As we count down to the 2013 Daytona 500, we're also counting down how we think the Chase will play out this season as predicted by Nick Bromberg, Jay Busbee, Jay Hart and Geoffrey Miller. So sit back, relax, and watch the 2013 Chase unfold before your very eyes. Though you should be warned, we picked Carl Edwards to win last year.
2012 Finish: 1st. 5 wins (Bristol, Talladega, Kentucky, Chicago, Dover)
Crew Chief: Paul Wolfe
When we last saw Keselowski: Did Keselowski get to have a live interview on SportsCenter after winning the championship? I can't remember. The champ's fuel strategy moves near the end of the race at Homestead proved to be a non-factor as Jimmie Johnson had rear-end gear trouble and Keselowski was able to clinch the championship before the race ended. (For good measure, however, Keselowski finished 15th, good enough to win the championship even if Johnson would have won the race).
Big Question for 2013: Can anyone not named Jimmie Johnson repeat? Johnson is the only Chase-era winner to repeat (four more times) and Jeff Gordon is the only other active driver with a Cup Series title that has won them back to back. Can Keselowski join them? He proved last season that he had few glaring weaknesses -- something that's visible simply by looking at his wins, which encompass four distinctly different types of tracks. (Oh, he also finished second at Watkins Glen.)
Track most likely to win at: Let's go with Talladega or Bristol, the only two tracks that Keselowski has won more than once at.
Track most likely to require a miracle to win at: Las Vegas has not been Brad's friend. (We'll avoid a snake eyes gambling reference.) In four starts, his highest finish is 26th and last year was derailed by fuel-injection issues.
How Keselowski could win the Chase: Do what he did last year. Deep, eh? Keselowski split the head-to-head battles with his main rival and minimized the points loss at perhaps his worst Chase track, Martinsville, which is Johnson's best. He finished no lower than 15th throughout the entire Chase. Because of that, when Johnson had his first bad finish of the Chase, he wasn't able to recover.
How Keselowski couldn't: You won't find many people who feel that Penske Racing's transition to Ford will be a significant hurdle in Keselowski's title defense. Will there be an adjustment period? Possibly, but it would be a stunner if it took more than a few races.
I'm a champion
A champion Twitterer
Follow me, will you?
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