In the aftermath of his latest dust-up with Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski has been widely criticized for a consistent pattern of overly aggressive driving tactics, but the Penske Racing NASCAR driver said in an interview on Sunday that he doesn't plan to change his approach.
"It's not possible to get a Cup ride right now without being aggressive, and without having some swagger in your step," Keselowski told the Associated Press. "Does that make you a jerk? To some people, yes. To some people, no. It depends on where you're coming from.
"If you look at the sport right now, there are no new drivers coming in. So whatever I'm doing is working, and it's gotten me to where I'm at."
Keselowski added that he believes his refusal to be intimidated is part of what has gained him his opportunities.
"I feel lucky to be in racecars that are as safe as they are, to be able to be here talking today and to be able to say, 'Hey, I'll take the lick and I'll get out of the car and come back the next race weekend and drive just as hard,'" he said, "just to prove a point that I wasn't wrong and I still don't feel like I'm wrong."
Veteran Jeff Burton has been among those critical of Keselowski's approach.
"Brad has got to learn that he doesn't need to prove to the world that he's a tough guy," Burton said. "He's made the decision that he's not going to cut anybody any slack. He's made the decision that he's going to race aggressively all the time. Those are the decisions he's made, and he's going to have to live with the consequences of that."