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Predicting NASCAR's 2011 Sprint Cup Champion: Brad Keselowski

RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, is interviewed after clinching a spot in the 'Chase for the Sprint Cup' following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 10, 2011 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Shannon BaxterContributor IOctober 3, 2011

As we entered the season at Daytona International Speedway in February, not many people expected Brad Keselowski to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, much less be a contender! 

With seven races left in the season, Brad has three wins and is currently in sixth position in points.  He is taking NASCAR by storm in just his second full-time year in the Cup series. 

Keselowski worked hard to get in the position that he is in. 

In the first nine races of the year he finished out of the Top-10, not getting his first Top-5 until Southern 500.  Since that race, Keselowski jump-started his game and raced his way to the Top-20 in points.  Earning three wins before the Chase for the Sprint Cup gave him the Wild-Card slot, granting him access to the Chase.

He hasn’t stopped his momentum there, finishing 12th at the Chase cut-off race at Richmond and earning two Top-5 finishes at Chicagoland and Loudon.  Even when his No. 2 Penske team faces challenges, like at Dover this past weekend, they still manage to rally back for a Top-20 finish.

Keselowski has strong statistics at the last tracks of the season.  We head to Kansas Speedway next weekend, where Brad earned his first win of this season.  He has one win in the Nationwide Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway and started on the pole for the Coca Cola 600 this year in the Cup Series. 

Brad won his first race in 2009 at Talladega Super Speedway and is one of the best drivers at restrictor plate racing. 

So why do I think Brad is going to be the 2011 Sprint Cup Champion?  

He doesn’t let other drivers get in his head.  Keselowski races his own race and doesn’t worry about what anyone else is doing on the track.  He has consistent finishes every week, not matter what circumstances he faces. 

Brad has a strong team in Penske that works hard in and out of the shop, to guarantee he has the best cars to go out and race with every week.

Overall, if I have to choose someone to win this year’s championship, I choose Brad Keselowski.

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