NASCAR Notes: Keselowski Going For Three Titles
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on August 12, 2014 | 2:38 P.M. EST
Brad Keselowski, with Ryan Blaney, earlier this season, is focused on winning three NASCAR titles this season. (Photo: Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski admits the preseason goal “sounds a bit ridiculous,’’ but with about three months left in the NASCAR season, he still has a chance to reach his lofty goal of winning a Sprint Cup championship and being a part of a Nationwide title and a Camping World Truck Series crown in the same season.
Heading into this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway, Keselowski has qualified for the Chase (pending he attempts to qualify for the next four races). In the Nationwide Series, Keselowski has driven the No. 22 car for Roger Penske, who is second in the owner standings, trailing Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 54 car by three points. In the Truck series, Keselowski owns the ride for Ryan Blaney, who leads the driver standings by seven points on Johnny Sauter.
“One of my goal sets for the year was being a part of winning all three championships,’’ Keselowski said. “The Sprint Cup championship is a priority. I think we're in position to make a run at that. The Nationwide owners championship for Roger Penske, we are certainly in a position to win that. Then the Truck championship with Ryan Blaney, who is leading the championship points.
“In a lot of ways this is shaping up to be a career‑best year for me if we can close it all out. I think we have a great opportunity for that.’’
There have been 12 different winners this season, leaving four spots - for now - for winless drivers based on points.
Among non-winners, Matt Kenseth has the most points with 773. The other three non-winners in a Chase transfer spot at this time are: Ryan Newman (645 points), Kyle Larson (635) and Clint Bowyer (634).
The top five non-winners not in a Chase transfer spot are: Greg Biffle (626 points), Kasey Kahne (622), Austin Dillon (616), Marcos Ambrose (584) and Paul Menard (574).
AJ Allmendinger’s victory took a spot for a non-winner. Allmendinger becomes the fifth driver 15th or deeper in the points eligible for the Chase with a win. Those drivers are Kyle Busch (15th in points), Denny Hamlin (20th), Aric Almirola (22nd), Kurt Busch (23rd) and Allmendinger (24th).
Clint Bowyer has scored seven consecutive top-10 finishes at Michigan International Speedway, the longest active streak. ... Dale Earnhardt Jr. has only two finishes outside the top 10 in his last 10 races (11th at Watkins Glen and 14th at Daytona). ... Rookie Austin Dillon has had only two finishes of 14th or better in the last 14 races (fifth at Daytona and 10th at Indianapolis). ... Brad Keselowski Racing announced Tuesday that Alex Tagliani will make his Camping World Truck Series debut Aug. 31 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.