The champ could be in trouble.
With nine races left before the field is set for the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup, reigning series champion Brad Keselowski finds himself outside the Top 10 in points and without any victories.
That’s a tough position to be in. To make the Chase a driver must be Top 10 in points or could use one of two wild card spots, but those are reserved for drivers with the most wins.
Even tougher was how Keselowski got in this predicament.
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On Lap 48 of 267 of Sunday’s rain-delayed Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, Kurt Busch drove on the apron, drove back up into the racing groove and slammed into Keselowski.
Keselowski’s car then slammed into Greg Biffle and Dave Blaney, among others. The accident required NASCAR to halt the race for over 18 minutes to clean the track.
“We were trying to get patient because it looked like we will get the whole race in before rain and there is no reason to drive like an animal,” said Keselowski, who was credited with a 33rd-place finish.
“Apparently, I am the only one that got that memo. It is one of those deals.”
With Sunday’s finish Keselowski has dropped to 13th in the series standings, 14 points behind 10th-place Joey Logano, Keselowski’s teammate at Penske Racing.
Overcoming that deficit is not impossible but Kentucky was considered a good opportunity for Keselowski to pick up a win. He was fast all weekend and won the race a year ago.
“We are just going to go do our thing and we are just on a streak of bad luck,” Keselowski said. “It will turn around and when it does we will be in Victory Lane and be alright.
“I don’t know if we would have threatened for the win but I think we could have ran fifth and had a decent day but obviously not now.”
After the incident, Busch apologized over his team radio. Keselowski was asked if Busch’s apology changed how he viewed the accident.
“I am still wrecked so I don’t know,” he said. “Kurt is smarter than that. He knows better than that.”