People keep saying The Big Three are a lock for the final round, Keselowski doesn’t see it that way
Ahead of the weekend, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano stated that every time he comes to Indianapolis he’s asked if they can finally bring the Indianapolis win for Roger Penske. That question will now longer be asked…
Brad Keselowski just collected his second NASCAR Cup Series win in a row. He won last week in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. On Sunday, he returned to victory lane in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Last year, I lost this race almost the exact same way. To bring it home this way, after messing up last year, is just incredible,” Keselowski stated from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center. “We were hoping this would be No. 500 and the Brickyard, but that’s all right.”
Amazingly, this was somehow the first Brickyard 400 win for Team Penske. It’s win No. 499 for the team. Penske has just won the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season.
“To give Roger Penske his first Cup car win here at the Brickyard is just an incredible feeling. I am so happy for everyone at Team Penske. We were hoping it would be win 500 and the Brickyard but we don’t care what number it is.”
“This whole team, the call made today was just phenomenal. We weren’t the fastest car by far but this team never gave up on it, made the most of the strategy and executed a perfect race. That is something I am so proud of.”
Keselowski had fresher tires than the leaders. A late race caution closed up the field for a final restart. In the closing laps, Keselowski banged doors with Denny Hamlin to take the win.
“It was a very brief conversation,” Keselowski said of his call with Roger Penske. “He unfortunately couldn’t be here today. He’s on a secret mission somewhere. If you know Roger Penske, that makes perfect sense.”
“But with that in mind, I very much wish I was here, and I’m thinking about him. Gosh, just such a big day for Team Penske. It’s such a shame he isn’t here.”
That’s win number two for Brad Keselowski. His teammate Joey Logano picked up a win earlier in the season. Ryan Blaney made it in on points. All three Team Penske drivers will transfer to the first round of the playoffs.
However, most are under the impression that the Big 3 of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr are a lock for the final round. If so, that would leave 13 drivers fighting for the fourth and final transfer spot into the final round at Homestead.
Keselowski doesn’t see it that way…
“You can have one really bad race and lose 50 points, pretty quick. They don’t have 50 on me.”
Currently, the points are reset heading into the first round. With two wins, Keselowski is 4th in the championship standings. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are tied. Keselowksi is just 31 points behind them. Those playoff points will carry all the way to Homestead.
“A good race in the playoffs is a 40-45 point race. That in mind, a bad race in the playoffs is a 3-5 point race. That’s within that window pretty quickly.”
“There’s no guarantees. I would want to be in the 50’s or 60’s to feel like I was going to have a lock to Homestead. They’re close to that. But, not there.”
“Of course, those last three races you could have three different winners that aren’t them. That means there’s only one seat at the table.”
“Each on of these rounds — the way the schedule has realigned — has a track that I think we can win at. So, I’m really optimistic about that.”
“For us, Homestead is the toughest, besides the Roval. We’re ready to go. There’s a big challenge in front of us but also an incredible opportunity.”