Only a week ago Brad Keselowski avoided any serious penalties from NASCAR after he rammed several cars following the end of the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
A slap on the wrist and a check made things good with the sanctioning body. All Brad had to do now was concentrate on winning at Talladega in order to advance in the chase. He did!
Keselowski started in the back, moved further back during one point to 41st position before working his way back through the field. Eventually a series of restarts put him in position to battle Ryan Newman for the lead with only two laps to go. Keselowski says that it was a privilege to win at Talladega.
"I can't believe we won at Talladega, Keselowski said following winning the 2014 Geico 500. "This race is the scariest of the three in the (Contender Round) bracket. To be able to win here is really a privilege. It really is."
Needing the Win
Following Charlotte, despite the antics Keselowski pulled after the race, all Keselowski could do at Talladega was race hard for the win or hope a few other drivers messed up. He won the race and at the same time Kyle Busch fell several places in the points and ended up not making the cut to the next round of the Sprint Cup Championship Chase.
Talladega is such a wild card, and to be able to win here you have to catch breaks and make your own breaks - a little of both - Keselowski
Keselowski drove his No. 2 car to his sixth checkered flag in the 2014 season. It was his first win in the second round of the chase and the victory sends him to the next round with seven other drivers. The former champion said that moving on was a fantastic feeling.
"I can't believe it," Keselowski said in Victory Lane. "Talladega is such a wild card, and to be able to win here you have to catch breaks and make your own breaks - a little of both."
The drivers moving onto the Eliminator Round of the Chase are Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Talladega winner Brad Keselowski. The Eliminator Round, which is the third round in the chase, opens Sunday at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia.
The downside to moving on is that four more drivers were eliminated from Championship eligibility following Talladega which was the third race in round two.
The drivers eliminated were Kyle Busch who only needed a decent finish to advance. A wreck ended his chances. Dale Earnhardt, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne were the other three drivers along with Busch who failed to move on.