Keselowski hoping for repeat victory at Pocono

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 04, 2012
Brad Keselowski won last August at Pocono driving 500 miles on a broken left ankle. Well, Sunday's race is only 400 miles and his ankle is feeling pretty good these days. Imagine what he can do here when healthy. Keselowski's victory placed him in prime position to claim one of two wild-card spots available for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He won't need that help this season. He's in ninth place but three victories this year already guarantee him a spot in the field. ''The only thing I really am concerned about now is winning a race and winning another race and then another,'' he said Saturday. ''That's what drives me before the race starts.'' Keselowski lost his brakes during a test session and crashed head-on into a wall at Road Atlanta days before coming to Pocono. His broken left ankle ballooned to the size of a softball, and he needed a left shoe a size larger than his right one. He slapped a brace on his ankle then sped off on the final restart late in the race to take the checkered flag. He has another obstacle in the No. 2 Dodge, this time a poor 31st qualifying run on Saturday. ''I'm glad to be back at Pocono for obvious reasons, so it's nice to return to a track where you've had success,'' he said. ''(We) just have to stay patient and find our way up to the front toward the end when it counts.'' ---- PHILLY FAN: Denny Hamlin has become Philadelphia's two-sport star. Hamlin was invited last season by coach Doug Collins to address the Philadelphia 76ers during their playoff run and played a game of HORSE with guards Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner. Hamlin recently stopped by Philadelphia Eagles training camp and played catch with quarterback Michael Vick. Forget racing for the Sprint Cup championship. There were almost more nerves trying to catch a simple pass than there are gearing up to drive 400 miles at Pocono. Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson hollered ''Don't miss it!'' as Vick had Hamlin go deep. ''It was pretty cool,'' Hamlin said. ''I tried kicking a field goal and I thought that 30 yards would be simply a chip shot and we had to move way in and I still didn't make it. I found something that I'm pretty bad at.'' Hamlin said Vick is an athlete he's always admired. Maybe next year Hamlin can try and sneak a wrist shot past Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov or take some cuts off Phillies ace Cole Hamels. ---- SLOW DOWN: Too bad for the Pocono coffers that speeding tickets weren't actually written for drivers busted for speeding entering or exiting pit road in the June race. There were a whopping 22 violations, which had some drivers insisting there had to be a malfunction in the timing loops that track speed. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, said that wasn't the case. The track was repaved and pit road underwent a makeover, which led to new placement of scoring loops from last season. Drivers will be extra careful Sunday of how they approach their pit stops. ''With so many people having trouble there, I'm not sure what took place,'' Jimmie Johnson said. ''I'm sure it's a smaller segment, but we have much smaller segments at other race tracks that don't have as much trouble as that one did.'' ----- OLYMPIC FEVER: Forget green, yellow and checkered. Could Carl Edwards' primary color have been gold - as in a gold medal at the Olympics? Uh, no. While Edwards loves to nail his signature backflip after each NASCAR victory, he does have the aid of a stock car to serve as his stand in for a balance beam. He'll stick to flips at Victory Lane instead of medal stands. ''I need a race car out there to jump off to do any gymnastics,'' Edwards said. ''I have been watching, and it has been really neat to watch.'' Could there ever be a day where ''start your engines'' is heard - on tape delay, of course - at the Olympics? Hey, if pros such as LeBron James and Serena Williams can compete in the Olympics, why not throw the world's best drivers out there every four years? ''I don't know if the world is ready for a bunch of race car drivers in the Olympics,'' Edwards said with a laugh. ''I don't know if Bob Costas could explain some of the things we do or say.'' ---- SMOKE SAID IT: Long one of the most maligned tracks in Sprint Cup, Pocono Raceway has made needed upgrades over the last few years that left drivers raving about the new look at the triangle track. Well, most drivers. Asked what he liked best and least about Pocono, defending champion Tony Stewart was his typical blunt self. ''The thing I look forward to the most is getting on the helicopter to leave,'' he said. ''The thing I look forward to the least is getting off the plane when I get here.'' ---- NICKNAMES: The UFC on Fox card Saturday night featured fighters nicknamed ''The Truth,'' ''Shogun,'' ''The Dragon,'' and ''Darth.'' Somehow, the ''Rainbow Warrior,'' might not have worked in the octagon. ''I don't think so,'' Jeff Gordon said, laughing. ''You better kick some (rear) if you've got that name. The difference is, they come up with their names. I didn't come up with that one.'' These days, Gordon goes by, ''four time.'' It's a fitting handle for the four-time Cup champion. ''I like that one,'' he said. Gordon turned 41 on Saturday.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC


God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Report: David Lee signs with the Spurs

Craig Sager to miss Olympics while undergoing bone marrow transplant

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker