Brad Keselowski, Penske Championship Racing

by KFFL Staff on January 19, 2011 @ 18:40:00 PDT

 


Brad Keselowski | No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge | Penske Championship Racing

Brad Keselowski

He rolled to the Nationwide Series title in 2010, but his first full season at the Cup level was a rough one. Keselowski finished 25th in the final standings, and he didn't collect a top-10 finish until the 32nd race of the season. He finished the year with two top-10 finishes and a 22.4 average finish.

His best stretch came early last year when he notched seven finishes of 18th or better during an eight-race run from the end of March to the beginning of May. He was essentially a 20th-place driver after that, until catching fire and scoring three finishes of 13th or better in the final five races. He isn't going to catch any breaks thanks to his past feuds with guys like Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin; incidents of retaliation led directly to a few of his five DNFs last season.

There is no substitute for experience, and Keselowski should only get better in 2011. He probably isn't ready to contend for the Chase yet, but it is clear from his Nationwide Series success that he has plenty of talent behind the wheel. He will move over to the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge this season, and he should move closer to the top 20 in points.

Keselowski's biggest contributions to fantasy owners will come at short tracks. He posted a 13.8 average finish in six short tracks starts last year, finishing in the top 15 in five of the six starts. He still needs to work on his intermediate track consistency, but Phoenix, Texas and Darlington have been three of his strongest tracks. Expect better numbers this season than in 2010, but his breakout season is probably a year or two away still.

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