Keselowski win in Kansas shows importance of gambling to win under new Chase system
And after Rochester Hills native Brad Keselowski parlayed a fuel gamble into a win Sunday at Kansas City, one thing is clear. That gambling might get you into the Chase.
After what hasn’t been a stellar start to the season so far, Brad is now 21st in points and has one win. In order to earn a Chase Wild Card spot, he needs to be between 11th and 20th in points and be among the top drivers in that span with the most wins. While not likely, it’s possible that one win will be enough, though 2 is probably a safer number to have.
So to lay out the scenario, if Brad has a mediocre season, finishes in the top 20 each won, and can eke out one more race win – by fuel mileage or good old-fashioned speed – he will be able to make the Chase without being a dominant car all year.
This changes the game, as more drivers outside the top-10 will be willing to gamble as they know it will be their only chance to make the Chase. Regan Smith is 29th in points, but he could improve enough to make the Chase too, similar to the keselowski scenario.
Some would say this is gimmickry and they don’t like it. … I say hogwash, the rules are the same for everyone, so no driver has a basis for complaint. It’s simple: If you win a couple races, you’ll probably make the Chase. If you don’t you won’t unless you’re in the top 10.
Sounds good to me. Winning is what it should be about, and this is one more way to emphasize it.
Congrats to Brad, who continues to make Michigan proud as his star ascends in NASCAR, as he drives for Roger Penske – another big name in Michigan.
And I’m willing to bet that the final few races leading up to the Chase are going to be even crazier than usual with everyone battling for those wild card spots … should be fun to watch.
Another letdown for Jr.
Two weeks – two possible wins by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on fuel mileage … I swear I’m not making this up.
Dale Jr., NASCAR’s favorite son, nearly won again, falling just short to a kid he brought to the big leagues not too long ago named Keselowski.
Jr. had a healthy attitude about the whole situation after the race, despite the disappointment.
“We've had some runs where we drove ourselves into the positions where we finished. We finished well by running well and by getting lucky. And that's what championship teams do. And you always scratch your head when Jimmie and them guys look like they're out of it and next thing you turn around at the end of the race and they're right there in the middle of it. And you're like: How in the world? So now I guess I'm on that side of the fence. I see some of it and I see why it happens. But it's just rolling the dice, man, that's what it was. You know how the dice is, sometimes it works for you and sometimes it don't.”
And as a bonus we got not-so-scientifically based tips from Jr. on how to recover physically from such a hot race.
“I want to lay by the pool and drink some vodka or whatever. I'll probably chug a lot of water tonight so I'm hydrated for tomorrow. I heard drinking pickle juice is good for you or Pedialyte. I'll give it a shot.”
Become a fan of the Facebook page NASCARBeyond