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NASCAR

Will Defending Sprint Cup Champ Brad Keselowski Even Make The Chase?

Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

There were high expectations for defending 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford at the beginning of the 2013 season. However, expectation has turned to speculation as the 29-year-old may even miss out on the Chase.

So how does a defending NASCAR champion suddenly find himself languishing in 13th with the Chase cut-off only a handful of races away?

Well, we know since the opening Daytona 500, Keselowski has notched up five top-fives, eight top-10s and one DNF. In fact he had the same record this time last year, so what exactly has gone wrong for the Penske Racing driver?

Keselowski has yet to win a race this season, and what’s worse is that out of 18 starts, he has finished 21st or worse in seven of them.

It’s not all down to his driving though; the penalties NASCAR handed down to him and teammate Joey Logano in April for illegal parts cost them 25 points and suspended their crew chiefs, car chiefs, engineers and competition directors for six Sprint Cup races – Keselowski’s worst finishes came during this period.

When all is said and done, Keselowski only trails 12th place man Kasey Kahne by two points, and if he could just perform in the next eight races before the Chase begins, he could nab a wild card berth.

It would be really great to see Keselowski show some of that former champion spirit and claw his way back up the standings. You never know, with a single win and a few good drives, he may even grab 10th place before the Chase.

 

James Harris is a NASCAR writer for RantSports.com Follow him @gentlemanity and “Like” him Facebook or add him to your network on Google+