By George Diaz, Tribune Newspapers
August 24, 2011
Count Brad Keselowski as one of the biggest fans of the new wild-card format in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Keselowski stands to benefit because he has won two races, but regardless, NASCAR has found a way to reward winners.
"We've seen different variations of the Chase, but this is probably the best one," Keselowski said Tuesday. "It's been a great opportunity for fans, teams, sponsors, everyone because it shows a commitment to making every race important.
"We're holding a value to every race that perhaps was lost in the pre-wild-card Chase era. When we came to Pocono in the fall, I didn't want to say meaningless race, but the win I had (this year) in Pocono completely changes the forecast and I don't think we saw that before.
"The system brings value to races not in the Chase."
Keselowski is among the hottest drivers on the circuit, finishing 1-2-3 in the last three races, and is 12th in the standings.
"I'm feeling pretty good about it," he said, "but nothing is a certainty until you're done."
"I just don't have a good feeling about his chances," McReynolds said. "I don't see him winning a race in the next three weeks, and I don't know that finishing 14th and 15th every week will get the job done. Dale Jr. had a good car all weekend at Michigan, and they let it get away from them there at the end.
"I think (crew chief) Steve Letarte and Dale Jr. are looking at the fact Clint Bowyer isn't running well enough right now to overcome the 30-point deficit he has to Dale Jr. and Brad Keselowski is too far back to catch him. So right now, the No. 88 team is trying to make sure they don't make mistakes and allow those guys to leapfrog them."
"I'm totally recovered," Roush, 69, told the Detroit News. "I just got my medical back from the FAA, indicating that I'm medically sound and I'm without restriction. I have one more validation flight for the eye. Once I get that done, I can fly anything I did before."
Roush suffered a ruptured left eyeball, damaged left cheekbone, broken jaw and compression fracture in his back in the crash.
"We're thrilled to be able to feature the new Camry in Daytona at the season's biggest race," Ed Laukes, Toyota Motor Sales' corporate manager of motorsports marketing, said in a statement.
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