Brad Keselowski’s schedule always has a circle around his home track, Michigan International Raceway, a venue where victory has continually eluded him, making this weekend’s Quicken Loans 400 a distinctive race, as he yearned for his first win at the track where he grew up as a spectator.
Though, after 400 grueling miles, Keselowski was unable to seize the trophy and finished a respectable third position behind runner-up Kevin Harvick and the victor, Jimmie Johnson.
“We just didn’t have the speed really all weekend to be a front runner in the sense of contending to win based on speed,” Keselowski explained in the media center. “We kind of trudged through it and came away with another top three effort, which is good but not great. We want the wins, especially here at Michigan. That would mean a lot.”
Keselowski, 30, isn’t willing to settle with the podium effort, however, he’s still content with the consistency his organization has possessed through the season.
“We didn’t run as well as we wanted to, but we certainly didn’t run poorly,” Keselowski expressed. “Like I said, it was a good day, not a great day. Third is nothing to hang your hat on. We have consistency, which is good.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t mean much right now at this time of the year in the sense of points,” he continued. “But it does mean a lot to us in the sense of overall morale and our ability to really make a push as the fall comes for the Chase. That’s important to us, even if it might not show a tangible result in the short-term.”
Keselowski, though, is beginning to fret over the dominance that Hendrick Motorsports has shown the past month. Still, despite being behind at this juncture, he is confident his Penske Racing Team will be able to contend.
“We’ve got work to do to get there,” Keselowski admitted. “Thankfully we’ve got — I can’t remember, 12, 13 weeks until the Chase starts, and I know we’ve got some stuff coming up for that, but I think we’ve got at Penske, I think we’re right there, kind of just maybe a half a nose behind the Hendrick cars or Hendrick-powered cars, whatever you want to call them. But we need just a little bit more, and if we can do that, I really feel like we can kind of have a strong march over the fall and have a shot at running for the championship.”
Keselowski now prepares for lefts and rights at the challenging Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, a circuit where he’s had his ups and downs.