2Crew Contender Round Preview October 7, 2015

2Crew Contender Round Preview

The field of Chase-eligible drivers has officially been cut from sixteen drivers down to twelve as the final race at Dover International Speedway marked the conclusion of the Challenger Round. (Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, and Clint Bowyer were eliminated.)

Although Brad Keselowski advanced, the Team Penske veteran had this to say following his 16th place finish at “Monster Mile”: “We survived kind of ugly today, but I’d rather survive ugly than not survive pretty. We’ll take it and move on and realize that everything we’ve done from this point in the season doesn’t really mean anything. Everything is back to scratch and that’s probably a good thing for us this year.”

Here’s a recap of Brad Keselowski’s results from the first round of the 2015 Chase:

                       Chicagoland          New Hampshire            Dover
Start                3rd                          4th                                  8th
Finish              8th                          12th                                16th

Lucky #13th Start?

First up on the Contender Round schedule is the Intermediate track of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Not including All-Star races, Brad Keselowski has made twelve career Sprint Cup Series starts at the 1.5-mile quad oval recording one Win, 2 Top-5’s, and 4 Top-10’s. He has accumulated a total of 217 laps led at Charlotte, which ranks as sixth most for the No. 2 driver amongst all NASCAR tracks. With the competition intensified under the bright lights of Charlotte – we anticipate Brad to best his average finish of 15th in Saturday’s night race.

Keeping Consistent In Kansas

With eleven NSCS starts at the 1.5 mile tri-oval of Kansas Speedway, Brad Keselowski has accrued approximately 4,400 miles of experience at the track! However, despite recording a win in June 2011 and averaging an impressive 12.5 finish, on paper he has been a tale of inconsistency. For instance, in his first seven starts he averaged a 19.3 starting position yet he managed to record four Top-10’s, two Top-5’s, and his only victory at Kansas during that span. On the flip side, in his most recent four starts he averaged a 4.0 starting position, totaled 110 laps led, but only recorded one Top-10 in May earlier this season. Historically, Team Penske is strong at Intermediate tracks...

The Big Ones

Not only has Brad Keselowski celebrated three Sprint Cup Series wins at the infamous Talladega Superspeedway but also some of his most career-defining and memorable moments. In April 2009 he recorded his first Sprint Cup Series victory in just the 5th start of his career. In May of 2012, Keselowski recorded his 2nd victory at Talladega, and his second of the 2012 season; what would develop into an incredible Championship campaign. Finally, who could forget his clutch 2014 Chase victory? With his back against the wall, he found a way to win and advanced to the Eliminator Round. If it came down to it this year, with seven Top-10 finishes in thirteen career starts at the 2.66-mile tri-oval, expect Brad to become superhuman once again.

Brad Nation - are you ready for the Contender Round? Did we miss something? 
Tell us at @wurthracing on Twitter!