The Queen City lives up to its name, being the home of many NASCAR drivers and their royalty-like race teams. When the race rolls into town, it’s a positive time, allowing everyone involved in the sport’s madness to sleep in their own beds. That boosts their morale more than any outside could understand.
A morale boost was exactly what Brad Keselowski needed, and that’s exactly what he got, breaking a winless streak that lasted thirty-seven races. It also marked the first time a non-Chaser won during The Chase since 2011.
After battling pit road troubles early on (troubles that included carrying a jack onto the track), Keselowski rebounded and won. In fact, he rebounded from a deflating season, one that was nowhere near as magical as last year’s. He seemed more like a chump than a champion to some, floundering and barely in contention for wins. But, in Keselowski-like fashion, he never gave up.
The last driver to break up the Chase party as a non-chaser was Kasey Kahne, and he was a factor all night. It came down to tires at the end. Kahne, along with teammate Jeff Gordon, took two, while Keselowski and the rest of the field took four. The No. 5 led them to the green with twenty laps to go, and the No. 2 ran him down in five laps.
Though he led the most laps, Kahne is up a creek without a paddle as far as The Chase is concerned; the driver is last in the points after having horrible luck during the first four races.
After the psychotic race at Kansas, Saturday night’s race seemed mundane, a switch fan’s didn’t take well. However, that’s something I plan to address in my next article. Most of the cautions thrown were for debris.
Next weekend, we head to Talladega, a place fans love and drivers hate. It will be interesting to see how the points shake out after that wild card.
Point Standings after Charlotte
1. Matt Kenseth (–)
2. Jimmie Johnson (-4)
3. Kevin Harvick (-29)
4. Jeff Gordon (-36)
5. Kyle Busch (-37)
6. Greg Biffle (-58)
7. Kurt Busch (-59)
8. Clint Bowyer (-63)
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-66)
10. Carl Edwards (-67)
11. Joey Logano (-75)
12. Ryan Newman (-78)
13. Kasey Kahne (-81)