After winning the regular season finale at Richmond and then the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Chicagoland, Brad Keselowski is proving he's the championship favorite.
Keselowski clinched the first seed in the 10-race Chase by scoring his fourth victory of the season on Sept. 6 at Richmond, where he started on the pole and led 383 of 400 laps.
The driver of the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske had a much tougher time winning on Sunday at Chicagoland after he started deep in the field. Since Friday's qualifying session was rained out, he was positioned 25th on the grid based on his practice speed.
Keselowski patiently made his way through the field and went on to lead three times for a total of 62 laps. Following a restart with 19 laps to go, Kevin Harvick and rookie Kyle Larson fought each other for the top spot. But Keselowski, who restarted in fourth, caught up with Harvick and Larson and then squeezed through the middle of them in a three-wide pass for the lead
with 16 laps left.
With the win at Chicagoland, Keselowski has secured a spot in the second round of NASCAR's new Chase. He also holds a seven-point lead over Gordon in the championship standings.