NASCAR Phoenix 2013 results: Brad Keselowski thinks track position is more important than ever before

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Keselowski finished fourth in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix. But the inability of the new car to pass in traffic has the defending champion thinking track position is more important than ever before.

Brad Keselowski wishes he had made a move on Carl Edwards going into turn one of the final restart but believes he would have had to wreck him to take the lead. Keselowski had pushed Edwards down the frontstretch but lost touch with Edwards coming out of turn two.

That left him in the clutches of both Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin, who passed him on the final two laps, leaving him with a fourth place finish. The three had a frantic battle for the position and the defending Cup Series champion is content with the start of the season.

"That's how it's supposed to be," Keselowski said of the battle with Johnson and Hamlin. "That was cool. We had a really great Miller Lite Ford today. I thought we had the car to win, but I could never get the track position towards the end that we needed. If you could get to the lead, it looked like you had it covered, but it just wasn't meant to be."

Keselowski thinks track position and clean air is more important than ever before with the new sixth-generation Sprint Cup car. The car was developed with the intent to increase mechanical grip and eliminate aero dependency but Phoenix has Keselowski thinking that won't be the case.

"I think these cars probably drive easier than any race car I've ever driven in my life by themselves, and probably the hardest to drive of any race car I've ever driven in traffic," Keselowski said. "I think we can get that a little bit better and probably make them a little more difficult to drive by yourself, but a little easier to drive in traffic, we could have even better races than what we had today."

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