July 1, 2012
Keselowski's enthusiastic approach keeps him revved up for Chase
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency
When Roger Penske went looking for a driver to fill out his NASCAR Nationwide team a few years ago he found Brad Keselowski, who was then driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports.
Penske was attracted not only by Keselowki’s obvious talents but for his seemingly boundless enthusiasm for the sport of stock car racing.
It was that enthusiasm that was the key ingredient Saturday night in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway where Keselowski picked up his Sprint Cup leading third victory in the No. 2 Dodge.
Keselowski, even in the searing heat, appeared fresh as a spring daisy after the race.
There had been questions about how he would hold up as the Sprint Cup race was his third NASCAR race of the week — having driven in the Camping World Truck where he finished second and Nationwide Series where he finished seventh.
“Do I look like I’m missing any energy?” Keselowski said after the Cup race. “No, I’m great, man. I feel good. I’m going to sleep in tomorrow, but I would have done that either way.”
The win all but guarantees him a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship that starts in just nine races.
This even though Keselowski is 10th in points.
His three wins, however, come with bonus points that will probably land him as the No. 1 seed when NASCAR’s version of a playoff begins and Keselowski is well aware of how it works.
“I think (the media) got the points backwards,” he said. “You look at who’s leading with the most points earned, that don’t mean anything.
“The only thing that means anything is where it’s going to restart when the Chase starts. It’s going to be based off of who’s in the top 10 and who’s got the most wins. That’s the only think that matters.”
Keselowski said that his early season woes — a pair of 32nd finishes at Daytona and Las Veags and a 36th at Texas — are now in his rear view mirror.
He said he looks at defending Cup champion Tony Stewart’s run last season as an example of how to rebound in the Chase.
“(You) got to win races,” Keselowski said. “Tony proved that last year. You don’t back your way the Chase. Don’t rest on your laurels. You’ve got to have fast car when’s the Chase starts with great reliability and great execution. It’s going to take all three, and those three are going to win races.”
BOURDAIS SET FOR T.O.
Four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais figured he wanted to be in race trim for his return to the Honda Indy Toronto this week, so rather than take a weekend off, the 33-year-old native of Le Mans, France, went to Watkins Glen, N.Y., for the Rolex Grand Am Six Hours at The Glen.
Bourdais, a winner at the Honda Indy for Newman Haas Racing in 2004, got the call for The Glen a week ago from Starworks Motorsport boss Peter Baron to team up with regular drivers Ryan Dalziel — another veteran of the Toronto race — and Enso Potolicchio.
Bourdais said he took the opportunity because Watkins Glen — even though it’s a road course — comes close to replicating Toronto’s temporary street course.
“It’s like a super fast street course, so you know there’s not much room for error,” Bourdais said.
Bourdais finished the race in third.
In Toronto Bourdais will be driving the Lotus-Dragon Racing Chevrolet.
Happy Birthday to “The King” Richard Petty. Petty, the seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and owner of 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, including seven Daytona 500 victories, is celebrating his 75th birthday Monday in the same town he was born, Level Cross, N.C. Petty will spend time working at the current location of Petty’s Garage and will later spend time with his family. ... Montreal’s Bruno Spengler had another podium finish on Sunday finishing third in the Schnitzer BMW at the DTM Series race at Norisring, Germany. Toronto’s Robert Wickens was ninth in a Persson Mercedes.
NASCAR Sprint Cup