Brad Keselowski rolled into Phoenix International Raceway a year ago locked into a tight championship battle with Jimmie Johnson, and left the track poised to claim his first Sprint Cup title.
Back at the track where his fortunes turned, Keselowski is a mere spectator to this year's title fight.
''I'm relaxed, but not in a good way,'' he admitted. ''I'd much rather be fighting for a championship, everyone can agree with that.''
Instead, it's Johnson, again, in the mix.
The five-time champion leads Matt Kenseth by seven points - the same margin Johnson held over Keselowski at this stage last season - heading into Sunday's penultimate race at Phoenix. Barring some sort of collapse by both drivers, it will be either Johnson or Kenseth who claims the Sprint Cup trophy following next week's finale at Homestead.
And with that, Keselowski's reign will come to an official end.
Some will say he went out with a whimper. In failing to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship...