Brad Keselowski thinks there is room in NASCAR for an openly gay driver. ”I don’t think anyone cares (if a driver is gay.) If you can win, you’ll have a ride in NASCAR,” Keselowski told Queers4Gears Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.
The current Sprint Cup Series Champion has quickly become a fan and media favorite for his seemingly effortless ability to speak his mind. In a day and age when most driver’s comments are limited to thanking a list of sponsors, Keselowski’s honesty and determination to let his thoughts be known, makes the driver connect with fans in ways not seen since Dale “the common man” Senior.
Before the season opened in Daytona, Keselowski sat down with Nate Ryan from USA Today for a interview in which Brad shared his vision for the future of NASCAR.
In the far reaching interview Keselowski shared his thoughts on what he would like to see change in the sport – from how sponsorship dollars are allocated, ways to improve the competition on track and how the sanctioning body (and tracks) can do a better job with social media.
With the success of NASCAR’s “Drive for Diversity” program and Danica Patrick’s arrival in Sprint Cup, the word “diversity” has been on everyone’s tongue. Keselowski offered a frank and refreshing answer that erased any factor from the equation for success… other than the ability to drive:
“There’s no reason why someone from a multicultural background can’t make it in this sport.
There are limiting factors for everybody. At this level, I don’t see bigotry. If there was a Latino or African-American driver that could run as well as Jeff Gordon now, he’d be here running. Team owners don’t care. And (drivers) don’t care.
The unequivocal nature of that answer left us here at Queer4Gears wanting to press Brad further on the topic – would his answer have been identical if he were asked about an openly gay driver.
Turns out, the answer is yes. Keselowski reaffirmed the only thing that matters in the garage is ability.
When asked if an openly gay driver would have more trouble earning acceptance from the fans or their fellow drivers, Keselowski added, “I can’t speak for the fans, I can only speak for myself, but in this garage, if you can win, people will want to be a part of what you can do.”
And isn’t that the way it should be?
Finally, when it comes to the label of “truth teller,” Keselowski shrugs that thought off. ”That’s not for me to say….. that’s for you (the press) to say. It’s like a nickname, you can’t give yourself a nickname. I guess time will tell if I’m that guy.”