Brad Keselowski: Why He Is a Legit NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase Contender in 2011

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Brad Keselowski: Why He Is a Legit NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase Contender in 2011
John Harrelson/Getty Images

At this point last season, Brad Keselowski had zero top-10 finishes. After shocking the racing world with a win at Talladega in April 2009 (we all remember that race for the infamous Carl Edwards crash), the Michigander was the top prospect in the sport and eventually landed at Penske Racing.

A year of meddling in upper-tier equipment would be enough for some teams to cut a driver loose; instead, Roger Penske placed "Special K" in his iconic No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge for the 2011 season. Turns out, it was a wise move, as Keselowski—with help from young crew chief Paul Wolfe—seems like a complete lock to make the Chase with three wins this season.

Here's why Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s former protege is now a legitimate contender for the Sprint Cup championship.

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