After this weekend in Michigan it is clear that Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski appear be on their way to the season-ending chase for the coveted Spirit Cup. Together in the past five races they have an astounding seven top-10 finishes.
With three races left to go in the season, Bristol, Richmond and Atlanta, drivers are primed for success on the track.
Pure Michigan 400 held big stakes for the Penske Racing Team. The extra significance didn’t go unnoticed. “It’s a big race for a lot of us. We put the pressure on ourselves to perform.” said Mike Nelson, Penkse’s VP of operations. The pride to carry on the Penske name and determination to perform was felt by the drivers as well. Home town hero, Keselowski wanted a win for his local fans in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills. The duo also wanted to make owner Roger Penske proud as they were racing in the backyard of Penske Automotive Group headquarters in the Detroit area. Plus with some pretty significant wins over the last couple weeks the duo was looking to build on their winning momentum as the NASCAR racing season prepares to end.
“For us at Penske, we’re one of the big teams, it’s just that we don’t have four teams out there every week,” Busch said. “I feel like we’re doing everything that those top teams are doing, except we only have two cars out there each week instead of four.”
Although Roger Penske is involved in IndyCar racing, he gets a lot of his racing notoriety from his NASCAR team’s performances. The racing season started off shaky by the driving duo seems to have hit its stride. Keselowski went without a top-10 finish in his first nine races this season, and teammate Busch, received all sorts of notoriety with a radio tirade against his team at Richmond in May. Soon after that the tables turned, Busch won three straight poles in June, part of a five-race stretch in which he finished in the top 11 each time. He capped that stretch with an impressive run at Infineon Raceway and won on a road course for the first time. Busch has finished in the top 10 in three of his past five races While he finished 34th-place in yesterday’s race he is now 77 points out of the lead and has big plans for the next three races.
Keselowski has also set himself for a nice racing season. Keselowski has four top-10s in that span despite dealing with some ankle pain from his accident on Aug 3. Even with this setback he is posting best performance ever in a Sprint Cup race. His performance in this weekend’s race moved him from 21st in points is the standings. He would qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup as a wild card due to his two victories
“We’ve been on a bit of a roll here lately,” Nelson said. “We’ve had some good runs. Right now what we’re trying to do is hold on to that and continue to push forward.”
“I knew at any time we could get on a hot streak. We had shown some performance, just without the execution,” Keselowski said. “I look at the last few weeks being good execution combined with the speed that we’ve had for probably the last two to three months.”
“I’d like to say that we’re spending a lot of time thinking about the Chase stuff, but to be honest, I’m really not,” he said. “I’m thinking a lot about how we can win in Michigan. When you win, you don’t have to worry about all that other stuff. It takes care of itself. That’s where our thoughts are.”
To read more on the Penske Racing Teams success story, take a look at,http://www2.journalnow.com/sports/2011/aug/21/wssport02-penske-driv…