Brad Keselowski won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. The 2013 season will not see a repeat as the driver of the No. 2 Penske Racing Ford failed to make the Chase – NASCAR’s version of the postseason.
Keselowski entered Saturday nights race 15th in the points and after leading a large number of laps midway though the race that is where he finished when the checkered flag dropped at the 3/4 mile Richmond International Raceway.
Last season Keselowski won a career high five races driving a Dodge for Penske Racing but this season the organization made a manufacturer switch to Ford and thus far the 29-year-old driver has failed to win a race.
Joey Logano, Keselowski’s teammate, scored a win a few weeks ago at Michigan and benefited from a late race spin by Clint Bowyer at Richmond to earn a Chase spot.
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“We were pretty good at the start and led a lot of laps,” Keselowski said in a post race interview. “I think we led the most laps but we just weren’t strong enough to really stay up there. We needed clean air to really run well and once we lost that, we just weren’t strong enough.”
By missing the Chase, Keselowski becomes the first champion since Tony Stewart in 2006 to make the Chase the season after his championship but only ten drivers qualified from the Chase that season.