Brad Keselowski likely won’t have to worry about missing the Chase for the Sprint Cup this year after winning yesterday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of fuel on the final lap while leading.
The victory capped a stellar weekend for Keselowski, who also held off Kyle Busch on Saturday to win the 300-mile race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast spoke with the 2012 Cup champion in Victory Lane yesterday, and you can catch the interview during today’s episode of NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Despite losing out, Earnhardt remains on a white-hot start with three consecutive Top-2 finishes. He’s now just the fifth driver to begin a Cup season in that fashion (Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Dale Jarrett and Jimmie Johnson being the others), and Marty Snider will have more on that in a report from Hendrick Motorsports headquarters.
Plus, NBCSN contributor Jeff Burton will talk about how the Gen-6 car worked with the new rules package from his perspective after finishing 17th in yesterday’s race.
In case you wish to watch today’s show online, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.
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Again, CLICK HERE at 5 p.m. ET to watch NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA.
Car No.: 27
Best Finish: P6 (Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Abu Dhabi)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 10th
Expectations were hard to peg for Renault heading into its second full season back in F1 with a factory team, but Nico Hulkenberg was surely expected to be the man spearheading its charge.
With teammate Jolyon Palmer severely underperforming, Hulkenberg did exactly that, bringing home all but 14 of the team’s points in the final standings. However, consistency was never something he truly found.
Many of Renault’s issues were down to reliability issues, sidelining Hulkenberg for six races – four coming in a five-race stint from Singapore to Mexico – yet he only scored points in consecutive races on three occasions.
When Hulkenberg and Renault were on form, they proved to be a potent combination, often topping the midfield fight and even looking faster than Force India come the end of the season. His run to sixth at the final race in Abu Dhabi was crucial for the constructors’ championship as Renault jumped Toro Rosso, securing an extra slice of prize money in the process.
But for a driver who was so often tipped as being a future star in F1, Hulkenberg still has a lot to prove. Renault is set to offer a good platform for the German moving forward with factory support, yet if he cannot beat new teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. through 2018, concerns will surely be raised.
Season High: Charging to sixth in Abu Dhabi despite a penalty.
Season Low: A tough run to 16th in Malaysia.