Listening to NASCAR round table discussions on TV and such, I can’t help but wonder, is Brad Keselowski receiving the respect and looks he deserves as the Sprint Cup Series points leader through much of the 2012 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup so far? It doesn’t really seem like it.
The Chase is six races old as the circuit heads to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500, and so far, most of the talk has centered around Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin being the two biggest threats for this year’s Sprint Cup. It’s almost like the talking heads don’t notice that Johnson and Hamlin are second and third in points, not first and second. They seem to forget that through much of the Chase, so far, it’s been Keselowski on top of the standings, not Johnson or Hamlin.
That’s not to say that I think Keselowski has this thing all wrapped up and will still be in the points lead when the checkered flag flies on the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway next month. He may be. He may be not be. And Johnson and Hamlin are, indeed, serious championship contenders to be thrown into the mix. And you may want to add Clint Bowyer to the conversation.
But shouldn’t Keselowski be getting more respect as a serious title contender? After all, at least right now, he has more points that both Johnson and Hamlin. Also worth considering — Keselowski’s made more trips to victory lane this year than Johnson.
But still, it seems like all the talk in pre-race TV broadcasts, with the exception of comments from former Penske driver Rusty Wallace, the emphasis is put on Hamlin and Johnson. Not to mention, judging by press conference comments from Hamlin and Johnson, those two guys seem to consider each other their biggest threat. I guess they haven’t noticed that there’s a driver ahead of both of them.
Again, Hamlin and Johnson are, of course, championship contenders, but I think one driver is being forgotten, and he’s the points leader, for crying out loud!
Maybe Keselowski’s the Rodney Dangerfield of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing — just doesn’t get respect.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
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