So far in 2013, just one driver has scored top-5′s in all three races: last year’s champion, Brad Keselowski.
Jimmie Johnson almost notched a top-5 at Las Vegas on Sunday but dropped to sixth in the closing laps, leaving him with two top-5′s on the season, including his win in the Daytona 500.
Five-Time currently leads Keselowski in the standings by five points. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is their nearest competition at 10 points behind Johnson, with the fourth-place driver, Denny Hamlin, already 27 points back.
Could we be seeing the buildup to a repeat of their epic title battle last fall, which saw Keselowski only pull away after the No. 48 team experienced some bad luck in the final two races of the year?
I’ll admit I didn’t see this coming. Not so soon, at least. I thought that Penske Racing would struggle at least a little bit after switching to Fords this offseason, but that hasn’t been the case.
Keselowski has yet to finish lower than fourth in any race in 2013, with an average finish of 3.7. No post-championship hangover there.
For his part, Johnson has a sparkling average finish of 3.0 this season, and has been a serious threat to win the race every week.
To be sure, three races is a small sample size, but if I’m any other driver in the field, I’m already thinking that the No. 2 and No. 48 are the cars to beat if I’m serious about winning a championship.
As I do every year, I predicted before the season that Johnson would win the Sprint Cup title. I see no reason to change that prediction. But when it comes to Keselowski, I thought he’d finish between sixth and tenth.
After seeing how the No. 2 has run so far in 2013, I’d have to make him almost a championship co-favorite with Johnson. Look for both drivers to start racking up multiple wins before long, probably starting this weekend in Bristol, where Johnson has one previous win and Keselowski two.
The post NASCAR: Will 2013 see another Johnson vs. Keselowski title fight? appeared first on Race Review Online.