For those of us who expected Brad Keselowski to be mired in the back half of NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup point standings by now, it's time to accept reality: We were wrong.
Keselowski isn't going anywhere. With yet another good finish on Sunday at Kansas Speedway – this time a third-place run – Keselowski moved up to fourth in the point standings and is just 11 points behind championship leader Carl Edwards.
The Penske Racing's summer surge was not an illusion after all. Since the Chase began, Keselowski's cars have been just as strong as when he was transforming from a 20th-place driver into a championship-caliber one.
Even last week at Dover, Keselowski had a strong car before his power steering was knocked out.
"We're executing very well as a group and as a team," he said after the race. "Just the things that we can control we're doing very well. ... We were about a third- or fifth-place car today and brought home a third, so (I'm) proud of that effort."
Once again, Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe improved the No. 2 car as the day progressed. He was about a 10th-place car in the first half of the race and a top-five car by the end of it. When it was go-time at the end, Keselowski went from seventh place to third in the final 30 laps.
"Good teams have good cars; they're best at their end and fastest at their end," he said. "They use good pit strategy and stay strong through adversity, and I feel like I just have a really good team.
"You know, last year we weren't a good team. We were always our worst at the end, and that's not what it takes. ... This year, it seems like as a group, we're just clicking."