No driver has gained extra Cup factors races since 2005 at Daytona and Talladega than Brad Keselowski. And no driver has failed to complete extra Daytona 500s within the final 4 years due to accidents.
So when Keselowski is requested how excited he’s about this yr’s Daytona 500, his reply is tainted by his latest expertise within the season-opening race.
“I’m as excited as I may be figuring out that we’re going to go there and destroy a bunch of race automobiles,” Keselowski instructed NBC Sports activities.
Keselowski — who has gained six Cup factors races at Daytona and Talladega since 2005 —has failed to complete three of the final 4 Daytona 500s due to accidents.
“I’m simply so hopeful I could make it by way of that entire race with out getting destroyed,” Keselowski stated. “That will be a serious accomplishment given the final 5 years there. I really feel like now we have been actually aggressive and in a spot to win and it hasn’t clearly labored out for us.
“I simply need to be in place and have the chance to make the transfer. That’s all I can actually ask for. If I can try this, then I’ll be excited, nevertheless it has not been the case the final 5 years.”
He was second in final yr’s race when contact from behind turned him 17 laps from the scheduled distance. His Speedweeks began with a crash within the Busch Conflict. He was critical of teammate Joey Logano for a block on Kyle Busch that trigged the incident. Keselowski expressed his frustration with William Byron‘s blocking within the July 2018 Daytona race and hit Byron when blocked during practice before the July 2019 race at Daytona.
Keselowski was third within the 2018 Daytona 500 when contact with Chase Elliott triggered a seven-car crash shortly previous midway. A crash with a few quarter of the race left within the 2017 Daytona 500 collected Keselowski.
His misfortune comes amid a major enhance in automobiles in wrecks throughout the Daytona 500. In the last four Daytona 500s, 81.3% of the cars were involved in crashes, primarily based on NASCAR’s race reviews. The 4 years earlier than that noticed 42.6% of the automobiles within the Daytona 500 concerned in accidents.
Final yr’s result’s significantly irritating for Keselowski. He led when Christopher Bell pushed Ryan Newman by late within the race. Shortly after that, Keselowski was in a wreck and eradicated. He instructed Fox that he made “a mistake” by not blocking Newman and Bell on the within.
A yr later, the error stays with Keselowski.
“I give it some thought rather a lot,” he instructed NBC Sports activities. “I take into consideration what I may have accomplished otherwise, what I ought to have accomplished otherwise. On reflection, I don’t suppose there was something I may have accomplished otherwise.
“It was an extremely spectacular transfer as a result of simply entering into techniques, for no matter cause, the (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) automobiles on the 500 are in a position to push in methods nobody else is ready to and it’s successful them races. I don’t suppose there was every other automotive exterior of the Gibbs automobiles that might have pulled that transfer off. It turned unblockable. It value me management of the race and a lap or two later, I paid the penalty for that.”
Keselowski is winless in 11 Daytona 500s. Others have had longer droughts earlier than successful — Darrell Waltrip won his his 17th attempt and Dale Earnhardt won in his 20th. Including to the frustration for Keselowski is that the Daytona 500 is simply race among the many sport’s crown jewels he has but to win.
That the Daytona 500 is the one race is surprising contemplating Keselowski’s prowess on speedway observe the place horsepower is restricted. His first career Cup win came in 2009 at Talladega in a duel with Carl Edwards. Keselowski gained 4 extra occasions at Talladega from 2012-17. His lone Daytona Cup factors win got here in 2016.
As he searches to win once more at a superspeedway, Keselowski appears to be like at Denny Hamlin’s three Daytona 500 wins within the final 5 years in awe. Nevertheless it isn’t the successful that impresses Keselowski essentially the most.
“I don’t understand how on this planet,” Keselowski stated, “he was in a position to survive all of the wrecks.”
MOST WINS IN CUP POINTS RACES AT DAYTONA AND TALLADEGA SINCE 2005
6 — Brad Keselowski
5 — Denny Hamlin
5 — Tony Stewart
5 — Jimmie Johnson
4 — Jeff Gordon
4 — Joey Logano
4 — Jamie McMurray
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Daytona 500 more wreckers than checkers for Brad Keselowski initially appeared on NBCSports.com