By admin | January 19, 2011
By Richard Allen
Last year, Brad Keselowski made a number of headlines for things that happened in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. Trouble was, very few of those headlines were for good performances.
Instead, his 2010 efforts at the sport’s top level were most noted for almost flying into the grandstands in Atlanta after a bump from rival Carl Edwards and for stating that, “Kyle Busch is an ass” during pre-race introductions at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
While those happenings certainly garnered the driver of the Penske South Racing Dodge a lot of attention, they did little to boost his standing where it truly mattered most. At the end of last season Keselowski found himself in the 25th spot of the final Sprint Cup standings with no wins and only two top-10 finishes. The driver did claim one pole during the season.
There is little doubt that Keselowski is a talented driver. He claimed the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship in 2010 winning six race wins and five poles in the process. However, for a Sprint Cup regular, winning a minor league title does equate to major league success.
This year, Keselowski is entering a somewhat new situation in the Sprint Cup ranks. He will move from car #12 which he drove last season to the more famed #2 with high profile sponsor Miller Lite.
That change of car number and paint scheme is the very reason Keselowski needs to upgrade his game in 2011. Kurt Busch and Rusty Wallace have established that ride as a serious contender on a weekly basis. No doubt, the Miller Brewing Company expects that to continue.
The recent NASCAR ruling forcing drivers to choose which particular series they wish to compete for a championship in could serve as a blessing in disguise for this Michigan native. Now, he can be freed from the concerns of contesting two different points battles. Also, not running for points in the Nationwide Series should reduce the likelihood of bad blood from Saturday spilling into Sunday, which has happened to Keselowski.
But aside from only trying for one championship, the biggest thing Keselowski has to do in 2011 is put the petty feuding behind him and focus on getting his car to the front. Too many times this driver has become entangled in controversies with others that have dragged on for long periods of time. No matter whose fault the initial situation may have been, Keselowski has to learn to just let some things go for the good of the big picture. Grudges will never end unless someone makes the decision to end them.
This season, Brad Keselowski’s second as a full time Sprint Cup driver, is a time in which he needs to emerge from the background and establish himself as a weekly contender at the sport’s top level.
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