Skip to content

What’s happened to defending Sprint Cup champ Brad Keselowski?

Jul 1, 2013, 1:33 PM EDT

Brad Keselowski Getty Images

After a great start to the season, defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski has had nothing but struggles over much of the last nine races.

First off, after being as high as first in the standings earlier in the season, the Michigan native fell four spots, from ninth to a season-low 13th place in the rankings after finishing 33rd at Kentucky on Sunday.

Keselowski is now 145 points behind points leader Jimmie Johnson. But on the plus side, Keselowski is only 14 points out of the top 10 (teammate Joey Logano sits in that position, 131 points behind Johnson).

Keselowski began the season with a pair of third-place and two other fourth-place finishes in the first four races. But in the last nine races, starting with Richmond, he has four finishes of 30th or worse (Richmond, Darlington, Charlotte and Kentucky), three other finishes between 15th and 21st (Talladega 15th, Pocono 16th, Sonoma 21st), a 12th-place showing (Michigan) and just one top10 outing (fifth at Dover).

And let’s not forget that Keselowski has not won even one race on the Sprint Cup side this season.

By comparison, he had three wins by this point last season (including winning at Kentucky), which would stake him to an eventual series-high five wins across the entire 2012 campaign en route to his first Sprint Cup title.

While Keselowski had lots to boast about last season, there’s not been a great deal up to this point. After Sunday’s race, about the only positive thing he had to say after being clipped by Kurt Busch on Lap 47, spending over 100 laps in the garage to repair the damage on his race car, and then managing to return to the event in its latter stages was the fact he finished 33rd instead of potentially as low as 40th (which is likely where he would have wound up if it hadn’t of been for his team repairing the damage to his car).

“It is a wreck,” Keselowski said of the incident with Busch. “Wrecks happen. It takes a chain of events to get there. We had the bottom lane on two or three restarts in a row and got shuffled back a little bit. We were trying to (be) patient because it looked like we will get the whole race in before rain and there was no reason to be very aggressive. Apparently I am the only one that got that memo. It is one of those deals.

“I’m really proud of my guys and how hard they worked to get me back out. We picked up seven spots so it was definitely worth all the work. We just need to start finishing where we deserve to be.”

There’s an interesting irony to all this, though: Keselowski finished second in the trucks series race on Thursday night at Kentucky, rallied to win the Nationwide Series race on Friday, and then had such terrible luck in Sunday’s rain-delayed event.

Latest Posts
  1. Coletti returns to IMS for first time since 2006 this weekend

    May 6, 2015, 12:37 PM EDT

    ColettiBarber Getty Images

    Stefano Coletti returns to a track he won at nearly a decade ago, a rare track he knows in his rookie IndyCar season.

  2. Huertas returns, Dracone back as well for GP of Indy at Coyne

    May 6, 2015, 10:56 AM EDT

    GrumpyCatReturns Getty Images

    Carlos Huertas set for return at Dale Coyne Racing for this weekend’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

  3. Pagenaud primed for big month of May with Team Penske

    May 6, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    After a decent start on pace, Simon Pagenaud looks for results to match to kick off the month of May.

  4. New McLaren Honda livery revealed

    May 6, 2015, 9:25 AM EDT

    Photo: McLaren Photo: McLaren

    McLaren’s new darker graphite grey livery is unveiled.

  5. Q&A: IMS President Doug Boles heading into 2015 Month of May, 2016 planning

    May 6, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    BolesHiRes AP

    MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno speaks to Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J. Douglas Boles for an overview on the present plans and the future outlook as IMS rolls into the 2015 Month of May and ahead into 2016.

  6. Fast Facts: Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis

    May 6, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Ryan Hunter-Reay AP

    Fast facts heading into this weekend’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, courtesy of IndyCar PR staff.

  7. Justin Wilson looks to make most of Indy rides with Andretti Autosport

    May 5, 2015, 7:49 PM EDT

    justin wilson 2014 Getty Images

    Without a full-time ride for this season, Justin Wilson is happy to be back in a race car and to have a ride for at least the next two races.

  8. On eve of 300th IndyCar start, Helio Castroneves eyes record-tying fourth Indy 500 win

    May 5, 2015, 6:02 PM EDT

    Helio ST PETE 2015 AP AP

    Helio Castroneves hopes to enjoy the appetizer this weekend and then sink his teeth into the main course two weeks later.

  9. NHRA legend John Force turns 66, not slowing down any time soon

    May 5, 2015, 2:03 PM EDT

    (Photo courtesy International Motorsports Hall of Fame) (Photo courtesy International Motorsports Hall of Fame)

    At a time when many people would be embracing retirement, legendary NHRA drag racer John Force just keeps motoring along.

  10. Road America adds new video boards, makes further track investments

    May 4, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT

    Photo: Road America Photo: Road America

    Road America invests millions into some track upgrades for 2015.

  11. Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin named grand marshal for 2015 Indianapolis 500

    May 4, 2015, 2:18 PM EDT

    Photo: IMS Photo: IMS

    Nastia Liukin named grand marshal for this year’s Indianapolis 500.

  12. Tequila Patron ESM makes its Ligier JS P2 Honda race debut in Spa (VIDEOS)

    May 4, 2015, 1:33 PM EDT

    Photo: Tequila Patron ESM Photo: Tequila Patron ESM

    Videos from the debut of the new Ligier JS P2 Hondas for Tequila Patron ESM at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

  13. Andretti, Honda open strongly on Indy 500 opening day

    May 4, 2015, 11:35 AM EDT

    Photo: Honda Photo: Honda

    Early days yet, but seems as though Andretti Autosport is starting the month of May out on the right foot.

  14. Westbrook, Valiante score TUDOR win in Monterey

    May 4, 2015, 11:24 AM EDT

    TUDORmrlswin Getty Images

    The No. 90 Corvette DP pairing ends on top in Monterey.

  15. Montoya fastest on opening day of Indianapolis 500 practice

    May 3, 2015, 8:42 PM EDT

    Photo: IMS Photography Photo: IMS Photography

    Day one of the month of May is in the books at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  16. Iranian government planning to build Formula 1 circuit

    May 3, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Could we see the Iranian Grand Prix join the F1 calendar in years to come?

  17. Chester confident Lotus can compete with Red Bull

    May 3, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain Getty Images

    Lotus technical director Nick Chester expresses his confidence in the upcoming upgrade package for the E23 Hybrid car.