Brad Keselowski says he’ll need to win Miami to win the championship

Brad Keselowski checks in with 'NASCAR Race Hub' to talk about battling for a second Cup championship.

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- Brad, good to have you with us, as always. Best of luck on Sunday. And let's start out-- when you won that championship in 2012-- different format. So how does your thought process change for Sunday?

- Yeah, well, we've been at them on both sides of the formats, with the 2012 format being kind of the 10-race cumulative, and with Homestead, with this playoff format, being kind of the slate wiped clean. No one has an advantage going in to this race. The points are zero. It's just about who finishes the highest.

So I think with this format, it's definitely a different feel, but probably one that we have a pretty good opportunity with. You know, Martin Truex Jr has had a phenomenal season-- won the most races, scored the most points. Under the old format, we wouldn't be talking right now. You'd be handing him the trophy.

But now we're dead even. Best finisher wins. That gives us a great opportunity.

- Brad, last month, when you won Talladega, I sent you a text congratulating you and wishing you good luck moving forward. And your response was simple. We have to have more speed at the mile and a half tracks.

After the run you had at Texas, after the test at Miami, is the speed there? Can you compete with those other three guys?

- Well, we didn't have a great test at Homestead, to be honest with you, Larry. But we did learn a lot from it. And it's kind of been our team's history that we don't test all that well and then we come back and run better. So I'm somewhat optimistic.

But I think if you look back at Texas, we had a-- what I would say, a terrible start to the day. We had a lap one incident. We were able to recover from that, drive up to the front, and have a decent top five day-- not a winning day. And we probably weren't the fastest car. But we were top-five capable.

And that's going to be important here. Probably going to need to win Homestead to win this championship. At the very least, you've got to run in the top five all day. Keep the pressure on. And that's what's going to open up doors for you.

And if we can run like we did at Texas, or even a little bit better, then yes. But honest answer at this moment, I don't know. I really don't know what we have to go to Homestead. We could go to Homestead, unload Friday, and be a 15th place car all weekend and kind of have a miserable Sunday. Or we could go there, Larry, and be the fastest car all weekend and win practice qualifying in the race. I don't really know.

I know that this sport is dynamic. Things change every week. The rules change almost every week. The cars change almost every week. The drivers learn things every week. The tires change every week. And I can't tell you what we're going to see at Miami. And I don't think anyone can.

- Here's what we do know, Brad, is that you and Paul Wolfe, as far as strategy, as far as fuel mileage, you guys are willing to take those risks. How much have you guys talked about that possibly being the way you win this?

- Well, you know, you're not going to win these things by just doing what everyone else does. That doesn't win.

Winning, you have to set yourself apart. You have to be better. You have to find ways to be better. And that means you have to be different.

And so how we're going to be different is still, you know, a work in progress. Will that be on the strategy? Possibly. If we don't have the speed that we want to have, I would say definitely. We're hopeful we'll just go there and be the fastest car all weekend and not have to worry about that.

As to whether that can happen, we don't know. It hasn't been where we've been the last few mile-and-a-halfs. But it could be this weekend.

- I know a lot has changed since your last championship, but I know you would love to celebrate with your little girl in victory lane. So congratulations on the season, on making it to the Championship 4, Brad, and good luck on Sunday.

- Thank you. I've got the little girl daughter and the big girl mama, and I'd love to be in victory lane with the championship with both of them. That'd be a great day with my team. And looking forward to this opportunity. It's a good one. So thanks for having me on.

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