Despite absent crew chief, Brad Keselowski runs third at Phoenix

AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 02: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford, makes a pit stop during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit On CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 02:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford, makes a pit stop during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit On CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
AVONDALE, AZ – MARCH 02: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford, makes a pit stop during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit On CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

AVONDALE, Ariz.—Driver Brad Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe are a potent combination—together they won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

Keselowski proved Sunday that he and Wolfe can be just as effective when they’re separated by a continental divide.

With Wolfe on the pit box on Friday, Keselowski won the pole for Sunday’s The Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. After Wolfe flew back to North Carolina on Saturday to witness the birth of his first child, Keselowski ran third in the Sprint Cup race.

Team engineer Brian Wilson and Team Penske’s director of competition for the Nationwide Series, Greg Erwin, called the race for Keselowski.

“They did a great job,” Keselowski said. “Still had two more spots to go. All things considered, I thought they did really well. I was very proud of the effort.”

Wolfe sent Keselowski a congratulatory text after the driver climbed from the No. 2 Ford.

Not to be outdone, Wolfe also deserved congratulations after wife Aleah gave birth to a son, Caden Paul Wolfe, on Sunday morning.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.