Found March 23, 2013 on
Start 'N' Park Blog:
Brad Keselowski might not come to the Auto Club Speedway with a victory next to his name, but he does have one thing 42 other drivers wish they had. That would be the points lead. Keselowski currently sits nine points ahead of his former Nationwide Series boss Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in his quest to repeat as Sprint Cup Series champion. While that is great for him, he would still like to get the goose egg out of the win column this weekend.
“It has been a solid start. We have done everything but win a race. That is where our focus is at this weekend for sure. We’ve certainly got a strong, consistent start but we have been in position on the final restart of each race to win and have come up just a little bit short. Hopefully we can close that out this weekend. I think we have got the car to do it and the team to do it. We are ready to get on track and get going. We have practice and qualifying here today and I am curious how this race is going to play out. I honestly think this is going to be an exceptional race. I think this new car, the Generation 6 car acts and reacts a lot like the Nationwide car does. You combine that with a track that has multiple grooves in the corners and a car that I think has a potential to draft really well and I think it could be a great race. I am pretty optimistic about it. I am glad I am running the Nationwide race because it will be good experience before hand. There are a lot of things to look forward to for sure,” Keselowski told reporters Friday from the media center.
With the new Generation 6 race car, teams have been trying to learn as much as they can at each race. What is playing against them is this weekend’s track, Auto Club Speedway, is yet another style of track that has not been raced on yet.
“We are still learning how this car will react to this style track. We haven’t run a two-mile track yet. This is the fifth weekend and fifth different style track. I am learning with you guys. In general this used to always be a handling track over horsepower but that might be different with this car,” said Keselowski when asked if the key to victory lies in handling or horsepower.
Being atop the standings this early in the season has caught a few NASCAR media members and fans off guard. Most expected Keselowski and his Penske Racing team to struggle after switching from Dodge in 2012 to Ford in 2013. Picking a time when the series is switching car generations seems to be paying off on the track for the team.
“I can tell you it is a big weight off our shoulders to come out of the gate so strong. It is a quick way of quieting all those that said when we switched to Ford we were going to be in a lot of trouble. That is really big for us at Penske Racing and big for me personally. It shows the strength we have at every layer, whether as a company, as a team or as a driver and crew chief combination. It is something I am exceptionally proud of. Looking at that and knowing we still haven’t reached our potential as far as our Ford relationship is concerned – and that will probably take some time – it makes me feel like when we do reach that potential that we can be an elite team for years to come,” commented Keselowski.
Keselowski and his Blue Deuce team will look to add to their lead in the points and get the first win this Sunday in the Auto Club 400 that can be seen on FOX at 3 PM EST.
BEST OF MAXIM
SUPER START: Brad Keselowski is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to start the season with four top-five finishes in the first four races. The last driver to start the year with five-consecutive top-five finishes also drove the “Blue Deuce.” Rusty Wallace accomplished the feat in 1998.
POINTS LEADER: Thanks to his consistent start to the season, Keselowski has taken command...
You all know the old saying, "What a difference a year makes."
Well, that sure applies to Kasey Kahne and that No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team. If you go back to the beginning of Kasey's 2012 season, I believe when we left Bristol, he was something like 32nd in points.
It was safe to say that his 2012 season had been pretty bleak to that point. He and his team did...
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Finished 19th
“Our day was long. It was a long day. We just missed it at the start of the race and didn’t get it close to being right until the end and at that time it was too late. We had to race for strategy and it just didn’t fall our way today.”
TRAVIS PASTRANA, No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang – Finished...
Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski loved the RPM's the Sprint Cup cars were turning on Auto Club Speedway's 2.0 mile racetrack in Friday's practice sessions.
"There is no doubt that this car is so fast that we're carrying more speed than we've ever carried pretty much at every track," Keselowski said before practice. "That isn...
On the official starting lineup sheet Ford drivers Greg Biffle and Brad Keselowski will start second and third respectfully today. In reality, both drivers will start shotgun on the field after both changed engines Friday.
Biffle’s engine change happened during practice, relegating him to only eight laps on the track before qualifying. Keselowski’s change happened right before...
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion (Qualified 3rd)
ON HIS LAP:“The Miller Lite Ford is pretty fast. I am not a really good qualifier so you know if we qualify well we are going to be a threat. It is a good sign.”
WHAT DID YOU FEEL OUT THERE AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT SUNDAY? “My car was really good and it has a lot of grip in qualifying mode. In the race they tend to...
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
By: Toby Christie - Follow on Twitter @Tobalical
What an incredible turn of events that unfolded in the closing laps at Auto Club Speedway — a track not normally known for exciting races, or finishes. That all changed after the 2013 Auto Club 400, as the fans will be talking about this race for a long time to come.
The latest chapter...