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Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway News & Notes

An in-depth look at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 (in alphabetical order)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Ford EcoBoost 400
The Place: Homestead-Miami Speedway
The Date: Sunday, Nov. 19
The Time: 3 p.m. ET
TV: NBC, 2:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400.5 miles (267 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 80),
Stage 2 (Ends on lap 160), Final Stage (Ends on lap 267)


Kyle Busch - Championship 4 Bio

BY THE NUMBERS
1 - Number of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series titles Kyle Busch has won (2015).
1 - Number of wins Kyle Busch has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway - 2015 (tied for most among the Championship 4 with Kevin Harvick)
2 - Number of top-five finishes Kyle Busch has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
3 - Number of times Kyle Busch has made it to the Championship 4 in the new Playoff format (tied with Kevin Harvick for the most Championship 4 appearances).
5 - Number of wins Kyle Busch has posted during the 2017 season; three during the Playoffs (Pocono-2, Bristol-2, New Hampshire-2, Dover-2 and Martinsville-2)
5 - Number of top-10 finishes Kyle Busch has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
8 - Number of Coors Light poles Kyle Busch posted in 2017 - series-most
11.8 - Busch's average finish during the entire 2017 season.
12.2 - Busch's average finish during the first nine races of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs
13 - Number of top-five finishes Kyle Busch has posted this season.
14 -Number of stage wins Kyle Busch has posted during the 2017 season.
19.8 - Busch's average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway
21 - Number of top-10 finishes Kyle Busch has posted during the 2017 season
96.9 - Kyle Busch's career driver rating at Homestead-Miami Speedway (third-best among the Championship 4).
110.5 - Kyle Busch's driver rating during the first nine races of the 2017 Playoffs.
279 - Total number of laps led at Homestead-Miami Speedway by Kyle Busch

Busch Eyeing Multi-NASCAR Championships Club
After winning the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship in dramatic come-from-behind fashion, Kyle Busch is looking to become just the 16th driver in series history to win two or more championships when he races in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Busch would be joining prestigious company:

Richard Petty - 7
Dale Earnhardt - 7
Jimmie Johnson - 7
Jeff Gordon - 4
Darrell Waltrip - 3
Cale Yarborough - 3
David Pearson - 3
Lee Petty - 3
Tony Stewart - 3
Herb Thomas - 2
Tim Flock - 2
Joe Weatherly - 2
Ned Jarret - 2
Terry Labonte - 2
Buck Baker - 2

Kyle Busch will have to battle two other Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers looking for their second series championship in Kevin Harvick (2014) and Brad Keselowski (2012).

The Tale Of Kyle Busch - A Prime Time Performer In 2017
It may have been a slow start to the 2017 season for Kyle Busch, but the 2015 champion has been one of the best drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the back half of the season.

Busch's first win of the year was the July Pocono Raceway race - leaving only one remaining track he has yet to win a points race at - Charlotte Motor Speedway. He won Bristol's fall race for his second regular season victory.

Busch scored two wins in the Round of 16 - winning back-to-back races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway to advance to the Round of 12.

He narrowly escaped the Round of 12 after two finishes outside the top-25 at Charlotte and Talladega, but punched his ticket to the Championship 4 in the opening race of the Round of 8 when he won at Martinsville - giving him three wins during the 2017 postseason.

Busch will look to be the top finisher among his Championship 4 competitors at Homestead-Miami Speedway where he has one career win - the 2015 win that sealed his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Looking For Another Clutch Performance At Homestead
Heading into the Championship 4 race in 2015, Kyle Busch had never won at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That all changed when he pulled away from fellow title contender Kevin Harvick on a late-race restart to capture the checkered flag and his first championship.

In fact, other than the storybook ending to the 2015 season, Busch has struggled in South Florida. He holds an average finish of 19.8 in 12 races at the 1.5-mile track, with two top fives and five top 10s to his credit, including the win in 2015.

Prior to the trip to Victory Lane two years ago, Busch's best finish in Miami was fourth in 2012. He finished sixth there last season in his quest for a second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title.

The Man Behind The Champion
Since pairing up in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Kyle Busch in 2015, crew chief Adam Stevens has been one of the best crew chiefs in the sport.

The pair has combined for the following achievements in 91 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races together since 2015:
" 14 wins
" 41 top fives
" 59 top 10s
" 3,951 laps led
" 10 Coors Light Pole awards
" One Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship (2015)
" Three-consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 appearances
" Three-consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs appearances

The two will look to capture their second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship together this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Coach Gibbs Pursuing Fifth Championship With Kyle Busch
How do you follow-up a hall of fame football coaching career that included three championships at the highest level of your sport?

With four - and counting - championships at the highest level of motorsports.

Coach Joe Gibbs led the Washington Redskins to Super Bowl titles in 1983, '88 and '92. His Joe Gibbs Racing stable has won Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships with Bobby Labonte (2000), Tony Stewart (2002, 2005) and Kyle Busch (2015). Toss in two NASCAR XFINITY Series crowns in 2009 with Kyle Busch and 2016 with Daniel Suarez, and you can state a good case that he has had a second hall-of-fame-worthy career.

Coach Gibbs' lone driver in the hunt for the title in Sunday's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is Kyle Busch, but had another successful season overall as three of his four of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers make the 2017 Playoffs.


Kevin Harvick - Championship 4 Bio

BY THE NUMBERS
1 - Number of wins Kevin Harvick has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2014)
2 - Number of wins Kevin Harvick has during the 2017 season; including one during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs - (Sonoma, Texas-2).
3 - Number of times Kevin Harvick has made it to the Championship 4 in the new Playoff format.
6 - Number of stage wins Kevin Havick has posted during the 2017 season.
6.9 - Kevin Harvick's average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway - best all-time.
8 - Number of top-five finishes Kevin Harvick has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway - most all-time.
10.9 - Kevin Harvick's average finish during the first nine races of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
11.3 - Kevin Harvick's average finish during the 2017 season.
12 - Kevin Harvick's career Playoff wins (second to Jimmie Johnson's 29).
13 - Number of top-five finishes Kevin Harvick has logged during the 2017 season.
14 - Number of top-10 finishes Kevin Harvick has recorded at Homestead-Miami Speedway - most all-time.
22 - Number of top-10 finishes Kevin Harvick has tallied this season.
102.7 - Kevin Harvick's 2017 driver rating - third-best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
106.0 - Kevin Harvick's career driver rating at Homestead-Miami Speedway (best among the Championship 4).
315 - Total number of laps led at Homestead-Miami Speedway by Kevin Harvick (second among active drivers, but first among the Championship 4).

Happy Hits Homestead: Harvick Hopes To Take Home Second Championship In Miami
Kevin Harvick will attempt to capture his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title in Sunday's season finale Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

The #4 Ford driver won the inaugural Championship 4 Race in 2014 at Homestead for his first and only series crown.

In 16 starts at the 1.5-mile track, Harvick claims one win, eight top fives and 14 top 10s. He has the track series-best average finish (6.9), second-ranked driver rating (106.0) and third-best average running position (8.9). His 315 laps led at Homestead rank second among active drivers and fourth all-time.

He has finished in the top three and has led at least 46 laps in his last three Homestead starts.

Harvick Enters Sunday's Race In Good Form
Harvick has shown off his speed lately with four consecutive top-eight finishes. He's especially performed well lately at 1.5-mile tracks. In the four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs races at intermediate tracks, Harvick finished third with 59 laps led (Chicagoland), third with 149 laps led (Charlotte), eighth with 37 laps led (Kansas) and first with 38 laps led (Texas).

NASCAR's Intermediate Master
Since 2014, Kevin Harvick has arguably been the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' top driver on intermediate tracks.

He's led a series-best 2,450 laps at tracks spanning 1.5 or 1.54 miles. Following Harvick are Martin Truex Jr. with 2,209 laps led and Brad Keselowski with 1,305 laps led.

Harvick also ranks first since 2014 in average finish (9.6), top fives (22) and top 10s (34) at intermediate tracks. Trailing Harvick in average finish are fellow Championship 4 drivers Kyle Busch (9.92) and Truex (9.93). Harvick is followed in top fives by Joey Logano (21) and Busch (18). His top 10s outpace Brad Keselowski's mark of 30 and Logano's total of 29.

Despite his statistical success on intermediate tracks since 2014, Harvick has struggled to close the races at times. His five wins at intermediate tracks are only the fourth-most in the series. He's behind Jimmie Johnson (10), Truex (8) and Keselowski (6).

Stewart-Haas Racing Can Win Third Championship In Nine Years
If Kevin Harvick wins the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title on Sunday, he would give Stewart-Haas Racing its third championship in the nine years since Tony Stewart left Joe Gibbs Racing to form the team with Gene Haas.

Stewart won the organization its first championship in 2011, while Harvick earned the second title for it in 2014.

Over the same time frame only Hendrick Motorsports has more titles with Jimmie Johnson's four.

Championships With Different Manufacturers
Kevin Harvick won his 2014 championship in a Chevrolet, but this year he is piloting a Ford. The last driver to win a new championship with a separate manufacturer was Harvick's team owner, Tony Stewart. He earned the 2002 crown racing a Pontiac, then captured the 2005 and 2011 titles driving a Chevrolet.

Nine drivers have won championships with multiple manufacturers: Buck Baker, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Ned Jarrett, Richard Petty, Tim Flock and Stewart.

Harvick/Childers A Dream Combination
Since joining forces at Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2014 season, the driver/crew chief pairing of Kevin Harvick and Rodney Childers has amassed 14 wins, 67 top fives, 99 top 10s and one championship in 143 starts.

Sunday's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway marks the third Championship 4 appearance for Harvick and Childers in their four years together.

An accomplished driver himself, Childers won seven World Karting Association championships in South Carolina and five championships at the national level. He made a NASCAR XFINITY Series start in 2000.

Childers, 41, won three races as a crew chief for Michael Waltrip Racing (two with David Reutimann and one with Brian Vickers) before leaving for SHR in 2014.


Brad Keselowski - Championship 4 Bio

BY THE NUMBERS
1 - Number of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships owned by Brad Keselowski (2012).
1 - Sunday marks Brad Keselowski's first appearance in the Championship 4.
2 - Number of top-five finishes Brad Keselowski has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
3 - Number of wins Brad Keselowski has during the 2017 season; including one during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs - (Atlanta, Martinsville-1, Talladega-2).
5 - Brad Keselowski's career Playoff wins
8 - Number of stage wins Brad Keselowski has posted during the 2017 season.
8.2 - Brad Keselowski's average finish during the first nine races of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
12.6 - Brad Keselowski's average finish during the 2017 season.
15.9 - Brad Keselowski's average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
15 - Number of top-five finishes Brad Keselowski has logged during the 2017 season.
20 - Number of top-10 finishes Brad Keselowski has tallied this season.
88.5 - Brad Keselowski's Homestead driver rating - 10th-best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
95.9 - Brad Keselowski's 2017 driver rating - sixth-best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
671 (8.1%) - Total number of fastest laps run by Brad Keselowski in the 2017 season - fourth-best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

First Time's A Charm? Keselowski Revved Up For First Championship 4
Surprisingly, Brad Keselowski will compete in his first Championship 4 as he goes for his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio).

If Keselowski can take home the title, he'd become the 16th driver to win multiple championships in the 69-year history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, joining Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Lee Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Tony Stewart, Herb Thomas, Tim Flock, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly, Ned Jarret and Terry Labonte.

In nine career starts at Homestead, Keselowski claims no wins, two top fives, three top 10s and a 15.9 average finish - all low totals among the Championship 4.

He earned his way to Homestead on points, navigating his way through the Round of 8 with a fourth-place showing at Martinsville, fifth-place result at Texas and 16th-place performance at Phoenix.

Keselowski Better At Homestead Lately
Brad Keselowski's Homestead track record might not be as strong as the rest of the Championship 4, but he's run well there lately. He wrecked out of the race last year, but in the three previous races, he finished third twice (2015 and 2014) and sixth (2013). He also led 86 laps in the 2015 event.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying shouldn't be an issue for Keselowski. He's started from a top-five position in five of his last six Homestead starts. In the one race where he didn't qualify in the top five, he started eighth on the grid.

Stellar Playoff Performance
Even casual NASCAR observers know Brad Keselowski has a flair for the dramatic.

It's no surprise he's elevated his performance during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. He's posted an average finish of 8.2 in the postseason - second among Championship 4 drivers (Martin Truex Jr., 4.7; Kevin Harvick. 10.9; Kyle Busch, 12.2).

The Rochester Hills, Michigan native won Talladega-2 and has finished no lower than 16th in the Playoffs.

Consistency is nice, but a top-five finish probably won't be enough to clinch the title. Keselowski's best 2017 postseason finishes other than his Talladega win are fourth (New Hampshire and Martinsville), fifth (Texas) and sixth (Chicagoland).

Second Championship For Penske
A Brad Keselowski title would mark the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship for Team Penske. It won its first crown with Keselowski in 2012.

Team Penske has been in the Championship 4 twice before with Joey Loga#In his two Championship 4 appearances, Logano finished fourth at Homestead last year and 16th there in 2014.

Team Penske, owned by legendary entrepreneur Roger Penske, is competing in its 34th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. It made its first start in NASCAR competition in 1972, fielding an AMC Matador for Mark Donohue at Riverside (Calif.) Raceway.

Team Penske has won 107 races in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition.

Keselowski At Intermediate Tracks
Since his breakout 2011 season, Brad Keselowski ranks second in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with wins at 1.5-mile tracks with 10. The only driver with more is Jimmie Johnson, who has 13. Coincidentally, Keselowski is followed in the stat category over that timeframe by Championship 4 competitors Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. (tied for third-most, 8) and Kyle Busch (fourth-most, 7).

Although he has more wins at intermediate tracks since 2011, Keselowski's 1,968 laps led at 1.5 or 1.54-mile circuits trails Johnson (2,817), Harvick (2,746), Truex (2,716) and Busch (2,375).

Wolfe/Keselowski Already A Championship Pairing
The #2 Ford crew chief Paul Wolfe and Brad Keselowski have experienced success ever since they were paired together in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2010. That season, Wolfe guided Keselowski and the #22 team to six wins, 26 top fives and 29 top 10s on the way to a NASCAR XFINITY Series title.

Wolfe moved up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to work with Keselowski in 2011 and the partnership continued to be a smashing success. Keselowski, who did not log a single top five in his first full-time season with Penske in 2010, won three races, tallied 10 top fives and 23 top 10s under the tutelage of Wolfe.

The next year with Wolfe, Keselowski won five races, including two in the Playoffs to earn the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.

With Wolfe on the box, Keselowski has 23 wins, 85 top fives, 135 top 10s and a 13.7 average finish in 244 starts.

An ex-racer himself with 16 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts to his name, Wolfe began his crew chief career in 2006 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' Fitz Racing. He joined CJM Racing in 2009 before moving to Team Penske in 2010.

Wolfe, a native of Milford, N.Y., began racing at 11 years old.

Daughter And Wife Will Be Able To Celebrate Championship
Brad Keselowski won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship as a 28-year-old in 2012. Since then, he's achieved some milestones in his personal life. Keselowski will be able to celebrate a second title with his wife Paige, and daughter Scarlett.


Martin Truex Jr. - Championship 4 Bio

BY THE NUMBERS
2 - Number of times Martin Truex Jr. has made it to the Championship 4 in the new Playoffs format.
3 - Number of top-five finishes Martin Truex Jr. has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
3 - Number of Coors Light poles Martin Truex Jr. has posted during the 2017 season.
4.7 - Martin Truex Jr.'s average finish during the first nine races of the 2017 Playoffs.
7 - Number of wins Martin Truex Jr. has posted during the 2017 season; including three during the Playoffs - (Las Vegas, Kansas, Kentucky, Watkins Glen, Chicago, Charlotte-2, Kansas-2).
7 - Number of top-10 finishes Martin Truex Jr. has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
9.7 - Martin Truex Jr.'s average finish during the entire 2017 season.
12.3 - Martin Truex Jr.'s average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway
18 - Number of top-five finishes Martin Truex Jr. has posted during the 2017 season.
19 - Number of stage wins Martin Truex Jr. has posted during the 2017 season.
25 - Number of top-10 finishes Martin Truex Jr. has posted during the 2017 season.
101.8 - Martin Truex Jr.'s career driver rating at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
111 - Total number of laps led at Homestead-Miami Speedway by Martin Truex Jr.
115.7 - Martin Truex Jr.'s 2017 driver rating (series-best).
119.81 - Martin Truex Jr.'s driver rating during the first nine races of the 2017 Playoffs.
2,175 - Laps led by Martin Truex Jr. in 2017.

The One Without A Title "That means it's my turn."

That was Martin Truex Jr.'s response following the penultimate race of the season at Phoenix when he was reminded that he is the lone driver in the 2017 Championship 4 who does not have the title "Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion" after his name.

Brad Keselowski (2012), Kevin Harvick (2014) and Kyle Busch (2015) have all hoisted the coveted year-end prize above their heads on the frontstretch at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Truex Jr. had a shot as a member of the Championship 4 in 2015, but finished 12th in the race.

It has been a gradual climb to greatness for Martin Truex Jr. with Furniture Row Racing - but the journey has been grand for him. His seven wins in 2017 doubled his career total, bringing him to 14. He went winless in his first year with the team (2014), made one trip to Victory Lane in his second season and then broke out with four wins in 2016. (Truex's other two wins came in 2007 with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and in 2013 with Michael Waltrip Racing.)

Now, he just needs the championship to reach the summit.

The One Without A Title, Team Edition
Not only is Martin Truex Jr. racing for his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title, so is Furniture Row Racing.

Their Championship 4 contemporaries all have titles under their belts with their respective drivers (Team Penske with Brad Keselowski - 2012, Stewart-Haas Racing with Kevin Harvick - 2014, Joe Gibbs Racing with Kyle Busch - 2015).

Furniture Row Racing started racing in the Monster Energy Series in 2005 and collected their first pole in 2008 with Joe Nemechek. They didn't tally their first win until 2011 (with Regan Smith) and qualified for the Playoffs in 2013 - the first single-car team to do so.

Truex Jr. joined the then one-car operation based in Denver, Colorado, for the 2014 season. Cole Pearn then took over atop the pit box in 2015 with the #78 Toyota made it to the Championship 4 in his inaugural year with Truex Jr.

Their fourth-place finish in the season standings in 2015 was the best thus far for the team and they have been breaking team records for wins and laps led ever since.

The One Without A Title, Crew Chief Edition
There is one more person looking for a huge first championship this weekend - the crew chief of the #78 Toyota, Cole Pearn.

His Championship 4 contemporaries all have titles under their belts with their respective drivers (Paul Wolfe with Brad Keselowski - 2012, Rodney Childers with Kevin Harvick - 2014, Adam Stevens with Kyle Busch - 2015).

Cole Pearn took the reins with the Furniture Row Racing team in 2015 and all he has done since then is prove he's one of the best in the business.

He tallied one win atop the pit box in his first year while guiding Martin Truex Jr. to the Championship 4 and a fourth-place finish in the standings. He then captured four wins and five poles in 2016, setting new team records in both categories.

And you already know the numbers he's put on the board in 2017 - seven wins, 18 top fives and 25 top 10s.

Reversing Recent Fortune In Miami
In order for Martin Truex Jr. to win the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he's going to have to reverse his recent fortune at the 1.5-mile track. His last three finishes there? 17, 12, and 36.

But if there's anyone who can power to the front on a 1.5-mile track, it's Martin Truex Jr. The driver of the #78 Toyota for Furniture Row Racing has recorded six wins at that distance in 2017 (Las Vegas, Kansas, Kentucky, Chicago, Charlotte and Kansas-2). When he drove into Victory Lane at the second Kansas race, it marked the first time in NASCAR history that a driver won four consecutive races on 1.5-mile tracks.

So, we're saying there's a chance Truex Jr. could drive to his first career win on the South Florida track - and therefore to his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Pretty Much Perfect On Paper
If you were forced to pick a favorite heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend, you would probably choose Martin Truex Jr.

He leads the field, not just the Championship 4, in nearly every statistical category. Seven wins. 18 top fives. 25 top 10s. 2,175 laps led. An average finish of 9.7 (more than two positions better than Kyle Busch's 11.8).

And a season-long driver rating that's seven points better than his next closest Championship 4 competitor (115.7 compared to Busch's 108.2).

Did we mention he has six wins this season on 1.5-mile tracks? Which just happens to be the length of the host track this weekend.

It's hard to pick against those numbers.

Good Things Come In (Top) Threes
All three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champions crowned since the elimination-style Playoff format was introduced in 2014 earned their title by taking the checkered flag. In two of those years (2014, 2015), second place in the standings finished second in the race. In 2016? The runner-up in the championship finished fourth.

That means there's a lot of pressure on this year's Championship 4 to win, or at least finish very close to the front, to secure the title.

Martin Truex Jr. leads the Championship 4 in top-five finishes in 2017 with 18, but more importantly, 15 of those 18 finishes (83 percent) saw him in the top three. And he's finished in the top three in the last four races leading into the showdown in Miami (Kansas - 1, Martinsville - 2, Texas - 2, Phoenix - 3).

Kyle Busch has put together 10 top-three finishes, but only one (a win at Martinsville) in the last five races. Keselowski has eight top threes on the season (his win at Talladega being his lone podium finish since late July) and Harvick trails with seven (the Texas win being his only top-three finish in the last five races).