Brad Keselowski makes me think of Shakespeare. Not the writer so much as a line from his “Hamlet” that is often paraphrased – “Methinks thou dost protest too much.” That’s Keselowski. He’s like the soccer player who takes a dramatic fall on the turf and then looks around for a ref to complain he was done wrong.
All throughout the 2017 NASCAR season, Keselowski voiced to anyone and everyone that Toyota was getting away with murder. There was no way they possibly could be that dominant by skill and engineering alone, there was something illicit going on. Keselowski thought 2018 would be more of the same, with Ford taking what he called “a drubbing” if they didn’t get help. In steps Hawkeye.
“That [inspection system] will be the determining factor in what manufacturer is successful this year,” Keselowski told racer.com. “If the Hawkeye system comes in working fully, I think we will see a very level playing field in 2018 and we are capable of winning.”
Hawkeye is the high-definition video monitoring system NASCAR has been testing for a couple years as a way to replace human monitoring of pit road. The camera/computer system catches rules infractions that race officials miss. Sort of like an ongoing instant replay. Once the system detects an infraction, an alert is sent to officials in the tower who assign a penalty right then.
“It is inherent to the designs of the cars that some things weren’t able to be policed before that were designed into other cars that, with this system, it will eliminate them,” Keselowski said.
In other words, Keselowski thinks Toyota and Chevy won’t be able to sneak things past Hawkeye like they could human spotters. Fellow Ford drivers Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Trevor Bayne share some of Keselowski’s thoughts, but Stewart-Haas and Ford Fusion driver Kevin Harvick thinks more of Ford’s misfortunes fall on Ford, not other teams cheating.
“We have a car that is designed for a huge spoiler in the back and is the older car on the race track compared to the other manufacturers,” Harvick said. “It took us a little bit to get things situated last year with the balance. We could face those balance issues again this year that we might have to work through as we go into the year just because of the way they are going to inspect the cars with the Hawkeye system.”
Which is a good point and brings to mind the old saying – be careful what you wish for. Keselowski just might find his team at the mercy of the technology he was hoping would save them.