tremendous for the fans."

Speaking at Thursday morning's NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, Keselowski was asked by if some race teams were allowed to use parts and pieces last year that his Penske Racing squad wasn't.

"That's a difficult question to navigate, because if I answer it the way I want to answer it, I'll get in a lot of trouble," Keselowski said. "But I think you probably know what I mean, so I'm just going to leave it at that."

The new NASCAR Deterrence System could help with that, Keselowski said. "I think it has potential," Keselowski said. "Significant potential."

Keselowski has toned down his public criticisms of NASCAR recently and he said Thursday that he's trying to resolve issue behind the scenes when possible.

"I'm in an increasingly difficult position as a champion of the sport to try and convey the very strong situations of the health of this sport, which although it could always be better is not terrible," said Keselowski.

"And also my own personal agenda to be a champion that moves the sport forward," said Keselowski. "... And I think quite a few back channels have opened up within NASCAR over the last six to eight months that have given me the ability to not have to go to the media to get something done. That fits my personal and professional agenda, and out of respect for that, I think it maybe creates a situation where what might look like a muzzle to you or to the outside is perhaps more a moment of opportunity I just don't want to piss away."

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