Brad Keselowski off to hot start with 3 top-five finishes
Monday, Mar. 11, 2013
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 10, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS Brad Keselowski, fresh off his first Sprint Cup Series championship, is off to the best start of his career.
Following his third-place finish in Sundays Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Keselowski is the only driver to have top-five finishes in the first three races.
He didnt earn his third top-five until the 10th race of his championship season.
Keselowski should be ecstatic about his early success, but not so much.
I want to win, he said emphatically after the race.
Asked if he had a different perspective to the start of this season, Keselowski said, It is a different perspective because Im not happy with top-fives; I want wins.
Weve had a shot at winning all three races and come up short, whether it was circumstances or bad luck or today, just a little bit of execution, he said.
In retrospect, once you get a day to cool off from it, you say, Wow, thats really good, three top-fives, thats how Id have wanted to start the year. But with the way I finished last year, I wanted to win all three of these races.
Still, Keselowski and his No. 2 Penske Racing team find themselves in a much better position than even a year ago.
In his previous three full-time seasons, Keselowski had never been better than 13th in points after three races. He is second in points entering next weekend at Bristol, Tenn. five behind Jimmie Johnson. The two drivers battled for last seasons title.
Keselowski had to overcome some adversity in Sundays race before rallying for a chance at the victory. On a pit stop on Lap 162, his team dropped a lug nut, which resulted in an unusually long stop.
By Lap 231, he was back up to second following a fuel-only pit stop.
Certainly didnt give up there at the end. I thought I might have had a shot, Keselowski said. I would have loved to have gone up there and put a little pressure on (Kenseth) and see if he would have given me a shot, but that opportunity didnt come up unfortunately.
Still, like I said, solid day, great effort, and were off to a really solid start.