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Championship 4: Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski will make his second appearance in the Championship 4 in search of his second NASCAR Cup Series title.

Keselowski By The Numbers:
2 – Number of career appearances in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 (2017, 2020).
6 – Number of top-five finishes at Phoenix Raceway.
4 – Number of NASCAR Cup Series wins in 2020
7 – Number of stage wins during the 2020 season.
7.7 – Average starting position during the first 35 races of 2020 season.
10 – Number of top-10 finishes at Phoenix Raceway.
10.3 – Average finishing position during the 2020 season.
12 – Number of top-five finishes in the first 35 races of 2020 season.
12.1 – Average finishing position during the first nine races of the 2020 Playoffs.
13.5 – Average finishing position at Phoenix Raceway.
23 – Number of top-10 finishes during the 2020 season.
35 – Total number of Playoff points accumulated in 2020.
93.8 – Career driver rating at Phoenix Raceway – seventh-best among active drivers.
99.4 – Season-to-date driver rating – sixth-best among active drivers.
248 – Total number of laps led at Phoenix Raceway.
936 – Total number of laps led in the 2020 season.
9,427 – Total number of laps completed in the 2020 season (98.2%).

Keselowski looks to become third active multi-time Cup champion
Over the last two decades, winning multiple NASCAR Cup Series championships has been rare, only three drivers have accomplished the feat from 2000 to 2019 – seven-time champ Jimmie Johnson (2006-2010, 2013, 2016), three-time champ and NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart (2002, 2005, 2011) and two-time champ Kyle Busch (2015, 2019). This season, Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski has the chance to add his name to the list and become just the third active driver with multiple titles.

Keselowski brought Team Penske their first NASCAR Cup Series championship back in 2012 and then Joey Logano secured the organization’s second Cup title in 2018. Why Keselowski will win the 2020 Cup Series title

One thing that has been consistent through the years at Team Penske is that Keselowski has been impressive in his career. He is currently riding a 10-year streak of at least one win each season in the NASCAR Cup Series. He has made the Playoffs nine times in his career and this weekend marks the second time he has advanced to the Championship 4 round (2017, 2020). In total, the 36-year old has put up 34 NASCAR Cup Series victories.

Looking back at the 2020 season, Keselowski slipped in the season-opener at Daytona finishing 36th due to an incident, but quickly recovered to ramble off three wins (Charlotte-1, Bristol and New Hampshire) and 19 top 10s to secure his spot in the postseason. He entered the Playoffs seeded third with 29 Playoffs points.

A late surge lifts Keselowski to Championship 4
The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs have been a roller coaster ride for Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski. The 2012 series champ jumped into the postseason with an 11th-place finish at Darlington and then followed that up with a win at Richmond Raceway to secure his spot in the Round of 12.

Following his win at Richmond, Keselowski went on a skid laying down a 34th-place finish at Bristol, a 13th at Las Vegas and then 18th at both Talladega and the Charlotte ROVAL. Buoyed by his Playoff points, Keselowski barely made the Round of 8, but the opportunity gave him the chance to turn his postseason around and he did so by finishing fourth at Kansas and sixth at Texas. Heading into Martinsville last week Keselowski, held the fourth and final transfer spot into the Championship 4 and his fourth-place result at 0.526-mile track was enough to land his No. 2 team into the Championship 4.

Keselowski’s career performances in the Arizona desert
Though he has yet to win at Phoenix Raceway, Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski enters this weekend with a lot of optimism he can grab his second title.

The Michigan native driver has made 22 series starts at Phoenix Raceway posting six top fives and 10 top 10s. His average finish at Phoenix is 13.5, seventh-best in series and third-best among the Championship 4. Keselowski is also ranked in the top 10 in several key pre-race Loop Data categories with an Average Running Position of 12.179, seventh-best in the series, a Driver Rating of 93.8, seventh-best, 366 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best and 4,898 Laps in the Top 15 (71.3%), 10th-most. Keselowski started 14th and finished 11th in the Cup race at Phoenix early this season.

Crew Chief Corner: Jeremy Bullins
During the 2019 offseason Team Penske made headlines with a crew chief shake-up amongst its three teams and for the first time in in the Cup Series, Brad Keselowski and Jeremy Bullins were paired together for the 2020 season.

Jeremy Bullins began his NASCAR career with the Wood Brothers in 2000 as race engineer on the famous No. 21 team; a position he held until June 2002. From 2003 to 2011, Bullins worked with three different teams as race engineer in the NASCAR Cup Series – ST Motorsports, Robert Yates Racing and Richard Childress Racing.

In 2012, he accepted a position as crew chief for Team Penske’s No. 22 NASCAR Xfinity Series team. He led five drivers in 2012 and posted three wins with former champion Brad Keselowski – including the inaugural Indy 250 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bullins served as crew chief for four drivers in 2013 at Team Penske, leading the crew to 12 wins and Roger Penske’s first NASCAR Xfinity Series owner title. Bullins led the No. 22 team and five drivers in 2014 to Team Penske’s second NASCAR Xfinity Series owner title after posting six wins.

In 2015, Bullins returned to the Wood Brothers organization to lead the No. 21 team with Ryan Blaney in the NASCAR Cup Series. The pair worked together for three years at the Wood Brothers Racing organization before making the transition back to Team Penske in 2018 where he led Ryan Blaney to the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Playoffs. Blaney eventually finished 10th in the final Cup Series point standings as he scored then career bests in top fives (eight), top 10s (16), poles (three) and laps led (660). Last season the duo closed out 2019 by finishing a career-best seventh in the final NASCAR Cup Series standings.

This season, Keselowski and Bullins have both been pulling in the same direction and it shows. The No. 2 team has not only qualified for the Championship 4 but has also put up some pretty decent numbers in the first 35 races together

  • 4 wins
  • 12 top fives
  • 23 top 10s
  • 936 laps led
  • NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 appearance in inaugural season together (2020)
  • NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs appearances in inaugural season together (2020)

If Keselowski and Bullins win the championship this season, Bullins will become the 41st different crew chief in the series to win a championship.