Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

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8. Brad Keselowski

Friday, February 9, 2018


Brad Keselowski started the 2017 season like a house on fire. He won the second race of the year at Atlanta Motor Speedway and then rattled off nine more results of seventh or better in his next 10 races. That included another victory at Martinsville Speedway and three second-place results. Back-to-back accidents at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway, and then again at Daytona International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway failed to rob him of much momentum, but it might have had some kid of cumulative effect.

Keselowski scored three more top-10s following his crash in the Bluegrass State, but then he failed to finish that well for the next five events. By the time the playoffs rolled around, he was in a fairly notable slump. Keselowski buckled down and ran consistently in the final 10 races. He finished on the lead lap in all of the playoff races and even earned a third win for the season at Talladega SuperSpeedway, which was needed to propel him to the next round in championship contention.

Despite his solid runs, he failed to dominate the way he needed. Three of the last 10 races of the year ended outside the top 10; notably, two of these came on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks similar to the ones on which he tore up his equipment earlier in the year. The other came at Phoenix International Raceway and the short, flat tracks are critical to winning the championship.

One of the negative comments about Keselowski through the years has been that he lacks a certain maturity. While he is not as brash and reckless at the Busch brothers or as outspoken as Kevin Harvick, his off track persona can occasionally get in the way of a strong run. That has softened through the years, but it remains a concern—especially if things start to sour.

Keselowski and Joey Logano work so well as a team, however, that the sum of their parts are greater than the individual efforts. The introduction of Ryan Blaney to the Team Penske fold still needs to be evaluated, but there is no reason to think he will be a drain on the resources and after being affiliated through the Wood Bros. for a couple of seasons, he knows the program well enough to contribute notes. All three Penske pals should make the playoffs; Kez and JoLo will vie for top dog honors.

2017 Victories: Atlanta (spring), Martinsville (spring), and Talladega (fall)
Average Finish: 12.42
Top-fives: 15 (.417)
Top-10s: 21 (.583)
Top-15s: 26 (.722)

 

Track

3-Yr
Avg.
Fin

Career
Avg.
Fin

Career
Attempts

Career
Top-5s

Career
Top-10s

Race 1

Race 2

Auto Club Speedway

4.00

16.89

9

2

3

2

 

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

4.33

15.44

9

4

5

5

 

Pocono Raceway +

5.67

10.50

16

8

9

5

5

Chicagoland Speedway

6.33

9.22

9

4

7

6

 

Atlanta Motor Speedway

6.33

18.11

9

2

5

1

 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway *

7.67

9.82

17

7

11

9

4

Martinsville Speedway +

7.67

12.38

16

6

10

1

4

Watkins Glen International

8.33

10.75

8

4

5

15

 

Texas Motor Speedway *

8.33

15.11

19

5

8

6

5

Darlington Raceway

8.67

12.44

9

2

4

15

 

Richmond International Raceway

8.83

14.06

17

4

7

2

11

Michigan International Speedway

9.17

12.82

17

5

8

16

17

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

9.67

12.38

8

1

4

2

 

Talladega SuperSpeedway *

12.17

14.11

18

7

11

7

1

Sonoma Raceway

12.33

17.13

8

1

2

3

 

Kansas Speedway

13.17

13.13

16

3

8

2

13

Phoenix International Raceway

13.17

14.12

17

5

8

5

16

Charlotte Motor Speedway

13.67

15.00

17

3

7

39

15

Dover Downs International

14.33

15.41

17

5

7

38

10

Homestead - Miami Speedway

15.00

15.00

10

2

4

7

 

Kentucky Speedway

15.33

12.57

7

3

5

39

 

Daytona International Speedway

24.83

23.00

18

3

4

27

31

Bristol Motor Speedway

25.83

17.88

16

4

5

34

29

 

+ Top-five sweeps
* Top-10 sweeps

2018 Top-25 Fantasy Values

9. Blaney, Ryan 
10. Jones, Erik 
11. Johnson, Jimmie 
12. McMurray, Jamie 
13. Bowyer, Clint 
14. Suarez, Daniel 
15. Newman, Ryan 
16. Busch, Kurt 
17. Almirola, Aric 
18. Dillon, Austin 
19. Stenhouse Jr., Ricky 
20. Menard, Paul 
21. Bayne, Trevor 
22. Dillon, Ty 
23. Buescher, Chris 
24. Allmendinger, AJ 
25. Kahne, Kasey 

Rookie Watch

Wallace Jr., Darrell 
Byron, William



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



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