Brad Keselowski 2016 Fantasy NASCAR Preview
Brad Keselowski 2015 Stats: Points Finish 7th, 1 Win, 3 Poles, 9 Top Fives, 25 Top Tens, Average Finish 11.1, Average Running Position 10.2, Laps Led 1,184, Driver Rating 101.56
Strengths – Brad Keselowski is smart talented driver who’s capable of performing well on every track type. Look for his best afternoons to come at intermediate tracks and shorter-flat tracks.
Weaknesses – At the moment one track stands out among the 23 venues as his worst venue and that’s Sonoma. He has not performed well there recently.
Track Type Fantasy Value Key = Elite > High > Moderate > Low
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Brad Keselowski had a tremendous season at intermediate tracks last year. He scored the most points and had the best average finish (6.9). Also on this track type he went to victory lane at Auto Club Speedway and had the most top fifteens.
1.5 mile tracks were an area of strength for him last year. At those venues he was the only driver who finished in the top ten every race. At the end of the season his team really cranked up the speed. He closed out the season dominating both Texas and Homestead until he lost the lead late.
In 2016 I expect him to continue to perform well. Last year when the 2016 rules package was utilized he was impressive. Between Kentucky and Darlington he had a 1.5 average starting position, 3.5 average running position, 4.0 average finish and led the most laps (258).
Flat Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Brad Keselowski is an elite flat track driver. Last year at these venues he scored the 2nd most points. In the three seasons leading up to 2015 on this track type he accumulated the 2nd, 2nd and 5th most points.
In 2015 on this track type Keselowski had an 8.3 average finish and an 8.7 average running position.
I like Keselowski at both the big flat tracks and the small flat tracks.
At the small flat tracks I think he has a better chance to visit victory lane. At New Hampshire he’s been as good as it gets over the last couple of seasons. Last year he finished 2nd and 12th. In his 12th place finish he was top two good but got a devastating pit penalty. At Phoenix he’s also run well. Currently at that venue he has four straight top tens and has finished in the top 11 in every race since 2012. Last year he finished 6th and 9th there.
The big flat tracks have been friendly to him. Last year at Indy he finished 10th. In four of the last five races there he finished between 9th and 12th. Pocono has been his better big flat track. He’s a former winner there and in the past two seasons he has two runner-up results.
Short Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Brad Keselowski can win at any of the short tracks. Last year at these venues he had problems in a few of the races but performance wise he was fast every weekend.
Bristol has historically been his most successful short track. He’s won there twice and should be on your short list of contenders. Last August at Thunder Valley he started 6th and finished 6th. In the spring race he was a pre-race favorite but he wrecked early on a rain slick track. In August 2014 he led 46 laps and finished runner-up behind teammate Joey Logano.
At Richmond he’s been a phenomenal performer. Over the last five races he has the best driver rating, best average running position (4.0), led the most laps (648) and has a misleading 9.4 average finish. Last fall at Richmond he finished 8th. In spring 2015 he was top five good but was down a cylinder at the end. In 2014 he finished 1st and 4th there.
At Martinsville he’s been strong but he’s had misleading results in 3 of the last 4 races. In fall 2015 he was top five good but was collected in the “Big One” while running near the front. In that event he led 143 laps. In spring 2015 he finished runner-up on Denny Hamlin’s bumper.
Restrictor Plate Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Brad Keselowski had a tough time at plate tracks last year. He had problems in the first three races but in the final race he finally had an incident free race and finished 4th. In years past on this track type he was very successful. In the three seasons prior to last year on this track type he scored the 4th, 10th and 5th most points.
At plate tracks I really like Keselowski. He has a knack for this form of racing and knows how to position himself at the end. It also helps that his team always comes with a fast car to the track.
Road Course Track Fantasy Value – High
Brad Keselowski is an elite talent at Watkins Glen but at Sonoma he’s simply a medium fantasy value performer. When you combine those two I’ll rank his fantasy value as high.
At Watkins Glen Keselowski is a strong performer. Last year he finished 7th. The year before that he had trouble and finished 35th. In the three consecutive Watkins Glen races prior to that event he finished runner-up. The bottom line about him at Watkins Glen is that as long as he avoids trouble he’ll finish well.
Sonoma hasn’t been a good track for Keselowski. In the last three races there he’s finished between 19th and 22nd. Last year Keselowski finished 19th and had a 19th place average running position. The year before he finished 22nd and he was lucky to finish that good. Performance wise he looked lost in that race.