By Brian Willwerth
With two races remaining before the Chase for the Championship begins, there is little doubt who the surprise driver of 2011 is.
It’s Brad Keselowski, the driver of the #2 Dodge, who won his third race of the season Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. He has been red-hot over the past month. His broken ankle has not slowed him down; two of his four wins have come since the injury. Throw in a second and third-place finish, and it’s easy to see why he’s jumped from 21st to 11th in the standings. If he can’t crack the Top 10, his three wins will likely earn him one of the two wild-card spots.
Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top five.
Denny Hamlin is hanging on by a thread to the other wild-card spot. He got a much-needed Top 10 finish last night (7th.) Johnson and Kyle Busch are tied atop the standings.
THE WRECK WRAP:
David Reutimann went spinning into the inside wall, courtesy of a little contact from behind by David Stremme. Hamlin and Paul Menard spun out trying to avoid the crash. Both drivers remained in the race.
Mark Martin got into the back of Brian Vickers. Martin’s #5 car got the worst of that incident.
NEXT WEEK: They’ll be celebrating Labor Day weekend by racing under the lights Sunday in Atlanta. There are only two races left before the Chase.