There is probably no one more ready to pull into Kentucky Speedway than Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski. A three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner at the 1.5-mile track – best among his peers – Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 (at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) may be just the kind of panacea his season could use.
The 2012 Monster Energy Series champion remains surprisingly winless through the opening 18 races, but his record in Kentucky gives him every rightful reason to be optimistic.
In addition to Keselowski’s three premier series wins here (in 2012, 2014, and 2016), he has three NASCAR Xfinity Series race trophies too. He won the pole position and led a record 199 of the 267 laps in his 2014 Cup triumph.
It may be just the motivation and expectation to right the ship for Penske’s No. 2 Ford team. Although he was involved in an accident Saturday night in Daytona Beach (his fourth DNF of the year), Keselowski had five top-10 finishes in the previous seven races leading into Daytona. Importantly, he has four top 10s in the six 1.5-mile tracks the series has run already in 2018. And his runner-up finish on the Atlanta mile-and-a-half is his best showing of any race this year.
Keselowski, 34, has won at least one race in the last seven seasons – and he’s won in eight of the past nine years leading into 2018.
He has the second-best driver rating at Kentucky (109.6) and is ranked among the top-10 in all major statistical categories. He’s finished seventh or better in five of the seven races at Kentucky. And he’s tops in one that’s not official – he’s won the last three races in even numbered years. It’s 2018.