By Patrick Rall
Brad Keselowski might be headed for a Ford Fusion after the
end of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season but that isnt stopping him from giving
it his all as he makes a strong run for the championship. Keselowski won his 5th race of the
season his 2nd race in the 2012 Chase for the Cup 10-race shooting –
putting him in the top spot with just 7 races left in what will be his final
season in a Dodge race car.
While only 2 of the 43 cars in the Sprint Cup field this
past Sunday at Dover were Dodge Chargers, both Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish
Jr started in the top ten. Keselowski
put his #2 Miller Lite Charger in the 10th spot to start the race
while Hornish put together an incredible qualifying run to start in the 4th
spot. In the early stages of the race,
Keselowski quickly began to work his way towards the front of the field while
Hornish spent time in the 3rd and 4th spot during the
first 50 or so laps. Unfortunately, due
to a poorly timed caution immediately following the #22 Shell/Pennzoil
Charger’s first pit stop – Hornish found himself a couple laps down. He would be forced to settle for a
disappointing 25th finishing position after dealing with tightness
issues all day after his early success.
On the other hand, things went much more smoothly for Brad
Keselowski. It only took Keselowski some
100 laps to get up around the top ten and even with a terrible pit stop about
160 laps into the race that put him at the tail end of the lead lap – BK
continued to fight his way towards the front of the field. Keselowski would spend the whole rest of the
day in the top 5 and when fuel became a concern late in the race, Keselowski
found himself taking over the top spot when Denny Hamlin was forced to
pit. Luckily, the #2 Dodge Charger had
enough fuel to go the distance, holding off Jeff Gordon to take home his 5th
win of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
With this win, Brad Keselowski is now in the first place
position in the 2012 Chase for the Cup with just 7 races left. He leads second place Jimmie Johnson by 5
points and with his 5th win of the season, Keselowski is now tied
with Denny Hamlin for the most wins in 2012.
Based on the results of the past few weeks, it appears that
Brad Keselowski’s Miller Lite crew has gotten the car dialed in, having put the
fuel injection issues that plagued him earlier this season in the past. BK looks to have a very real chance to claim
the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup title – giving him his first and the Dodge NASCAR
program its first since returning in 2002.
Sadly for Dodge fans, even a championship will not save the factory
backed NASCAR program as the Chrysler Group has announced that they will leave
all NASCAR backing after this season.
Even with the Dodge NASCAR program being laid to rest after
this season – a championship for Brad Keselowski wouldn’t be any less
sweet. After all, there would be no
better way for Dodge to leave the sport than going out on top. Unlike other brands such as Pontiac,
Oldsmobile and Buick that were phased out due to lack of success by teams
racing those brands – Keselowski is showing that the Dodge Charger is
competitive with the rest of the Sprint Cup field.