TALLADEGA, Ala. – With only one Chase driver guaranteed a spot in the next round, Brad Keselowski says some title contenders will be “racing scared” in Sunday’s elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Joey Logano is the only one among the 12 remaining Chase drivers who knows he’ll be in the third round, which begins next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. That leaves 11 drivers competing for the final seven spots. Those will be set after Sunday’s race.
Last year, Kyle Busch entered this race second in points, ran toward the back as a precaution and crashed after being hit from behind and failed to advance to the third round. Keselowski had to win this race a year ago to advance and did.
“There are certainly going to be some people that race scared and racing scared, to me, means sometimes you race not to win, but to not lose as far as the points are concerned,’’ said Keselowski, who is seventh in the standings, Friday afternoon.
“At Talladega, that is a big effect on the strategy and the way the race plays out. I think we’ve seen races here, in fact the last spring race, we saw that where the race stayed single-file for a long, long time, which, to me, is kind of somewhat a showing of racing scared, where you’re happy with where you’re running and you don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that so you stay in line.”
Keselowski declined to reveal what his plan for Sunday will be.
“We’ve had some really good approaches here in the past that have worked, but we’ll just have to see,” he said. “I’m not really all that interested in sharing what my plan is now, but hopefully it’ll play out.”