SPARTA, Ky.—A cursory look at Brad Keselowski’s position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings might give the impression that the driver of the No. 2 Penske Racing Ford is on a precarious perch.
But Keselowski doesn’t feel that way — and that’s especially true at Kentucky Speedway, where he’ll compete in all three of NASCAR’s top touring series this weekend.
As the Race to the Chase begins — the final stretch of 10 events before the Chase field is set at Richmond — Keselowski is ninth in the standings without a victory, just nine points ahead of Kasey Kahne and Paul Menard, who are tied for 11th.
Without a win on his side of the ledger, Keselowski doesn’t have a claim to one of the two Chase wild card berths, should he fall out of the top 10. If Keselowski is worried, though, he isn’t showing it.
“Thankfully, if you look at the tradition of my team — if you can say there is one — over the last two seasons, it’s that we really seemed to hit our mark about this time of the season, and I don’t think that’s coincidence,” Keselowski said Thursday before Camping World Truck Series qualifying.
“Kentucky Speedway really fits my style. There’s a couple of unique characteristics about it, and that’s why I picked this weekend to run all three. I felt like here and Bristol are probably two of my best tracks, and we need to capitalize on that, certainly on the Cup side—have another strong run, and hopefully come away with the race win, which I think we have a very strong shot at, and I’d love to do that in the other two series as well.”
Keselowski is the defending winner of the Quaker State 400. In addition, he has five starts in the Nationwide Series—all top 10s with one victory—and three starts in the Truck Series. Give that the Cup series didn’t begin racing at Kentucky until 2011, Keselowski has an experience advantage over most other Cup competitors.
“It’s one of the few tracks where I’ve always kind of felt heads-up to the field,” Keselowski said. “This is my fourth full year in Sprint Cup, and in some ways it feels like I’ve been here forever, and in some ways it feels like I haven’t.
“When you go to tracks like Texas and Atlanta, places like that where there’s a fair amount of drivers that have quite a bit more experience than I do, so I just feel like I’m one little step behind. Here at Kentucky there’s no other driver that has more experience than me. We’re on even footing all the way. In fact, if anything, I feel like I might be even slightly up, because I have a couple more Nationwide starts, and I’d say that probably leads to my comfort here.”
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