2 Crew Ready for Round 2 at Pocono

Brad Keselowski is coming off a runner-up finish, his best ever at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts driver is also riding a string of consecutive second-place finishes in this late summer run at Pocono Raceway.

And just days after signing a contract extension to stay at home with Team Penske, there couldn’t be a better time for BK to convert that runner-up magic into a win on the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle.

“There are some things you control and a lot that you can’t,” he said. “That said, our approach for the weekend is always shifting and adjusting based on how the rules package flows and how our own team developments flow, and Pocono always seems to line up where the first Pocono we are a lot less competitive than the second Pocono for whatever reason.”

Pocono’s second run of the season is one of the most demanding races, of man and machine, on the Cup schedule. The 400-mile venture on the unique triangular track—which can be described as a combination between a road course and a superspeedway—will strain the motor, breaks and transmission, as well as a driver’s mettle.

“I tend to find things that I like about all the tracks that we race on, as that is the optimal way to approach the weekend,” Brad says. “The variation in corner speed, the length of the long straight and the configuration of the corners are unlike any other circuit. The track is also uniquely situated geographically as most race tracks on the Cup circuit are relatively close to a large city. Having won there in 2011 makes it standout in my mind as well as that was a big win for us without a doubt.”

His victory six years ago in the mountains of Pennsylvania was a triumph on a few levels. It was the Deuce driver’s second regular-season win, one that all but locked him in his first Playoff. Additionally, it was the first race the Michigan native won on pure speed. In conversation with longtime spotter Joey Meier, Brad noted that his first win came at the crapshoot Talladega Superspeedway, and his second was a fuel mileage win in Kansas. But the most memorable part of all was how he won just four days after fracturing his ankle in a testing crash.

In full health now, Kes will look to repeat that performance. In recent Pennsylvanian runs, the No. 2 has scored all but a victory. With the last four results being a second, third, second and sixth, Paul Wolfe & Co. are more than capable of squeaking out a win on pure speed or strategy.

In this event last year, Brad left the Pocono Mountains with another second-place finish. Brad had perhaps the fastest car on the track, but the race was ended prematurely as a thick fog loomed over the superspeedway—allowing Chris Buescher to grab his first career MENCS victory. The last time the series visited Pocono in June, BK made it to Victory Lane, but to interview and congratulate his future teammate Ryan Blaney, who was announced this week as a third-car addition to the Penske outfit starting in 2018. Kes finished sixth himself in Blaney’s victory, showing what kind of power his Roush Yates motors brought to this demanding race track.

And always in need of another win to add Playoff points before the postseason begins, Kes will go for it when the Overton’s 400 goes green on Sunday July 30. The race airs live on NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m. ET.

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