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Despite Chase battle, Keselowski set for NNS-Cup double this weekend

Aug 3, 2013, 4:44 PM EDT

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If the Chase for the Sprint Cup began this weekend, Penske’s Racing Brad Keselowski would not have the chance to defend his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Winless in 2013, the Michigan native is 13th in the standings, just six points out of 10th-place Jeff Gordon.

But even though Keselowski is facing a grueling battle to make the Chase, which continues tomorrow with the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway, that won’t stop him from competing in tonight’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Iowa Speedway.

Furthermore, he’s bringing members of his No. 2 Ford Fusion pit crew along with him into the cornfields.

“I had committed [to the NNS race] and Iowa is a special track to me and the Nationwide program is important to me as well,” Keselowski said on Friday at Pocono. “We have been having some struggles on pit road and that has led to part of our [overall] struggles, and we are using this as a weekend for the Cup pit crew to go out there and pit the Nationwide car and try to get better on pit road.

“Going to Iowa is a way for me to support that cause. I am trying to look at the positives that way.”

Keselowski brushed off any idea that the Nationwide race would add negative wear and tear for him, saying “I get paid to be tough enough to do that – that is my job.” He also considers the trip to Iowa as a promise that needed to be kept.

“That is just as important as anything else I do,” he said.

Still, he might have caught a break physically when rains washed out two Sprint Cup practice sessions this morning at Pocono. On Friday, Keselowski qualified 11th for Sunday’s Cup event in Pennsylvania.

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