At 6-1, Keselowski is a driver to watch for in Bristol

Aug 24, 2012 |
At 6-1, Keselowski is a driver to watch for in Bristol
Brad Keselowski is seeing 15-1 odds on Saturday.
Brad Keselowski is seeing 15-1 odds on Saturday.
It’s always one of the most anticipated races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. But this trip to Bristol Motor Speedway for Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race offers a different challenge than the last time the series visited here in the spring leaving teams, drivers and fans a little unsure of what will happen.

The .533 mile track underwent a reconfiguration that saw the top lane of the concrete shaved in an attempt to make the racing here more like it was prior to the installation of progressive banking and a repaving in 2007.

Whether the new work will bring back the old racing is still a question mark. One thing is a little bit more sure however: there's a driver to watch out for.

Brad Keselowski (6-1) won here in the spring race and won this race last year. With the momentum he’s had from the last few weeks - three top five runs that include two runner-up finishes in the last two races - Keselowski should be the class of the field Saturday. That is as long as his Penske Motorsports team can tame the new configuration.

“Bristol to me is a man’s racetrack and I respect that place so much,” Keselowski said. “I think it takes a level of respect for it. From day one, the first day I walked in there, I respected it but I also wanted to win there. I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could be the man to win at a man’s racetrack. So it’s always been a challenge to me and it’s one that, for some reason, has taken a piece of me somewhere deep inside and made it rise to the next level.

"I just love it for that reason. There are few things in life that can do that to anyone and Bristol is that place for me.”

Keselowski can accomplish a rare feat at Bristol Saturday; three consecutive wins, something that hasn’t happened since Kurt Busch did it in 2003-2004.

“To be on the cusp of three wins in a row there is something that was, and still is, beyond my wildest dreams,” Keselowski said. “But here we are and we are going to do everything in our power to get it done.”

Read more of Greg Engle's NASCAR preview for Saturday's race.

Sprint Cup - Odds to win the IRWIN Tools Night Race

Kyle Busch #18    +400
Brad Keselowski #2    +600
Jimmie Johnson #48    +850
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88    +1000
Matt Kenseth #17    +1000
Greg Biffle #16    +1200
Jeff Gordon #24    +1200
Tony Stewart #14    +1400
Carl Edwards #99    +1400
Denny Hamlin #11    +1500
Kasey Kahne #5    +1600
Kevin Harvick #29    +2000
Clint Bowyer #15    +2200
Ryan Newman #39    +2500
Martin Truex Jr. #56    +2500
Joey Logano #20    +3500
Kurt Busch #51    +4000
Jeff Burton #31    +4000
Brian Vickers #55    +5000
Marcos Ambrose #6    +5000
Sam Hornish Jr. #22    +5000
Paul Menard #27    +5000
Jamie McMurray #1    +5000
Juan Pablo Montoya #42    +6600
Danica Patrick #10    +10000
Aric Almirola #43    +12500
Regan Smith #78    +15000
Bobby Labonte #47    +25000
David Ragan #34    +30000
Casey Mears #13    +30000
Scott Speed #95    +50000

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