Monday, November 5, 2012

Brad Keselowski may be ready to pick up where Tony Stewart left off last season (Photo: Getty Images).
NASCAR: Could Brad Keselowski Be This Season's Tony Stewart?


Plus seven. Minus two. Minus seven.

That equals a 14-point swing in the standings for Brad Keselowski over the last three Sprint Cup races, going from being No. 1 previously to falling to No. 2 the past two weeks.

And now, with Sunday's race at Texas in the books and Jimmie Johnson recording his fifth win of the season—equaling Keselowski and Denny Hamlin for most wins in 2012—just two races remain in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

To his credit, Keselowski did everything he could to beat Johnson Sunday.

But when Johnson took off after the final restart, he made Keselowski look like he was running in slow motion and easily finished his 500-mile cruise to the finish line and checkered flag.

Five-time Cup champions have a knack for doing those kinds of things—especially when they are bound and determined to win championship No. 6, which could potentially happen in less than two weeks.

While seven points is still a relatively easy hurdle to overcome—except, of course, if you're trying to overcome Johnson—Keselowski has nothing to be ashamed of for finishing second in Sunday's race, nor for dropping five more points in arrears to Johnson.

Keselowski did everything he could. He went into Sunday's race bound and determined to get a top-10 finish; he wound up with a runner-up showing. He wanted to stay within 10 points of Johnson leaving Texas; he's only seven back.

Most importantly, Keselowski kept his championship chances and his fighting spirit alive.

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