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Keselowski Brothers Top Dogs At Texas Nationwide Race

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IApril 16, 2010

PHOENIX - APRIL 10:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #12 Abyss Dodge, looks on from the grid before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 10, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

The Keselowski brothers, Brad and Brian, are at the top of their games heading into the Nationwide race at Texas Motor speedway this weekend. 

Brad, the most visible brother, has just garnered the top spot in the points standings in the Nationwide Series.  Keselowski, in his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge, has moved ahead of nemesis Carl Edwards to lead the drivers’ standings for the first time ever in his career.

Keselowski claimed the top spot after his third place finish this past weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.  He now leads Edwards by just four points.

Keselowski has climbed in the points standings from 12th place after the first Nationwide race in Daytona, where he finished 13th.  He has led at least one lap in all of the six races to date, including a high of 72 laps at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Keselowski has put Dodge into the top dog status for the first time in the Nationwide points standings for only the third time ever.  The other drivers to accomplish this feat were Jamie McMurray and Reed Sorenson.

Brad’s brother Brian Keselowski is also at the top of his game, albeit for other reasons.  Keselowski, driving the No. 26 Stubb BBQ Dodge, moved into the top 35 in owners points, guaranteeing him a starting spot in the Texas Nationwide race.

This Keselowski brother is now 30th in points, a great improvement from the previous race where he did have to make it in on time.  Keselowski had been out of the top tier in points since the fifth race of the season.

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In addition to the Keselowski top dogs, another racer Kyle Busch is also at the top of his game heading into the Texas Nationwide race.  In fact, the Series reigning champ could go to the top of the record books with a win, which would tie Busch with Jack Ingram and Dale Earnhardt for five consecutive wins at the same track.

Busch has won four straight at the Texas Motor Speedway.  With a win, Busch would join Ingram, who won five-in-a-row at South Boston Speedway, as well as Earnhardt, who won five in a row at Daytona International Speedway at the top of the charts.

Bush is also top dog in the loop data at Texas Motor Speedway.  In the 181 NASCAR Nationwide races run at Texas, only 16 races have been won with a perfect driver rating of 150.0.

Eight of these 16 races have been won by Busch.  Edwards, with his runs at Kentucky and Dover, was the only other driver to have multiple 150.0 ratings.

While Busch has won the past four races at the Lone Star track, in the last three of those races Busch scored a perfect driver rating of 150.0.  Busch not only has the top driver rating but also leads in the average running and fastest lap statistics at that track.

Another Nationwide driver Scott Lagasee Jr. is in the top ten going into the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas.  Lagasee is currently in the top ten in the points standings, in fact smack dab in the 10th spot. 

Lagasee is the latest driver to occupy the 10th place spot.  He moved past Michael Annett, driver of the No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota, to snag that top 10 slot after finishing eighth at Phoenix.

Lagasee is a member of one of four teams to have two drivers ranked in the top 10 this week.  His Baker Curb Racing teammate Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 27 Red Man Moist Snuff, is in the eighth position.

The other teams with two drivers in the top ten this week include Penske Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush Fenway Racing.   Keselowski, the points leader and his Penske teammate Justin Allgaier, who is fifth, are in that Top 10 leader board.

Also in the Top 10 are Gibbs teammates Kyle Busch, who is third, and Joey Logano, who sits in the seventh spot.  The other team combo in the top ten is Paul Menard and Carl Edwards, who sit sixth and second in points respectively, for Roush Fenway Racing.

There is one top streak, however, that will not be broken at Texas.  Morgan Shepherd’s record of 11 consecutive Top 10s to start the season is safe for at least another year.

Shepherd established this record in 1990.  He has been driving for three straight years full-time in the Nationwide Series.

The top dog in the manufacturer’s standings coming into the Texas race is Chevrolet.  While they may have the advantage, they will have a fight from Toyota, who has won the last four races at Texas.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 will run at the 1.5 mile oval on Saturday, April 17th.  The race will air on ESPN2 at 3:30 PM ET and will be broadcast on PRN/Sirius NASCAR Radio.

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