Brad Keselowski started from the pole, led the second-most number of laps in the race (78), overcame a late wreck and still almost won Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
All in all, not a bad day for the Sprint Cup points leader, who finished seventh in Sunday’s race, while teammate Joey Logano took his fellow Team Penske Ford to victory lane.
“We did have a shot,” Keselowski told ESPN after the race. “Our car was pretty good, we just missed it with a few things. I made a few mistakes, so I guess it was a good adversity day.
“(It was a) decent day, we didn’t get the win we wanted, but still have a lot to be proud of.”
Even though Logano won, Keselowski remains atop the Chase points standings, holding a one-point edge over Logano and a seven-point margin over third-ranked Kevin Harvick.
Even with the finish, Keselowski remains the favorite to win the championship eight races from now.
According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook oddsmakers, Keselowski remains a 3-1 favorite to win his second Chase in three seasons.
Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick are tied for second-best odds at 4-1, while six-time and defending Cup champ Jimmie Johnson is a 9-2 favorite, followed by Logano (7-1), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8-1) and Matt Kenseth (12-1).
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The invite has been received, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. has another iRacing event on his schedule.
The NASCAR on NBC analyst tweeted Wednesday that he will make his debut in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge with Saturday’s race at Michigan Speedway. The race will be shown live on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday.
The 2-mile oval was chosen by IndyCar drivers as the third track in the six-race series. Earnhardt heartily endorsed Michigan as a potential iRacing venue Monday along with Daytona and Talladega. Michigan nearly was selected by fans as the opener in the iRacing Challenge.
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Earnhardt, a longtime avid iRacing fan, had been lobbying since last Thursday that he was interested in racing with IndyCar drivers.
He has driven in the first three races of the eNASCAR Pro Invitational, finishing second to Denny Hamlin in the opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Last year, he attended his first Indianapolis 500, working as an analyst as part of NBC Sports’ inaugural broadcast of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
“I’d love to do it,” Earnhardt said Monday about joining the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. “I think I’d love to get to know those guys.
“I had such a great time at the Indy 500 last year, and the reception that I received from other drivers there really meant a lot to me. So I know they’re all a lot of great dudes in that series that I already know that I’d love to get to know some of them even better.”
It already has been quite the week for Earnhardt, who was announced Monday as one of 15 nominees for the 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The field for Saturday’s race at Michigan should include another NASCAR driver in Jimmie Johnson. The seven-time Cup champion has driven the first two races of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge (and has plans to race IndyCar part time in the future).