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. IndyCar Driver Review: Sebastian Saavedra

    Oct 2, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

    Sebastian Saavedra AP

    Sebastian Saavedra ends last among full-time IndyCar drivers for the second year in a row.

  2. Verstappen set to make F1 history in Japanese GP practice just three days after turning 17

    Oct 2, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Previews Getty Images

    He can’t drive a road car on his own at home in the Netherlands, but Max Verstappen will be driving a Toro Rosso in FP1 at Suzuka on Friday.

  3. IndyCar Driver Review: Carlos Huertas

    Oct 2, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Grand Prix of Indianapolis Getty Images

    Carlos Huertas ends P20 in his first IndyCar season, with that freaky Houston win.

  4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. as Knight Rider? (VIDEO)

    Oct 2, 2014, 11:06 AM EDT

    AAA 400 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. plays Knight Rider in “Funny or Die” video.

  5. As Alonso nears the Ferrari exit, Bianchi awaits his chance

    Oct 2, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT

    F1 Testing At Silverstone - Day Two Getty Images

    The Marussia driver could be in line to replace Alonso at Ferrari if the Spaniard is released one year early.

  6. Typhoon set to hit Japan on Sunday, putting GP schedule at risk

    Oct 2, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    © UBIMET © UBIMET

    Category four typhoon could force the race to be held on Saturday instead of Sunday.

  7. 2014 Japanese Grand Prix Preview

    Oct 2, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Previews Getty Images

    Umbrellas at the ready! This weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix is going to be a rainy one.

  8. IMSA: Titles on the line at Petit Le Mans

    Oct 2, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT

    Joao Barbosa AP

    Titles on the line at the TUDOR Championship finale in Atlanta.

  9. IndyCar Driver Review: Graham Rahal

    Oct 2, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT

    NTT DATA Qualifying Day - Firestone 600 Getty Images

    Graham Rahal ends P19 after a tough season, but he was better than the stats would indicate.

  10. Merhi, Stevens get Suzuka FP1 outings with Caterham, Marussia

    Oct 1, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens to run in FP1 at Suzuka.

  11. IndyCar Driver Review: Takuma Sato

    Oct 1, 2014, 11:35 PM EDT

    SatoPost Getty Images

    Results and statistics don’t tell the tale for Takuma Sato’s hard-luck 2014 IndyCar season.

  12. IndyCar Driver Review: Jack Hawksworth

    Oct 1, 2014, 10:57 PM EDT

    HawkTOR AP

    Jack Hawksworth overachieved in his first Verizon IndyCar Series season.

  13. NASCAR AMERICA: Edwards and Kahne on rest of Chase format (VIDEO)

    Oct 1, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Cheez-It 355 At The Glen - Practice Getty Images

    Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne check in on the Contender round of the new Chase format.

  14. NASCAR AMERICA: Jimmie Johnson on “flying under the radar” (VIDEO)

    Oct 1, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    Sylvania 300 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Jimmie Johnson not a fan of the “under the radar” terminology.

  15. NASCAR Truck penalty for No. 20 team upheld

    Oct 1, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT

    nascarlogo

    A P2 penalty issued to No. 20 NASCAR Truck team upheld after appeal.

  16. Caterham denies future is at risk despite goods being seized

    Oct 1, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Caterham Getty Images

    Bailiffs seize goods at Leafield, but Caterham issues a statement saying that it is business as usual.

  17. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET — All 12 drivers in Chase Contenders Round

    Oct 1, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT

    141001-NASCAR-AMERICA

    Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America goes in-depth with all 12 drivers in Round 2 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, also known as the Contenders Round.

  18. Report: Australian-owned team, driver and sponsor to debut in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2015

    Oct 1, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT

    NCWTS logo

    While Marcos Ambrose is returning to his native Australia after this season, a new Australian-owned team is set to make its debut in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series next season, complete with an Australian-born driver and Aussie primary sponsor.

  19. Bill Elliott makes awesome $4.2 million real estate deal

    Oct 1, 2014, 1:53 PM EDT

    (Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Bill Elliott figured real estate would be a good investment many years ago, and did that belief ever pay off for the soon-to-be NASCAR Hall of Famer.

  20. Ryan Villopoto leaving American motocross, will race MXGP series for ‘final year of racing’

    Oct 1, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT

    Photo credit: Matt Rice/ProMotocross.com Photo credit: Matt Rice/ProMotocross.com

    Kawasaki officially announced that reigning supercross champion Ryan Villopoto will head to Europe next year to race the MXGP series. Davi Millsaps and Wil Hahn will replace him on the American Monster Energy Kawasaki team.

Video from NASCAR America

Drivers discuss new Chase format
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1595)
  2. K. Harvick (1490)
  3. K. Busch (1350)
  4. J. Coulter (1210)
  5. R. Blaney (1163)