Originally written August 15, 2013 on Start 'N' Park Blog:
Reilly-auto-parts
It’s typical in sports that when a team plays on its home court, it seems to have an advantage. When it comes to Rochester Hills, MI native Brad Keselowski, home has not been an advantage for him. That is, when you’re talking about the Sprint Cup Series. Looking at the Nationwide Series to start, Keselowski has a good stat line. He has six starts and has collected two wins, two top-5s, and four top-10s. The two wins came back to back in 2009 and 2010, so some three years ago. He didn’t run this past June, but prior to was a 10th place in 2012. Camping World Trucks is a very small sample size of two races, his first start was in 2005 and a 35th after a blown engine. Last year he raced his was to an eighth place finish with his own team. Now to where it all matters, the Sprint Cup Series. Coming off of a second place finish this past weekend at Watkins Glen has Keselowski in eighth place in the point standings. He is only up by nine points on eleventh place running Kurt Busch, and with no victories, if he slips out of the top-10, he might be toast in defending his title. That means wins will be key, and if not wins, then gaining maximum points each week compared to those around him. In June he finished 12th at Michigan, not all that great, but not all that bad. One year ago he finished second, ironically after finishing 13th in the race prior. A second place this weekend would be a great as the series goes into tracks Keselowski has excelled at. Overall history hasn’t been kind to Keselowski, who admitted that Sunday after the race by saying “with the exception of Michigan, I would say I feel very, very strongly about how we’re gonna finish out the race to the Chase. “ But recent history has been a bit better. Since the August 2011 race he’s finished third, 13th, second, and 12th in those races. That’s an average finish of about seventh, which isn’t bad and would be good for gaining more points. Keselowski is cautiously optimistic knowing a good run is needed. “I’m optimistic that we can put together a good, solid afternoon on Sunday. Michigan, no doubt, has been one of my weaker tracks, especially since the repave. Repaved tracks, for whatever reason, have not been our strong suit. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of repaves lately! We did get a top-five finish there last year so I know we can do it. But we’re confident that we can at least get a solid finish like we did in the spring there. So I really see no reason why we can’t maintain our position in the points, if not improve it before the Chase starts.” You can see if Keselowski and his crew can get his first Sprint Cup Series win at the Michigan International Speedway when the Pure Michigan 400 gets underway 1 PM EST on ESPN.
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