Monday, November 12, 2012

Keselowski Now Gigantic Favorite to Win NASCAR Championship Heading into Homestead

Keselowski possibly made his move into NASCAR history at Phoenix
By Micah Roberts
The Linemakers on Sporting News

LAS VEGAS -- It seems like only yesterday that NASCAR teams were at Daytona in preseason testing for the Daytona 500, but it was actually January, a long, long time ago. Now here we are preparing for the 36th and final race of the season, a race at Homestead that has had some of the luster taken away because Jimmie Johnson has all but fallen out of championship contention. He’s not mathematically eliminated, but it will take the driver he’s chasing, Brad Keselowski, incurring some bad luck like Johnson experienced at Phoenix with a blown tire.

Keselowski needs to finish 15th or better Sunday to win one of the more remarkable championships in modern NASCAR history. The only driver that comes to mind from recent memory for doing something equally as impressive is Alan Kulwicki, who, in 1992, took a single-car team he owned to win the championship.

Penske Racing is the big-time racing outfit for which Keselowski drives, but Roger Penske has never won a championship in NASCAR. Penske runs two cars, but only one is competitive. The bigger deal here, and where the comparison to Kulwicki begins, is that Penske's Dodges are the only two on the circuit, and the team doesn’t have other organizations to work with.

They are kind of on their own, whereas, Rick Hendrick has four cars in his stable and Stewart-Haas cars indirectly under him. Joe Gibbs and Michael Waltrip Racing both run Toyotas, so those teams are able to bounce things off each other regarding engine performance, and the Fords are strong behind Jack Roush and his three cars.

Should Keselowski win the title on Sunday, his name will forever be etched as a NASCAR champion, something that has eluded many of the series’ top drivers, like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne.

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