Brad Keselowski Feels McDowell, Bell Wins Have ‘Dramatically Changed’ NASCAR 2021 Playoffs Dynamic

Published 02/24/2021, 12:12 PM EST
LOUDON, NH – SEPTEMBER 19: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, sits in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

After just 2 races into the NASCAR Cup Series 2021 season, the Playoffs picture is already getting interesting. The reason for that is that the first 2 races have seen not just a pair of different winners, but surprise winners. And Brad Keselowski believes that has considerably changed the dynamic.


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Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell are drivers that only a handful of people would expect to make the Playoffs, and that too so early in the season.

However, their wins sealed those two playoff places, meaning that a few drivers will have to fight for the playoff spots based on points at the end of the regular season. Keselowski feels it will certainly come down to that.


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“Dynamic has changed dramatically right now. We are very early in the season and it’s not turned into a points race for those last few spots,” Keselowski said after the race at Daytona Road Course.

Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell (34) celebrates winning the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Keselowski hopes to seal his playoff spot well within time

At the same time, the Team Penske star hopes he will not be one of those drivers fighting for a playoff spot right at the end of the regular season. Keselowski has historically performed well at tracks like Richmond Raceway and Martinsville Speedway, and other similar tracks.

The no. 2 car driver hopes he can continue his strong run at those tracks and get a win to secure his seat in the Playoffs. Having said that, he feels that drivers who are not able to win will face a tough road to the 16-driver Cup Playoffs.

“Hopefully, it doesn’t matter for us. I think that we’ll be able to go to Richmond and Martinsville and some of those tracks and contend for a win, and hopefully bring home wins,” Keselowski said further.

“But if you don’t win, you’re in a lot of trouble right now. It’s not looking like you’re going to be able to get into the playoffs right without a win,” he concluded on the topic.

Feb 21, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (2) during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Keselowski has been impressive at the start of the 2021 NASCAR season


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The 2012 NASCAR Cup champion came very close to fulfilling his Daytona 500 dream but got caught up in a last-lap crash that absolutely destroyed his car. However, looked good again at the Daytona Road Course, finishing in the Top-5.

Keselowski is certainly expected to make the Playoffs with a win. The star driver was in the Championship-4 last year, falling short to Chase Elliott in the Phoenix finale by a whisker’s length.

He would hope that the win comes this Sunday at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.


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Aayush Majumdar

948 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.