Edwards’ win a bit empty, Keso clinches: The O’Reilly Challenge Review

In case you didn’t hear, Penske Championship Racing has finally won a Nascar Championship.  It wasn’t with Rocket Man Ryan Newman or 2004 Champion Kurt Busch – or even 1989 Champion Rusty Wallace!

It was with second year breakout star Brad Keselowski. In just 33 starts, Brad won six times, finished in the top five 24 times, the top ten 27 times, took home five poles and we still have two races to go!

No one can say that Keso doesn’t deserve the championship.

You may be able to say that things would be different with Kyle Busch running the full season, but he did not.  Former Champ Carl Edwards ran the full year and he was no where near Brad for most of the year.  Like him or not, Brad Keselowski is now and forever a Nascar Champion.

With the season almost over, Penske will need to decide if they want Brad to defend his title in 2011, or have him focus on improving an otherwise mediocre Sprint Cup campaign as Keselowski will be driving Penske Racing’s flagship Dodge, the Blue Deuce, next year.

Miller Brewing Company (Now Miller Coors) has been on a Penske car since 1991.  They will celebrate 20 years with Penske by changing drivers and with Sprint Cup Champion Kurt Busch moving into a brand new numbered 22 Dodge, it will be on Brad to continue Penske’s resergence in Nascar.

It will take more then 2 top 10s in 30+ races for Brad to be considered a Cup driver.

Penske Racing may have a completly different look in Nationwide next year too as Justin Allgaier is leaving the 12 Dodge for the Turner Motorsports #31 Chevy.  Sam Hornish may take his place, and there are still questions on Penske’s plan for Parker Kligerman.  But that’s 2011.  In 2010, Penske can spend the next two weeks going all out in the Championship Celebration!

Results and more after the JUMP

 

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Pts Bns Driver Rating Winnings Status Tms Laps
1 3 60 Carl Edwards Copart.com Ford 205 190 5 135.8 $141,920 Running 3 59
2 4 18 Kyle Busch Z-Line Designs / Conn’s Toyota 205 180 10 142.7 $56,275 Running 3 107
3 16 22 Brad Keselowski Discount Tire Dodge 205 170 5 118.6 $37,450 Running 1 1
4 10 20 Joey Logano GameStop / Gran Turismo Toyota 205 160 111.1 $33,450 Running
5 6 99 Martin Truex Jr. Out! Pet Care Toyota 205 155 110.4 $29,325 Running
6 17 38 Jason Leffler Great Clips / DIY Network – Garage Mahal Toyota 205 150 101.9 $33,693 Running
7 23 32 Reed Sorenson Dollar General Toyota 205 146 89.1 $29,153 Running
8 2 33 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s Chevy 205 142 103.7 $21,645 Running
9 12 98 Paul Menard Richmond / Menards Ford 205 138 87.2 $20,950 Running
10 9 66 Steve Wallace 5 Hour Energy Toyota 205 134 79.1 $26,743 Running
11 7 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. # CitiFinancial Ford 205 135 5 108.8 $28,493 Running 1 27
12 14 17 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Ford 205 132 5 94.9 $18,275 Running 1 4
13 20 12 Justin Allgaier Verizon Wireless Dodge 205 124 91.4 $24,218 Running
14 29 16 Erik Darnell 3M / Ace Ford 205 121 74.7 $24,193 Running
15 24 11 David Reutimann Rexall / Dollar General Toyota 205 118 89.1 $17,950 Running
16 25 88 Aric Almirola GT Vodka Chevy 205 120 5 85.3 $23,443 Running 1 3
17 27 62 Brendan Gaughan LoanStar Title Loans Toyota 205 112 74.9 $23,318 Running
18 35 15 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Coffee Toyota 205 109 70.2 $23,943 Running
19 13 04 Jeremy Clements Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Chevy 203 106 70.9 $23,268 Running
20 36 87 Joe Nemechek Gator.com Chevy 203 103 58.5 $24,093 Running
21 21 40 Mike Bliss HEILTrailer.com Chevy 202 100 67.6 $22,818 Running
22 28 7 Danica Patrick GoDaddy.com Chevy 202 97 52.1 $22,693 Running
23 37 01 Mike Wallace GK Services Chevy 202 94 58.7 $22,968 Running
24 39 28 Kenny Wallace Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy Chevy 202 91 41.0 $22,443 Running
25 40 34 Tony Raines BeAStockCarDriver.com Chevy 202 88 50.3 $22,743 Running
26 33 24 Eric McClure Hefty Odor Block / Cattlemen’s Restaurant Ford 202 85 42.4 $22,168 Running
27 41 23 Robert Richardson Jr. North Texas Pipe Chevy 202 82 41.2 $22,443 Running
28 30 70 Shelby Howard Foretravel Motorcoach Chevy 201 79 56.3 $21,943 Running
29 38 35 Jason Keller Tri-Star Motorsports Chevy 199 76 42.0 $21,868 Running
30 5 21 Clint Bowyer Zaxby’s Chevy 198 73 74.7 $15,650 Engine
31 42 27 Alex Kennedy LawMemorial.org Ford 197 70 33.4 $21,763 Running
32 19 09 Brian Scott # Shore Lodge Toyota 196 67 69.5 $21,703 Brakes
33 11 31 Stanton Barrett KidsEmbrace Chevy 189 64 44.6 $15,200 Engine
34 22 42 Parker Kligerman GetMoreVacations.com / Bandit Chippers Dodge 180 61 50.1 $15,165 Accident
35 18 10 Ricky Carmichael Monster Energy Toyota 89 58 56.7 $21,578 Oil Pump
36 43 81 Michael McDowell Red Line Oil / Drive Reply Dodge 59 55 45.1 $21,543 Engine
37 1 30 James Buescher # Wolfpack Energy Services Chevy 41 57 5 68.1 $18,240 Accident 1 4
38 26 05 David Starr Cash America Chevy 36 49 32.5 $21,453 Accident
39 31 79 Tim Andrews 2nd Chance Race Parts Ford 31 46 37.7 $14,945 Electrical
40 8 91 David Gilliland D’Hondt – Humphrey Motorsports Chevy 20 43 45.4 $14,905 Electrical
41 32 07 Danny Efland Danny Efland Racing Chevy 12 40 32.1 $14,840 Engine
42 34 52 Kevin Lepage Metro Ministries / Cattlemen’s Restaurant Chevy 12 37 29.9 $14,795 Ignition
43 15 92 Dennis Setzer K-Automotive Motorsports Dodge 3 34 29.3 $14,721 Vibration

Edwards did everything he could do, but the racing gods just didn’t help him out.  It was rough seeing James Buescher wreck after claiming his first pole.

 

The battle for the top 30 is winding down.  Here’s the battle:

 

28 Keller 35 2,849 +142
29 Richardson 23 2,849 +142
30 Howard 70 2,808 +101
31 McDowell 81 2,707 -101
32 Allen 05 2,622 -186
33 McClure 24 2,491 -317

 

At the start of the race at Phoenix, Eric McClure will officially be a non-top 30 driver.  The #24 team cannot make up 317 points in two races, so the team will not be locked into Daytona 2011 unless 3 teams close down before the start of next season.

This week we head to Phoenix for the second to last race of the 2010 season.  Don’t think that just because the Championship is decided that Nationwide will no longer be exciting.  Quite the opposite.  Everyone has nothing to lose.  Enjoy!