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HomeSportsAuto RacingNAS News: Brad Keselowski out to tame Talladega again, end drought

NAS News: Brad Keselowski out to tame Talladega again, end drought

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After watching what Chase Elliott did the past two races, Brad Keselowski probably feels optimistic about winning this weekend.

Winless for three years and having never visited Victory Lane with the team he owns, Keselowski and his No. 6 RFK Racing Ford will be among the favorites when the NASCAR Cup Series rolls into Alabama for Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Last week in a Sunday full of mayhem, Chevrolet’s Elliott recorded his first win since 2022 (at Talladega) one week after a top-three finish in Martinsville.

Now, Keselowski is trying to follow that example after a strong run in Texas left him trailing only the Hendrick Motorsports driver at the end.

Despite the runner-up showing at treacherous Texas Motor Speedway, Keselowski voiced some displeasure after the event matched the track-record 16 cautions set on Sept. 25, 2022, in Tyler Reddick’s win.

“We didn’t have a ton of speed,” the 2012 Cup champion said. “Honestly, I’m more frustrated than anything because I feel like we have a great team, and we don’t have the speed to go with it, and we’re doing all we can to overcome that.

“The driver in me is frustrated because I feel like these are races I’m good enough to win, and we don’t have the speed to do it. And the owner in me is mad as hell because it’s my fault for not making the cars faster.”

He might feel better at Talladega, a harrowing, high-speed superspeedway where he recorded both his first career win in 2009 and most recent one in 2021.

As he zeroes in on a victory, Keselowski can rely on his history of going fast at Talladega, arguably still the circuit’s most dangerous layout that has featured some of the most horrifying, highlight-reel wrecks.

He played a part in of one of those on April 26, 2009, at the 2.66-mile steeply banked track.

Running 10th with four laps to go, Keselowski — then a 25-year-old driving the No. 09 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet for owner James Finch — pushed Carl Edwards to the front with the duo roaring by race leader Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the high side.

Approaching the checkers, Keselowski moved high and then dipped his car below Edwards, turning the Ford driver and propelling him airborne and into the frontstretch’s catch fence.

The wild crash ended with Keselowski winning for the first time in the Cup Series and seven fans being hurt.

“We’ll race like this until we kill somebody,” said Edwards afterward, “then (NASCAR) will change it.”

The wreck was eerily similar to Bobby Allison’s in 1987.

“Well, it’s scary, but it’s exciting for the fans. It always has been,” Allison said at Talladega that day. “Part of the attraction of Talladega is the potential for danger.”

New rules have slowed the cars at Talladega, but with his first and last win being at the mammoth superspeedway, expect Keselowski’s emotions to be racing as fast as ever.

–Field Level Media

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