DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – There’s no doubt about it, Brad Keselowski is one of the best restrictor plate racers in the game today. But, he’s just been snakebitten in terms of Daytona Speedweeks success.
In his entire Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career, Keselowski has just one Speedweeks victory. That came in last year’s Clash. Other than that, February has been a struggle for Keselowski at Daytona.
Furthermore, even the July race has been too.
It’s not though for a lack of speed or skill. The Team Penske driver’s got it. The bad luck is due to Keselowski being an innocent bystander in someone else’s crash.
It happened last July when William Byron and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. sparked a big crash that Keselowski was involved in. It happened more times than not for him. He has a theory on why there’s been so much carnage in general recently too.
“It seems like there are a number of people that get into the top two or three that really just have no clue what they are doing,” said Keselowski. “They pull really bad, juvenile mistake moves and wreck the field.
“People throw blocks that don’t understand the runs or what is around them. They don’t have full situational or spacial awareness. They think they do, which is more dangerous.”
He’s not wrong.
Plate races have always evened the playing field. You do get drivers that typically aren’t up front on a weekly basis battling for the lead. When they get there, it’s all new territory.
In the 2017 Daytona 500, 34 of the 40 starters were involved in a crash. In last year’s race, 31 of the 40 did. In last year’s Coke Zero 400, there were 34 cars in crashes too.
So, what he’s saying has some merit.