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Brad Keselowski hopes consistency will pay off in more wins

SPARTA, Ky. — Brad Keselowski will have to fine-tune his victory celebrations after a shattered champagne bottle left him with a bloodied and bandaged right hand.

The upside is he might get more chances to polish his post-race revelry as he pursues his second Sprint Cup series championship in three years.

Already locked into the Chase for the Championship with a victory in the Kobalt 400 in March at Las Vegas and a solid string of top-five finishes, Keselowski delivered his most dominant run in the Quaker State 400 on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway. He started from the pole and led 199 of 267 laps en route to his second win this season.

The Penske Racing driver heads to Daytona International Speedway for Saturday's Coke Zero 400 fourth in points and showing the form that carried him to the 2012 series championship. Missing last year's Chase also seems to have made Keselowski wiser, Saturday night notwithstanding.

"I want to win another championship," Keselowski said after a roundabout journey between Victory Lane and the infield care center to receive four stitches after striking the bottle on the podium.

"I don't want to be a guy that contends for a championship every three or four years. I want to do it each and every year, and I know that opportunity is here, it's present and I want to make the most of it."

The exuberant 30-year-old joked that he was going through something of a midlife crisis, perhaps his way of stressing that he has to maximize his window of opportunity to win titles. That urgency worked for him two years ago, when he won five times, with 23 top-10s and 13 top-fives to win the title.

Keselowski has two fewer wins than at the same point in 2012 but is showing the same consistency. His second Kentucky victory marked his ninth top-10 along with a series-best second triumph at 11/2 miles, the distance of many Chase tracks.

Those intermediate-length tracks don't return to the schedule until August at Atlanta, but Keselowski noted the importance of finding the formula now.

"When you can run well at this point in time, it bodes well for the final half of the season," he said. "Certainly, we're not content. … The reality is that Hendrick (Motorsports) cars had won three or four of the last five and they're going to continue to be the cars to beat. So we have to keep pushing as well."

Sprint Cup points

After 17 of 26 races. Sixteen drivers will make the season-ending Chase for the Championship.

Driver Pts. Back

Jeff Gordon* 618—

Jimmie Johnson*** 594 24

Dale Earnhardt Jr.** 594 24

Brad Keselowski** 560 58

Matt Kenseth 555 63

Carl Edwards** 536 82

Joey Logano** 519 99

Ryan Newman 514 104

Kevin Harvick** 509 109

Kyle Busch* 508 110

Paul Menard 488 130

Kyle Larson 474 144

Greg Biffle 474 144

Each asterisk (*) equals one win

Points unofficial; NASCAR posts official results today

Up next

Coke Zero 400, 7:30 Saturday, Daytona International Speedway. TV: TNT

Brad Keselowski hopes consistency will pay off in more wins 06/29/14 [Last modified: Sunday, June 29, 2014 9:42pm]
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