Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders have won eight of the last nine Chase races at Dover International Speedway, which will host Race No. 3 of the 2013 post-season – the AAA 400 – this afternoon.
But if you’re looking for a potential spoiler among those not battling for the championship, you may want to keep an eye on the “Blue Deuce.” Brad Keselowski will roll off sixth today at the “Monster Mile” and is the defending champion of this race; it was his second race win in last year’s Chase and set him on to the 2012 Sprint Cup title. Additionally, he was fastest in final practice yesterday.
And while Keselowski has not won a race since then, he’s motivated by proving that he and his Penske Racing team are still a group to be reckoned with. For his part, he doesn’t see Dover as a reminder of the fact he hasn’t been in Victory Lane in a while.
“I look at it as it’s been every week that I haven’t won,” he said on Friday after qualifying. “That’s how I think of it. You’ve got to move forward as fast as you can in this sport because if you’re not moving forward this sport will move without you.
“Looking back at where we were at last year is something I’m certainly very proud of, but I’m obviously looking forward at what we can do to win now.”
That’s the only focus Keselowski has in these remaining races of the 2013 season. They don’t have to worry about where the other Chasers are in the points. They can just zero in on taking the checkered flag and salvaging what has been an inconsistent season.
If he can stay out of trouble on Dover’s fast concrete, he could be mixing it up for the win this afternoon.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.