After an outstanding points day to open the Round of 8 at Martinsville Speedway, Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Wurth Ford Fusion team are in strong standing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings.
However, given the speed of the Toyota stable on mile-and-a-half tracks like this weekend’s venue, Texas Motor Speedway, BK and Co. know they have work left to be done. With that in mind, Brad and his team are ready to do whatever is necessary to advance to the Championship Round.
“This No. 2 Wurth Ford team is focused on the task ahead of us, and we’re committed to doing the work,” Brad said. “We’re going tap into the Penske ethos of ‘Effort equals Results’ and see what happens.”
Brad has found postseason success at Texas Motor Speedway before. He boasts two second-place finishes at the 1.5-mile Fort Worth, Texas track. The first came in 2012 and played an enormous role in his 2012 Cup Championship run.
The second came in 2015 and as one of the most dominant performances of Brad’s career. His fast Wurth Ford landed on the pole, and he led 312 of 334 laps. He couldn’t finish the victory, as Jimmie Johnson had his No. 48 tuned perfectly for the final run, whereas the previously dominant No. 2 didn’t quite have it in the end.
“We just came up a bit short,” BK said two years ago. “We didn’t have any thing to shrug our shoulders about or feel bad about—the 48 was just a little bit better at the end. I held him off as long as I could, but there was no stopping that much speed. It’s unfortunate, but I’m not going to focus on not winning the race—I’m going to focus on the great things we did today and the knowledge that if we keep running like this, there’s a strong chance we can win the next two races and this championship.”
Unfortunately, that didn’t quite come to fruition for the 2 Crew, as they were left just outside of the title picture in 2015—an outcome BK hopes to change in 2017.
BK has finished in the Top 20 in his last 10 Texas starts, including a sixth-place run there earlier this season. NASCAR Playoff drama was at an all-time high last week, and that likely won’t change when the series heads to Texas for the third-to-last race of the year.
The No. 2 team will have one practice session Friday (1 p.m. ET) and two more Saturday (3 and 5 p.m. ET) to fine-tune the Wurth machine. Qualifying is set for 6:15 p.m. ET Friday, and the AAA Texas 500 will go green at 2:16 p.m. ET on Sunday on NBCSN.