Brad Keselowski has won two of the first three rounds in the “Chase for the Sprint Cup,” but don’t expect him to be over confident in his chances to win the 2012 NASCAR championship. “There are seven races to go,” he says.
Keselowski opened the 2012 Chase with a win in Chicago two weeks ago, followed it up with a sixth-place finish in New Hampshire last week and returned to Victory Lane in this weekend’s AAA 400, at Dover International Speedway.
It was a win that tasted very sweet to Keselowski, considering his fortunes at the track dubbed the Monster Mile have been less than inspiring. He had never won in Dover before this weekend. In fact, Keselowski is quick to admit “this has been one of my worst tracks.” In five previous races in Delaware, his best finish was 12.
“To be honest, 400 miles at Dover is darn grueling,” said Keselowski. When asked about when he felt confident he was going to win this year’s AAA 400, Keselowski simply said, “I felt confident when I crossed the checkered flag.”
When Keselowski raced across the finish line, he was one second ahead of Jeff Gordon, who was making a last-ditch charge to win the race. Mark Martin finished third.
To accent the point, Keselowski drove the final 89 laps on the famed mile oval on one tank of fuel. He said that it is easy to credit the driver, but “it’s on the team” as strategy plays a huge part in every race.
“Everybody can contribute so much,” he said. “That’s what it takes right now, everybody contributing at a very high level to make the effort better.”
Keselowski takes over the lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cupstandings. He swapped places with Jimmie Johnson, who is five points back in second. Denny Hamlin holds on to third place, 16 points behind the leader.
With three rounds of the Chase completed, Keselowski kept things in perspective when posed with the question on whether he considers himself a favourite to win this year’s Sprint Cup.
“We’re not even halfway (in the Chase),” said a stoic Keselowski, when asked if he considered himself a favourite to win this year’s Sprint Cup. “We are three rounds in. I think there’s so much racing to go, so many opportunities for things to go wrong – or right – for anyone out there. My perspective is we got a lot of racing to go. Let’s just let the racing play out and go from there.
The Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500, the next race on the Chase for the Sprint Cup schedule, hits the oval at Talladega Superspeedway, in Alabama, on Sunday, Oct. 7.