BRISTOL, Tenn. – Brad Keselowski has won two of the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway, which should surprise absolutely no one.
Even if it doesn’t seem immediately apparent, a closer look at statistical history shows he’s an heir to this slice of success.
It’s all about the No. 2 – plus a trio of top-rung drivers who through the years have combined to give Team Penske a total of 10 victories at the historic .533-mile oval with three different manufacturers – Pontiac, Dodge and Ford.
Rusty Wallace racked up seven BMS wins in the No. 2. And he had two other Bristol wins before that, driving for owner Raymond Beadle.
Kurt Busch added an eighth Bristol win for Penske’s No. 2, that coming after four victories driving for Jack Roush.
Keselowski brought the total to 10 with two straight trips to Bristol’s victory lane, winning the 2011 night race and then the 2012 spring event. He appears primed to bring home the 11th win, after winning this past Sunday At Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He comes in second in series points, merely one behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The 2012 series champion who surprisingly failed to make the Chase last year some, Keselowski has almost assured himself a spot this season – the new Chase format gives the top 15 race winners automatic berths provided they attempt to qualify for each of the 26 races prior to the Chase and are in the top 30 in points. With the pressure relatively lessened, the fun has returned after the disappointment of 2013.
“I want to win Indy; that would be big [for Roger Penske],” Keselowski said. “Michigan would be a really big win. I’d take Bristol and California while I’m at it. But … we just want to get some more wins, and then obviously you’ve got to get on steady footing once you reach the back half of the year with your cars and team to where you’re just consistent frontrunners so you can really get into those last 10 races and make some noise.”