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Motor sports notebook: Brash Keselowski learns his words echo loudly

| Saturday, April 20, 2013, 8:09 p.m.

Jeff Gordon learned his lesson over time. So did Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth.

It's the same lesson learned by every young driver who finally achieves stardom: What to say, when and how to say it and, most importantly, how to deal with the fallout from the content.

That's the lesson that Brad Keselowski is being forced to learn.

The brash, outspoken and usually unfiltered Sprint Cup champion has been vocal about what he perceives as unfair treatment by NASCAR, even going on a profanity-tinged tirade last weekend in which he told reporters that they had “no idea ... what's going on.”

He already disputed a penalty at Martinsville for pitting outside his stall, but the driver of the No. 2 Ford was left seething over harsh penalties handed down by NASCAR this week.

Keselowski and teammate Joey Logano had a combined seven crew members get six-race suspensions after inspectors confiscated an unapproved rear-end housing from the Penske Racing cars last weekend at Texas. Both of their crew chiefs also were fined $100,000, and the drivers were dealt 25-point penalties that bumped them down in the Sprint Cup standings.

Penske Racing has appealed the penalties — Keselowski insisted Friday the part in question was approved — so both of the teams are intact for Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.

“I don't think I've been surprised by much of anything the last two or three days,” Keselowski said after qualifying 33rd for this weekend's race. “But I think it's really important to let the appeals process work out on its own. That's why it exists.”

Hamlin could be back next week

Denny Hamlin could return to the Sprint Cup series next weekend at Richmond for the first time since a crash March 24 at California left him with a compound fracture in his back.

Slumping Franchitti wins pole

In Long Beach, Calif., Dario Franchitti won the pole for Sunday's IndyCar Series race.

Franchitti came into the weekend ranked last in the IndyCar standings and off to the worst start of his career.

NHRA fans dodge serious injury

In Concord, N.C., fans escaped serious injury when the body of Funny Car driver Robert Hight's car blew off near the finish line after his engine exploded.

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