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NASCAR Chase Standings 2012: Brad Keselowski Steals Sprint Cup Lead at Dover

DOVER, DE - SEPTEMBER 30:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 30, 2012 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images
David DanielsSenior Writer ISeptember 30, 2012

Brad Keselowski is a prophet.

On Sunday, the 2012 NASCAR Chase contender leapfrogged Jimmie Johnson for the spot atop the Sprint Cup standings. While he didn’t actually predict his victory, he guaranteed one thing that did come true.

Keselowski tweeted prior to the FedEx 400 at Dover:

Spoiler alert- whoever wins the race today will be the new media favorite to win championship.Lol

— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) September 30, 2012

Like I said. A prophet. After his triumph, Keselowski is without a doubt the new championship favorite.

He didn’t dominate the race—Keselowski only led 14 laps—he just happened to lead when it mattered: at the end. Not only did he claim his fourth win of the season, but he is now in the driver’s seat to win the Sprint Cup Series title.

“I can’t state loudly enough how much longer this battle is," Keselowski said after the race, via SPEEDTV.com. "It’s very tempting, whether it’s the media or the teams themselves, to get in a comfort zone and say so-and-so has control of this Chase.

“There’s a reason it’s 10 rounds. We’re not even halfway. We’re three rounds in. We’re not the favorite. Certainly, we’re not the underdog at this point. There is so much racing to go and so many opportunities for things to go wrong or right.”

Johnson, who Keselowski passed in the standings, ironically held a lead over him late in the FedEx 400 as well. He led 43 laps, but Johnson couldn’t hold on, and it cost him.

No one led longer than Kyle Busch, though.

He isn’t eligible to win the Sprint Cup crown, but that didn’t stop Busch from controlling the majority of the race. The field ate his exhaust for a whopping 302 laps, and his dominance makes his seventh-place finish that much more painful.

Busch ended up crossing the finish line after Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr., who led a combined one lap.

Denny Hamlin, who just won the Sylvania 300, won the race’s pole position and was in striking distance of the Chase lead. But he failed to cash in on his golden opportunity and finished eighth.

Here are the current Chase standings after Sunday’s action.

 

2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings

Rank Driver Behind
1 Brad Keselowski ---
2 Jimmie Johnson
-5
3 Denny Hamlin -16
4 Clint Bowyer -25
5 Tony Stewart
-32
6 Kasey Kahne -32
7 Dale Earnhardt Jr. -39
8 Martin Truex Jr. -42
9 Kevin Harvick
-46
10 Jeff Gordon
-48
11 Greg Biffle
-51
12 Matt Kenseth
-72

 

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.

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