Brad Keselowski Is Off To A Great Start

By Christy Valdez
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season has completed three weeks of racing, but so has Brad Keselowski’s title defense.

With three of the 36 scheduled races in 2013 already in the books, Keselowski has begun his title defense on a positive note. Since the season officially kicked off at Daytona International Speedway, the 2012 Sprint Cup champion has been on a roll, continuing his success from the previous year.

Throughout the first three races, the reigning champ has finishes within the top five drivers. At the Daytona 500, Keselowski finished in fourth. At Phoenix, he captured a fourth place finish and in Las Vegas, he finished in third.

The defending champ is among the few drivers that have been consistent within their first three starts. That includes Jimmie Johnson, who raced against Keselowski all the way until the end of 2012 for the championship. Johnson was his biggest competitor then and is also his closest since the start of the year. Both drivers’ consistency has placed them on top of the standings.

Keselowski currently sits in second place right behind leader Johnson, with five points separating them both. The 2012 champ has been improving within his finishes in just those three starts and even finished ahead of the five-time champ at Las Vegas.

Along with his top five finishes and being among the top two leaders in the point standings, the defending champion secured himself in a race that he had to watch from afar as the year began. During the race weekend at Las Vegas, Keselowski won the pole for the Kobalt Tools 400 after the line-up was set by owners’ points due to a rained-out qualifying session. After watching the 2013 Sprint Unlimited from afar, he will be in the race next year.

In just three races, Keselowski has averaged a 9.0 start as well as a 3.7 finish.

As the Cup Series moves on to race number four, Keselowski heads into a track he had success before. Going into Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500, he is the defending race winner. He also won the 2011 Irwin Tools Night race at Bristol.

In his past three Cup seasons, Keselowski has two wins, two top fives and two top 10 finishes at Bristol. He has averaged a 13.7 finish and an average running position of 13.3. During his 2011 win, he led for 89 laps and 232 laps in his 2012 win.

The weekend at Bristol gives him a chance to continue his latest success and not only defend his championship but also be the defending race winner. Bristol gives him a great shot to continue his consistent performances and top five finishes.

Christy Valdez is a NASCAR writer for Rant Sports. Follow her on Twitter @Knowursports and on Facebook at On The Sidelines With Christy 

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