Teammates Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch Share A Similar Meteoric Rise To The Top

Streaks are an integral part of the sporting world. A common theme with streaks, though, is that they often are not very surprising. One expects Peyton Manning to throw numerous consecutive 400 yard games or for the Pittsburgh Pirates to finish a season with a losing record year after year.

[media-credit name=”Ed Coombs” align=”alignright” width=”265″][/media-credit]It is this which makes Brad Keselowski’s streak so stunning.  How a driver, who prior to this stretch was most often found mid-pack on race day, can rattle of such an impressive streak of finishes defies expectations. It is as astounding and surprising as it is unprecedented… or is it?

To find a driver with a similar meteoric rise in the Sprint Cup Series, Keselowski merely has to look across the Penske Racing shop at teammate Kurt Busch. Many forget that Busch’s arrival to the top of the Cup series was just as quick and just as surprising.

Heading into the 2002 Cup season, Busch was most known for a sole spectacular season in the Craftsman Truck Series and for being the last person Dale Earnhardt flipped off. While there were flashes of brilliance during his rookie campaign and his sophomore season, culminating in a surprise first victory at the spring Bristol race, he found himself hovering just outside of the top ten in points with seven races remaining.

At the time, many made note of his vastly improved performance in his second year of Cup racing, and many thought more thought it likely that Busch would sneak into the top ten in points by the end of the year. What occurred over the last six races shocked virtually every one covering the sport and cemented Busch as one of the future starts of the sport.

In those last seven races, Busch accumulated 3 wins, 6 top 10s, lead nearly 25% of the laps, and had an average finish of fourth. By season’s end, Busch sat in victory lane of Homestead-Miami Speedway watching Tony Stewart celebrate his first championship while contemplating his own third place points finish.

Just two years later Busch would earn his first, and so far only, Cup championship, thus solidifying him as one of the elite drivers in the sport.

Where Keselowski has an advantage is that he is reaching his potential prior to the start of the Chase for the Championship. There is some irony in that fact that Kurt Busch’s 2002 season was used as one of the justifications for a change to a new championship format.

And while there are still many miles to race, Keselowski now appears to be one of the front runners for the 2011 Sprint Cup championship, a fact that is as unbelievable to write as it is to contemplate.  Despite the controversy which has followed him since the start of his Cup career, Keselowski has handled the obstacles with an increasing level of maturity.

The only question that remains is precisely how good will Keselowski be once he is completely healthy? That question alone should be enough to cause the juggernauts of Hendrick, Roush and Gibbs to sleep a little less soundly at night.

And for Brad Keselowski? Well he’ll be sleeping like a baby…

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles