No backing down: Keselowski the No. 1 threat to Hendrick, Stewart-Haas

Brad Keselowski has finished no worse than third in the past three Sprint Cup Series races.

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If I had to pick one driver, I would have to say Brad Keselowski is the best of the non-Hendrick/Stewart-Haas drivers out there right now. When you stop and look at his season to date, the numbers are pretty darn impressive. In 15 races, Brad has one win, a couple poles, seven top-fives and eight top-10 finishes.

These last three races we’ve been to have been three completely different racetracks in style and configuration, yet Brad has finished in the top three for three consecutive weeks. It also puts him fifth overall in the points, some 47 points back of series leader Jeff Gordon.

If you got a chance to see Brad’s post-race interview Sunday from Michigan, he said he’s proud of his third-second-second string, but he also acknowledges that their Fords are a little down on power when compared to, as he called it, "the big motor cars," naturally referencing Hendrick Motorsports and its alliance partner Stewart-Haas Racing. Brad’s laid down some incredible numbers, but he admitted that despite the awesome cars he has been given, they are still behind Hendrick with it comes to steam under the hood.

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Brad is also quick to point out the other positives that they are really solid and, even more importantly, really consistent. If I was a crew chief and my driver was posting numbers on the board like Brad is doing, I’d be pretty darn happy. Brad’s teammate at Team Penske, Joey Logano, is also right there in the battle against Hendrick/Stewart-Haas.

Joey is two spots back of Brad in the points, but has one more win than Brad does so far. He’s put six top-fives and eight top-10 finishes on the board after 15 events. Joey is also the only non-Hendrick/Stewart-Haas driver to have more than one win this year.

So, yes, Joey’s really close to it, but when you compare the two side by side and compare Brad to the other drivers out there, it really is no question that Brad is the man leading the battle against the Hendrick/Stewart-Haas dominance.