Too sick to start practice on Saturday, Brad Keselowski found the cure to what ailed him in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Still suffering from the effects of stomach flu, Keselowski held off a charging — and frustrated — Martin Truex Jr. in the closing circuits of the 325-lap Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race and powered his No. 2 Team Penske Ford across the finish line .218 seconds ahead of Truex’s No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
The victory was Keselowski’s first of the season and the first for the new Ford Mustang in the Cup series. The 2012 champion won for the second time at Atlanta and for the 60th in Roger Penske equipment (all series combined), breaking a tie with the late Mark Donohue.
Despite his illness, Keselowski reveled in the accomplishment.
“I think any win means a lot, but that’s a big number,” Keselowski said. “Now I get to wear that yellow Mark Donohue helmet, so here we go — we’re going to wear it next week.
“But what a tremendous honor. This day is … Wow, I don’t even know how to put it in words. I’m just excited for this team, first race with the new rules or whatever they’re called now, and to be able to win it, that’s really special.”
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
This week we have three players who share this award, Snoopy Dawn, Carlton The Doorman, as well as Bernie The Bay Area Bandit. All three players were stuffed into the copilot’s compartment of the Team Penske Discount Tire machine driven by “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski. Even though their man won the race, they did not garner the highest score of the day, they did, however, tally up a very cool 40 points.
THE MOVERS AND THE SHAKERS
The biggest scorers this week were not the three players who selected the race winner. No, “Blazingly Bad” gathered zero stage points to go with his 40 point race win. This week it was the two ladies who had all their marbles in the marble sack of “Freaky Fast” Kevin Harvick. When the checkers flew at Atlanta, “Happy Harvick” paid a cool 52 points to Karen The Highly Opinionated Southern Bell and Carole, aka Rudy.
Not having a too shabby race was Leon The Retired Airline Captain, Part-Time Cardiologist and Elephant Driver, Strawberry Picker, and Your Most Humble Sheriff. The Sheriff was all in for Martin Truex, Jr. and his new ride at Joe Gibbs Racing. For his loyalty, the Ol Strawberry Picker added a much needed 49 points to his 1st segment score.
Meanwhile, Lonna The Quilt Angel, Linda R. The Lemonade Lefty, as well as Jeremy The Coach had a very pleasant Sunday adding 45 points to their banks. This trio was rooting very loudly for the driver formally known as “The Outlaw”, now wishing to be known by his given name of Kurt Busch.
Bobby Blue Crush did well for himself at Atlanta grabbing 44 points from “Young Money”, Kyle Larson’s 12th place finish.
As was mentioned above, Snoopy, The Doorman, and The Bay Area Bandit added 40 points to their totals and they rounded out the top five scorers of the week. It is quite unusual that the race winner only produced the 5th highest point total for the race. But if you fail to score any stage points the most you can score for a win is 40 points!
The biggest mover this week is Amber The Extremely Cheddar Head. The Cheddar Head fell dropped like a steaming hot potato five (5) positions from the top of the totem pole to land in sixth place.
Likewise, both David The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey and Wild Bill The Pretzel Man pulled a Paul Simon this week and was just “Slip Sliding Away”. The Mudslinging Throttle Masher slid down the leaderboard four (4) spots to rest in 13th place, while The Pretzel Man is his next door neighbor at 14th place!
It wasn’t all bad news this week in the fantasy league. Jeremy The Coach, Linda R. The Lemonade Lefty, and Snoopy Dawn had an upward vector as the Sun set on Hampton, GA. The Coach and The Lemonade Lefty are sitting in a tie for 8th place this week, while Snoopy occupies 12th place.
Meanwhile, Bobby Blue Crush, Karen The Highly Opinionated Southern Belle, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, Bernie The Bay Area Bandit, Carlton The Doorman, and Kathy The Church Forecloser moved two (2) positions.
Blue Crush, The Opinionated One stepped up their game and sit in a tie for 4th place. The Doorman, however, is hanging out this week in 11th spot all by his lonesome.
Conversely, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, Bernie The Bay Area Bandit, and Kathy The Church Forecloser plummeted like a bad habit this week. The Super Star, The Bandit, and The Forecloser now resides in 7th, 10th, and 18th.
The remaining six players moved up or down just one place this week.
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
You know that the whole fantasy league had a reasonably good race when the award for “The Crappiest Pick” goes to the player who scored 18 points. This week not only does this player win “The Crappiest Pick of The Week” award, but also snagged “The Outhouse” award! This week we celebrate Kathy The Church Forecloser who miraculously beat everyone out for these two weekly awards!
Next week the haulers will be pulling a Horace Greeley. That’s right, they will “going West young man”! It is time for the NASCAR West Coast swing and that excites me because I will be utilizing the media credentials for those three tracks! First up will be Las Vegas and the drivers will most definitely be “working on a dream” there.
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT, AND LET’S GO RACIN’!
The Bay Area Bandit