Brad Keselowski’s numbers:
1 – Number of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships owned by Brad Keselowski (2012).
1 – Sunday marks Brad Keselowski’s first appearance in the Championship 4.
2 – Number of top-five finishes Brad Keselowski has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
3 – Number of wins Brad Keselowski has during the 2017 season; including one during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs – (Atlanta, Martinsville-1, Talladega-2).
5 – Brad Keselowski’s career Playoff wins
8 – Number of stage wins Brad Keselowski has posted during the 2017 season.
8.2 – Brad Keselowski’s average finish during the first nine races of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
12.6 – Brad Keselowski’s average finish during the 2017 season.
15.9 – Brad Keselowski’s average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
15 – Number of top-five finishes Brad Keselowski has logged during the 2017 season.
20 – Number of top-10 finishes Brad Keselowski has tallied this season.
88.5 – Brad Keselowski’s Homestead driver rating – 10th-best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
95.9 – Brad Keselowski’s 2017 driver rating – sixth-best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
671 (8.1%) – Total number of fastest laps run by Brad Keselowski in the 2017 season – fourth-best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
First Time’s A Charm? Keselowski Revved Up For First Championship 4
Surprisingly, Brad Keselowski will compete in his first Championship 4 as he goes for his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio).
If Keselowski can take home the title, he’d become the 16th driver to win multiple championships in the 69-year history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, joining Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Lee Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Tony Stewart, Herb Thomas, Tim Flock, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly, Ned Jarret and Terry Labonte.
In nine career starts at Homestead, Keselowski claims no wins, two top fives, three top 10s and a 15.9 average finish – all low totals among the Championship 4.
He earned his way to Homestead on points, navigating his way through the Round of 8 with a fourth-place showing at Martinsville, fifth-place result at Texas and 16th-place performance at Phoenix.
Keselowski Better At Homestead Lately
Brad Keselowski’s Homestead track record might not be as strong as the rest of the Championship 4, but he’s run well there lately. He wrecked out of the race last year, but in the three previous races, he finished third twice (2015 and 2014) and sixth (2013). He also led 86 laps in the 2015 event.
Coors Light Pole Qualifying shouldn’t be an issue for Keselowski. He’s started from a top-five position in five of his last six Homestead starts. In the one race where he didn’t qualify in the top five, he started eighth on the grid.
Stellar Playoff Performance
Even casual NASCAR observers know Brad Keselowski has a flair for the dramatic.
It’s no surprise he’s elevated his performance during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. He’s posted an average finish of 8.2 in the postseason – second among Championship 4 drivers (Martin Truex Jr., 4.7; Kevin Harvick. 10.9; Kyle Busch, 12.2).
The Rochester Hills, Michigan native won Talladega-2 and has finished no lower than 16th in the Playoffs.
Consistency is nice, but a top-five finish probably won’t be enough to clinch the title. Keselowski’s best 2017 postseason finishes other than his Talladega win are fourth (New Hampshire and Martinsville), fifth (Texas) and sixth (Chicagoland).
Second Championship For Penske
A Brad Keselowski title would mark the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship for Team Penske. It won its first crown with Keselowski in 2012.
Team Penske has been in the Championship 4 twice before with Joey Logano. In his two Championship 4 appearances, Logano finished fourth at Homestead last year and 16th there in 2014.
Team Penske, owned by legendary entrepreneur Roger Penske, is competing in its 34th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. It made its first start in NASCAR competition in 1972, fielding an AMC Matador for Mark Donohue at Riverside (Calif.) Raceway.
Team Penske has won 107 races in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition.
Keselowski At Intermediate Tracks
Since his breakout 2011 season, Brad Keselowski ranks second in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with wins at 1.5-mile tracks with 10. The only driver with more is Jimmie Johnson, who has 13. Coincidentally, Keselowski is followed in the stat category over that timeframe by Championship 4 competitors Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. (tied for third-most, 8) and Kyle Busch (fourth-most, 7).
Although he has more wins at intermediate tracks since 2011, Keselowski’s 1,968 laps led at 1.5 or 1.54-mile circuits trails Johnson (2,817), Harvick (2,746), Truex (2,716) and Busch (2,375).
Wolfe/Keselowski Already A Championship Pairing
The No. 2 Ford crew chief Paul Wolfe and Brad Keselowski have experienced success ever since they were paired together in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2010. That season, Wolfe guided Keselowski and the No. 22 team to six wins, 26 top fives and 29 top 10s on the way to a NASCAR XFINITY Series title.
Wolfe moved up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to work with Keselowski in 2011 and the partnership continued to be a smashing success. Keselowski, who did not log a single top five in his first full-time season with Penske in 2010, won three races, tallied 10 top fives and 23 top 10s under the tutelage of Wolfe.
The next year with Wolfe, Keselowski won five races, including two in the Playoffs to earn the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
With Wolfe on the box, Keselowski has 23 wins, 85 top fives, 135 top 10s and a 13.7 average finish in 244 starts.
An ex-racer himself with 16 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts to his name, Wolfe began his crew chief career in 2006 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Fitz Racing. He joined CJM Racing in 2009 before moving to Team Penske in 2010.
Wolfe, a native of Milford, N.Y., began racing at 11 years old.
Daughter And Wife Will Be Able To Celebrate Championship
Brad Keselowski won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship as a 28-year-old in 2012. Since then, he’s achieved some milestones in his personal life. Keselowski will be able to celebrate a second title with his wife Paige, and daughter Scarlett.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!