Brad Keselowski won three consecutive races for the first time in his career, that included picking up the 500th win in motorsports for Roger Penske, en route to an eighth-place finish in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings.
In his ninth full-time season, Keselowski continued his streak of earning at least one win in a season dating back to 2011. The “Blue Deuce” had a strong year in terms of consistency with an average start of 10.3 and an average finish of 13.4.
The first 10 races of the regular season, Keselowski notched five top-10 finishes that included a stout weekend at Atlanta where he finished in second. His first win of the season did not come until Labor Day weekend when he took the checkered flag in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
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Following the win at “The Lady in Black” the Brad and his team closed out this regular season in a dramatic fashion at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After a weekend of rain, Brad passed Denny Hamlin for the lead with just two laps to go on a Monday afternoon to win the Brickyard 400.
After closing out the regular season on a high note, the hot streak continued in the desert at the Las Vegas for the opening playoff race. After a late race red flag, Brad was in the ultimate spot to gain another win. After a great restart he pulled away to pick up his third win in-a-row and give Roger Penske his 500th win as a team owner across multiple series.
“500 wins, huge day for the Captain (Roger Penske),” Keselowski said after the win. “I did it, boss! To start off the playoffs with a win, that’s really strong. It’s really a testament to this team here. They’ve been so strong on pit road and I couldn’t have done it without them. We weren’t as fast as the 78 car (Truex), but we nailed the pit stops and restarts when it counted.”
Even though he locked himself into the Round of 12, the highs of winning three races faded away after a 14th and 27th-place finish in the first two races at Dover International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Keselowski was a few points out from the cut line and needed help from a few others and a good finish. He finished sixth at Kansas but was 18 points away from making the next round.
While the aspirations of a championship came to an end, Keselowski capped off a solid season, he finished the season with three wins, 12 top fives and 20 top 10s and finished fifth in stage points with 287 (Ranked fourth among Cup Drivers in 2018).
Going into to 2019, Keselowski will still be at Penske in his No. 2 Ford Mustang, but a change will happen at the spotter position after 12 seasons with Joey Meier.
“I don’t know who my spotter is yet, we haven’t made the hire yet,” Keselowski said in Las Vegas at the Myers Brothers Awards. “There were multiple factors in why we made the change.”
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