For the first time in his career, Brad Keselowski entered a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race as the points leader. That lead, however, was short-lived as a sixth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday dropped him to second overall (one point behind Jimmie Johnson).
The result left the Penske Racing driver "happy" but not "thrilled."
"You're still in the opening weeks of the Chase," Keselowski said. "Like Tony (Stewart) won the first race last year and didn't even have the points lead, so you just have to keep it in perspective."
That perspective includes being able to see the big picture, knowing fully there is still a lot of racing left to do.
"We'd like to be just a little bit faster than where we were today, but this is what a championship team does," Keselowski said. "They take weekends where they're not the best and they make something out of it."
Keselowski also understands that by starting the Chase off with a victory and a sixth-place finish, he's in great shape to win car owner Roger Penske's first Cup title, saying he's "pretty happy with that" referring to the last two weeks.
On Sunday, like most of the field, Keselowski and his team struggled with track position. But a two-tire stop while most of the competition went with four, allowed the No. 2 car to finally move up the running order. And when everything shook out at the end, Keselowski was in line for a respectable finish that allowed him to leave Loudon just a point out of the lead.
"One point doesn't seem too bad," Keselowski said. "We'll go to Dover and give ‘em hell."