Hal Martin is taken out by Brad Teague soon after getting back on the lead lap.
Ride along with Joey Logano as he collides with fellow Penske teammate Brad Keselowski during the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski make contact bringing out the caution flag early in the running at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Kevin Harvick finishes second for eighth straight top-two finish RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings FONTANA, Calif. -- After Sunday's Auto Club 400 , there may be a warrant issued for Brad Keselowski . After all, the driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford committed his own version of "Grand Theft Auto" at Auto Club Speedway -- he stole an entire race. Benefitting from a four-tire call on the last lap of regulation and two opportune cautions that extended the event nine laps beyond its scheduled distance, Keselowski passed polesitter Kurt Busch on the final lap (209) and pulled away to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season. Trying to make one last desperation run at Keselowski, Busch scraped the wall in the final corner at the two-mile track, allowing Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick to pass him for the runner-up spot. Keselowski arrived at the finish line .711 seconds ahead of Harvick, simultaneously taking the checkered flag and leading his first lap of the day. The 2012 champion, who led the series with six victories last year, recorded his first victory at Fontana -- and his first finish higher than 18th -- and the 17th of his career. "At the end, we caught some breaks, made the most of the breaks we caught," Keselowski said. "That was kind of the story of our race. It looked like we were probably going to finish sixth or seventh. That yellow came out (on Lap 185 for debris). We came in and pitted and drove up a little bit, then caught another yellow. Now what do we do? "So (crew chief) Paul (Wolfe) made the call to come down pit road and put four tires on. When he said that, I said, 'This can either go really good or really bad.' Didn't know which one it was going to be. Some guys stayed out, some guys took two tires, all different types of strategies on the restart. "We were able to find our way through the lanes and get to the front there, somehow end up in Victory Lane leading the last lap. Kind of a race car driver's dream. This is one we're going to sit back and go 'Wow!' for a while." Keselowski can call it a break, but it was theft, pure and simple. Aside from a stretch before the halfway point where Denny Hamlin got out front in clean air and led 56 laps, the cars of Busch and Harvick dominated the race, leading 65 and 34 laps, respectively. But Keselowski’s Wolfe made what turned out to be the winning call on Lap 200, after NASCAR called the sixth caution of the race because of debris in Turn 4. Opting for four new tires, where the vast majority of the field took right sides only for track position, Keselowski restarted 18th on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish on Lap 203. The No. 2 Fusion quickly moved forward. When Kyle Larson lost his bumper cover during a melee on the restart, NASCAR threw caution No. 7, and by then, Keselowski was already up to seventh place. Using the new tires to full advantage, Keselowski shot into second place like a lightning bolt after a green-white-checkered restart on Lap 208. As Greg Biffle crashed on the frontstretch on the white-flag lap, Keselowski rocketed past Busch off Turn 2 and pulled away for the win. Busch came home third, followed by Richard Childress Racing teammates Paul Menard and Ryan Newman . Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Joey Logano , Martin Truex Jr ., Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon completed the top 10. Having won at Las Vegas and Phoenix in the previous two races, Harvick fell one position shy of completing a sweep of NASCAR's three-race West Coast swing, but he could commiserate with Busch, who was trying to win for the first time this season after serving a three-race suspension. "I hate that the 41 (Busch) wasn't able to hold on for the win there," said Harvick, who posted his eighth straight top-two finish, dating to last year, and extended his series lead over Logano to 28 points. "I would have loved to see those guys get their first win. "But you never know how the strategy is going to play out here. There's so many cars on the lead lap, you didn't want to get buried in there (by taking four tires). One little bad move for Brad , he would have been stuck in the middle of that traffic. But it all worked out for him. The second restart, he was in prime position up on the outside with fresh tires." Busch was disappointed but philosophical about the result. "It was a solid day," Busch said. "I don't know what we could have done different. We just got pinned in by the yellows and the sequence at the end on which tires we needed to have to optimize how many laps were left. "We had two tires; Keselowski had four. We didn't need that extra yellow at the end. That last restart, I just didn't get the job done, and I just got out muscled by Keselowski." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today All-time consecutive top-two finishes Streak Driver Year 11 Richard Petty 1975 10 Richard Petty 1971 10 Richard Petty 1967 9 Richard Petty 1964 8 Kevin Harvick 2014-15 8 David Pearson 1968
Take a stroll through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage with Matthew Dillner at Richmond International Raceway.
Kyle Busch reacts to a blog that Brad Keselowski wrote about the relationship between the two drivers in March.
2012 Sprint Cup champion optimistic about remaining Speedweeks slate Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge MORE: Full Sprint Unlimited results DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Brad Keselowski didn't get much chance to test out his Team Penske No. 2 Ford in race trim in Saturday night's season-opening Sprint Unlimited exhibition. After just 23 laps, Keselowski's car skidded to a halt in a mangled heap, leaving him with a last-place finish in the invitational 25-car field at Daytona International Speedway. RELATED: See the best photos from Saturday's race According to the former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ, there wasn't much to see. "The wall," Keselowski said, regarding his line of sight. "I don't know. I really need to see a replay to give an honest answer. The car is tore up so we are out but it was fast, so that was good." The first melee of the 75-lapper was sparked by a collision between Kyle Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet and Keselowski's No. 2 in the short chute before the start-finish line. Though Larson, last year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year, was able to continue, Keselowski's car shuffled down into the trioval grass before making hard contact with the outside wall. "Sorry, man. Larson came up on me," Keselowski radioed to his crew, before making the mandatory trip to the infield care center. Keselowski was uninjured, evaluated and released. Though his stint in the race was a short one, Keselowski gave a thumbs-up to how his car felt in race conditions. "Well, there wasn't much different about this package," he said. "It is more the intermediate and short track stuff but I thought it was good. It was pretty racey out there." Lead some laps and then wrecked; that's how plate racin goes... Happy and proud of my guys for the fast car. Time to focus on #DAYTONA500 — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) February 15, 2015 Keselowski hit the showers early for a 25th-place finish, well before the non-points race drew to a close. But though he was resigned to his Saturday night fate, he said he's optimistic for the balance of the schedule, which culminates in the Feb. 22 Daytona 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX). "It's part of racing at Daytona," said Keselowski, who led two laps after starting fourth. "Really happy with the speed of the Miller Lite Ford. We've got a lot of racing left in Speedweeks, this is just a preliminary and we'll be ready to go when it counts in the 500." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
A statistical look ahead to the season finale at Homestead RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 10, 2014) – Below is a look at the Championship 4 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and beyond at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida going into the Ford EcoBoost 400 on November 16. ESPN’s coverage begins at 2 p.m. (ET) and the race is scheduled for 3 p.m. (ET). HOMESTEAD-MIAMI-SPECIFIC STATISTICS 1 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.7 2014 Rundown · One win, seven top fives, 17 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 14.5 · Led 17 races for 313 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Two wins, four top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 11.2 in nine races · Average Running Position of 14.0, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 93.4, eighth-best · 88 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · Series-high 826 Green Flag Passes · 1,406 Laps in the Top 15 (58.5%), 11th-most 2 - Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.7 2014 Rundown · Five wins, 16 top fives, 22 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 11.2 · Led 22 races for 993 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top 10; one pole · Average finish of 20.8 in five races · Average Running Position of 19.5, 19th-best · Driver Rating of 71.2, 22nd-best 3 - Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.1 2014 Rundown · Four top fives, 15 top 10s · Average finish of 13.0 · Led 7 races for 41 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, four top 10s · Average finish of 17.0 in 12 races · Average Running Position of 13.8, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 84.8, 13th-best · 696 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most · 1,520 Laps in the Top 15 (63.2%), ninth-most · 426 Quality Passes, third-most 4 - Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.9 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 13 top fives, 19 top 10s; eight poles · Average finish of 13.3 · Led 26 races for 2,083 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Five top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 8.1 in 13 races · Average Running Position of 10.9, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 99.1, fourth-best · 83 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 681 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.857 mph, fifth-fastest · 1,805 Laps in the Top 15 (75.1%), fourth-most · 398 Quality Passes, sixth-most 5 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.6 2014 Rundown · Six wins, 16 top fives, 19 top 10s; five poles · Average finish of 12.9 · Led 27 races for 1,540 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top 10 · Average finish of 17.0 in six races · Average Running Position of 16.8, 14th-best · Driver Rating of 80.3, 16th-best 6 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.4 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 14 top fives, 22 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 10.4 · Led 25 races for 922 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 10.6 in 15 races · Average Running Position of 12.5, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 96.5, sixth-best · 91 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 678 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.852 mph, sixth-fastest · 1,734 Laps in the Top 15 (72.1%), sixth-most · 442 Quality Passes, second-most 7 - Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.8 2014 Rundown · 13 top fives, 21 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 13.4 · Led 20 races for 529 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One win, four top fives, six top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 16.5 in 14 races · Average Running Position of 8.6, third-best · Driver Rating of 109.8, third-best · 123 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.160 mph, third-fastest · 1,984 Laps in the Top 15 (82.5%), second-most · 364 Quality Passes, 10th-most 8 - Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.7 2014 Rundown · One win, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 17.0 · Led 15 races for 453 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, three top 10s · Average finish of 21.3 in nine races · Average Running Position of 14.8, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 93.4, seventh-best · 122 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 1,579 Laps in the Top 15 (65.7%), seventh-most · 396 Quality Passes, seventh-most 9 - Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.4 2014 Rundown · Two wins, seven top fives, 14 top 10s · Average finish of 14.5 · Led 11 races for 135 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Two wins, five top fives, seven top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 6.6 in 10 races · Series-best Average Running Position of 8.0 · Series-best Driver Rating of 115.5 · Series-high 266 Fastest Laps Run · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 162.432 mph · Series-high 2,057 Laps in the Top 15 (85.6%) · 382 Quality Passes, eighth-most 10 - Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.7 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 12 top fives, 20 top 10s · Average finish of 12.1 · Led 17 races for 383 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 20.7 in 14 races · Average Running Position of 19.1, 18th-best · Driver Rating of 76.9, 19th-best · 134 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 815 Green Flag Passes, second-most 11 - AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Hungry Jack Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 71.1 2014 Rundown · One win, two top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 19.6 · Led 5 races for 68 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 15.4 in five races · Average Running Position of 20.0, 21st-best · Driver Rating of 77.6, 17th-best 12 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 78.5 2014 Rundown · Three top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 15.7 · Led 7 races for 110 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Three wins, four top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 15.2 in 12 races · Average Running Position of 15.6, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 88.7, 12th-best · 103 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · 798 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.629 mph, 11th-fastest · 1,280 Laps in the Top 15 (53.2%), 12th-most · 302 Quality Passes, 12th-most 13 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.0 2014 Rundown · Four wins, 11 top fives, 19 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 15.5 · Led 17 races for 1,310 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · Four top fives, eight top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 14.8 in 13 races · Average Running Position of 13.0, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 96.6, fifth-best · 84 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.978 mph, fourth-fastest · 1,775 Laps in the Top 15 (73.8%), fifth-most · 402 Quality Passes, fifth-most 14 - Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.8 2014 Rundown · One win, six top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 19.2 · Led 14 races for 219 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One win, four top fives, five top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 19.8 in 13 races · Average Running Position of 22.9, 25th-best · Driver Rating of 72.0, 21st-best 15 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.3 2014 Rundown · One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 17.8 · Led 12 races for 218 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, four top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 15.2 in 10 races · Average Running Position of 12.9, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 90.0, 10th-best · 106 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 763 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 161.658 mph, 10th-fastest · 1,470 Laps in the Top 15 (61.1%), 10th-most · 370 Quality Passes, ninth-most 16 - Aric Almirola (No. 43 Smithfield Foods Ford) · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 72.1 2014 Rundown · One win, two top fives, seven top 10s · Average finish of 21.5 · Led 5 races for 23 laps Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook: · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 15.5 in four races · Average Running Position of 18.0, 15th-best · Driver Rating of 80.5, 15th-best The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2014 Championship Four at Homestead-Miami Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Denny Hamlin 9 0 2 4 5 0 11.2 93.4 2 Joey Logano 5 1 0 0 1 1 20.8 71.2 3 Ryan Newman 12 0 0 1 4 2 17.0 84.8 4 Kevin Harvick 13 0 0 5 11 0 8.1 99.1 * – Based on last nine races at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2005 – 2013). Homestead-Miami Speedway: History · Groundbreaking for Homestead-Miami Dade Motorsports Complex – as the track was originally named – began Aug. 24, 1993. · The first race held at Homestead-Miami Speedway was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Nov. 5, 1995 – won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett . · The original configuration was a four-turn, rectangular oval based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway 's layout. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead was held on Nov. 14, 1999 – won by Tony Stewart . · 2002 was the first season of the Championship Weekend at Homestead, with all three of NASCAR’s national series holding their season finale at the same track. Notebook · Since the inception of the position-based points system in 1975, only four drivers have made up a points deficit in the season finale: Richard Petty in 1979 (made up two points on Darrell Waltrip ), Alan Kulwicki in 1992 (made up 30 points on Davey Allison ), Jimmie Johnson in 2010 (made up 15 points on Denny Hamlin ) and Tony Stewart in 2012 (made up three points on Carl Edwards ). · There have been 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway , one per season since 1999. · 113 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead; 89 in more than one. · Two drivers have made all 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon . · David Green won the first Coors Light pole at Homestead in 1999 at a speed of 155.759 mph (34.669 sec.). · There have been 11 different Coors Light pole winners, led by Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards , Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with two each. · Youngest Homestead-Miami pole winner: Joey Logano (11/18/2012 – 22 years, 5 months, 25 days). · Oldest Homestead-Miami pole winner: Bill Elliott (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 month, 3 days). · Jamie McMurray (November, 2003) and David Reutimann (November, 2008) won their first career Coors Light poles at Homestead-Miami Speedway . · There have been nine different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Homestead-Miami; three have won more than once, led by Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart with three each. Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin (two each) are the only other drivers with multiple wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway . · Of the three drivers with multiple wins at Homestead, Tony Stewart is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Pontiac (1999, 2000) and Chevrolet (2011). · Two of the 15 (13.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole: Bill Elliott (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002). · Five of the 15 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from the front row: two from the pole and three from second-place. · 10 of the 15 (66.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position inside the top 10. · 5 of the 15 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position outside the top 10 – most recently - Jeff Gordon (15 th -place starting position; 2012). · Denny Hamlin won the 2009 race from the 38th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started at HMS. · Two drivers have won consecutive races at Homestead-Miami: Tony Stewart (1999 - 2000) and Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006, three straight). · Carl Edwards leads the series in average finish at Homestead with a 6.600; only two other drivers have an average finish inside the top 10: Kevin Harvick (8.078) and Martin Truex Jr. (9.222). · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Homestead with seven, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with five. · Youngest Homestead winner: Kurt Busch (11/17/2002 – 24 years, 3 months, 13 days). · Oldest Homestead winner: Bill Elliott (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 month, 3 days). · Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick lead the series in runner-up finishes at Homestead with two each. · Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Homestead with seven; followed by Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick with five each. · Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick lead the series in top-10 finishes at Homestead with 11 each; followed by Jimmie Johnson with eight. · Eight of the nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Homestead-Miami participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart (1999) is the only driver to win at Homestead in his first appearance. · Dale Earnhardt Jr. lead the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 14. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead was the (4/10/2010) race won by Greg Biffle with a MOV of 0.017 seconds. · Danica Patrick became the first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season; starting 24 th and finishing 20 th . NASCAR in Florida · There have been 176 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among eight tracks in Florida. Track Name City NSCS Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach 135 Homestead-Miami Speedway Homestead 15 Palm Beach Speedway W. Palm Beach 7 Speedway Park Jacksonville 6 Five Flags Speedway Pensacola 1 Golden Gate Speedway Tampa 1 Titusville-Cocoa Speedway Titusville 1 · 173 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Florida. · There have been 10 race winners from Florida in NASCAR’s three national series. Driver NSCS NNS NCWTS Fireball Roberts 33 0 0 LeeRoy Yarbrough 14 0 0 Marshall Teague 7 0 0 Joe Nemechek 4 16 0 Bobby Johns 2 0 0 David Reutimann 2 1 1 Aric Almirola 1 1 2 Shorty Rollins 1 0 0 Rick Wilson 0 2 0 Joey Coulter 0 0 1 Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Homestead-Miami Speedway · Homestead-Miami Speedway has been a part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the playoff’s inception in 2004. This season the track will host its 11th Chase event. · The winner of the Homestead-Miami Chase race has gone on to win the championship during the Chase era once: Tony Stewart (2011). · Greg Biffle leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami with three (2004 – 2006); followed by Carl Edwards with two (2008, 2010). · The worst finish in a Chase race by the eventual series champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway is 15th (three times), Tony Stewart in 2005, Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Brad Keselowski in 2012. · Chase Contenders have won seven of the 10 previous Chase races at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Two non-Chase contenders have won a Homestead-Miami Chase race: Greg Biffle (2004 and 2006) and Denny Hamlin (2013). · Four of the 10 previous Chase races at Homestead the eventual series champion has finished in the top five. · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway with six, including five consecutive: Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006), Matt Kenseth (2007) and Carl Edwards (2008). · Ford leads the series in Chase wins at Homestead with six; followed by Chevrolet with two. · The most dominant performance by a Chase race winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway is Carl Edwards victory in 2010. He posted a Perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 and led 190 of the 267 laps (71.1% of his laps completed) - most by a Chase race winner at Homestead. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Albert: 2012 series champ back to take-no-prisoners mindset RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota If Brad Keselowski clinches his second title at NASCAR's highest level this season, might his introduction as reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion draw the rarest of receptions? Polite, obligatory applause more befitting for a golf gallery. Or worse, crickets. Worse yet, boos. Two years ago at the finale of Champion's Week ceremonies in Las Vegas, Keselowski struck a gracious note in his speech before an audience of his peers, with the unscripted line "I want to be your leader" becoming the night's defining sound bite. Fast forward to 2014 and it's a much different, take-no-prisoners tone coming from the driver of the Team Penske No. 2 Ford. Keselowski may well hoist the Sprint Cup trophy by season's end, but barring a dramatic, 11th-hour mending of the fences over the next few weeks, the method will be by winning races instead of winning over friends. Still, he has to get there first -- a task made much more difficult when you're potentially perceived in the garage as Jean Girard, Russ Wheeler and Chick Hicks all rolled into one. During his first title run, Keselowski was regarded as an upstart, wielding the same brash, speak-first-and-apologize-later approach that has become especially familiar in recent weeks. As wins became more prevalent, the garage became acquainted with Keselowski's outspoken nature and, to some degree, welcomed it. At the same awards banquet in 2012, Tony Stewart offered his congratulations in prophetic words that ring just as true today: "I don't think Brad has learned to be cautious yet. Hopefully that won't bite him like it has a lot of drivers in the past. But it's refreshing. It's nice to see somebody that just speaks from the heart and isn't guarded when he speaks." Keselowski never lost his knack for candor, but last season, he lost out on the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs and won just once -- a subpar year that he attributed to straying from the aggressive mindset that had worked so well in his championship season. That mindset is back in a big way. Last Sunday's major dust-up at Texas Motor Speedway marked the second incident in the previous four races with Keselowski at the center of the conflict. In the process, he shifted four of the other seven remaining title-eligible drivers in the Chase solidly over to the "enemy" side of his ledger, a list that now includes Jeff Gordon , Denny Hamlin , Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth . Hamlin figures prominently in that group, not only because of their deep-rooted antagonism from years past but their most recent flare-up post-race at Charlotte Motor Speedway last month. In a frank, unflinching appearance on NASCAR's weekly teleconference Wednesday, Hamlin flatly admitted that, "it's tough to win a championship if nobody likes you." Keselowski's current focus on the championship race is so single-minded that being well-liked is far down the priority list. He's said he's "comfortable" with upsetting the status quo and rankling the feelings of others if winning is part of the trade-off. While Keselowski has embraced wearing the black hat, Hamlin said he's come to realize the merits of discretion as his career has grown. "If you ask me do you want a championship trophy or do you want the respect of your peers, I will take the respect from my peers because that trophy, they can't put in my casket," Hamlin said. "What's the fun of a NASCAR party that nobody shows up to?" Keselowski isn't running for office, nor is he trying to win a popularity contest. With a majority of the Eliminator 8 field against him and the rest at least neutral, the Chase's delegate from Michigan has faint chance at the ballot box. What Keselowski does have is a loyal teammate in Chase driver Joey Logano , a venerable team owner in Roger Penske that supports his hard-nosed racing, and top-notch equipment. That just might be enough. The jury's still out on whether Keselowski reverses course and makes heartfelt apologies for his rivals' ruffled feathers. Saying "I'm sorry" is a lot easier to stomach when you're sitting at the awards gala's head table, but it's also a lot easier to hear over the sound of crickets. With two races left, expect more chirping of a different sort. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Reddick to wheel No. 19 truck full-time; Theriault added to No. 29 team lineup Brad Keselowski Racing made its driver lineup complete for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2015, announcing the return of Tyler Reddick and the addition of Austin Theriault. BKR will continue to field two Ford entries for the full 23-race schedule. Reddick, who drove for the team in 16 races last year, will wheel the No. 19 on a full-time basis in 2015. Driving duties for the team's No. 29 Ford will be divided between driver/owner Keselowski; his Sprint Cup Series teammate, Joey Logano ; Ryan Blaney , last year's series runner-up; and truck series newcomer Theriault, who is scheduled for a 13-race slate next year. The organization also announced that Doug Randolph (No. 19) and Chad Kendrick (No. 29) would return as the team's crew chief. Broken Bow Records and Cequent Performance will share primary sponsorship of the No. 19 Ford, and Cooper Standard will return as primary backer of the No. 29 team. Reddick, who turned 19 years old Sunday, netted two pole positions and three top-five finishes in his partial schedule for BKR last season. Both poles and two of the top-fives came in the final five races of 2014. "The way we closed out the 2014 season was quite a statement for us as a team," Reddick said in a release provided by the team. "We were able to do some really good things toward the end of the year. It was a great way to end the season and keep the momentum rolling into 2015 as we compete for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. It's great to work with everyone at Cequent and Broken Bow Records again this coming season. I can't wait to get started." Theriault, 20, made his NASCAR national series debut last year, running three races for JR Motorsports in what is now the XFINITY Series. The Maine native spent 2012 and 2013 with the Keselowski team's driver development program in Super Late Model competition. "One of the things I wanted to do at BKR is give talented young drivers an opportunity," Keselowski said. "Both Tyler and Austin are perfect examples of what I'm trying to accomplish. We saw a lot of improvement with Tyler in 2014. He really stepped up his game during the second half of the season and I certainly think he can compete for wins and challenge for a championship in 2015. Austin was part of our driver development program so for him to have an opportunity to drive for us in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is pretty special." Team owner Keselowski won his first career Camping World Truck Series race last season at Bristol. It was his first win in the series in 62 starts. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule