Brad Keselowski

Early-season favorites emerge as NASCAR hypes Gen-6 car

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Kobalt Tools 400 in Las Vegas
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<p> Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Kobalt Tools 400 in Las Vegas</p>

If Matt Kenseth were a betting man, he’d have bought a Play 4 ticket on the way out of Las Vegas.

The numbers? 3-3-3-3.

Kenseth, in the third race of the 2013 season, became career Sprint Cup driver number three to win a race on his birthday (joining Cale Yarborough and Kyle Busch). The new, third member of the Joe Gibbs Racing stable also has more career victories in Vegas (along with Auto Club Speedway) than any other track on the circuit: Three.

Matt Kenseth wins Kobalt Tools 400 in Las Vegas

Kenseth gets first win for Joe Gibbs Racing in third start.
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<p> Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR Kobalt Tools 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway.</p>

The biggest name in NASCAR's 2012 version of Silly Season made his presence known early in the 2013 season. Matt Kenseth, in only his third start with Joe Gibbs Racing, gave the No. 20 team its first win since June 2012, when he won the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday.

NASCAR's Gen-6 a work in progress; Carl Edwards relevant again

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Phoenix.
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<p> Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.</p>

In the midst of a near two-year winless skid on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit, Carl Edwards, perhaps more than any driver, needed a confidence boost. And after winning the Subway Fresh Fit 500 — in only his second start with crew chief Jimmy Fennig — that’s exactly what the Missouri native received at Phoenix International Raceway.

Carl Edwards holds off Jimmie Johnson, wins in Phoenix

Edwards survives green-white-checker finish in Subway Fresh Fit 500
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<p> Carl Edwards breaks winless skid, wins in Phoenix.</p>

A new season brings new hope. And no one in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is in more need of hope than Carl Edwards.

On the outside looking in at last season’s Chase for the Championship, Edwards has been mired in a winless skid that dates back to March 6, 2011. And his 2013 season got off to a dubious start in Daytona during Speedweeks, where he was involved in four wrecks (and a fifth in a test session in January), ultimately finishing 33rd in the Daytona 500.

8 Amazing NASCAR Stats for Phoenix International Raceway

NASCAR Numbers Game: Phoenix
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<p> NASCAR Numbers Game: Phoenix</p>

After a Daytona 500 that catered to the more intelligent teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage — track position and strategy reigned supreme — one of the two duels this season in the Arizona desert greets America’s best drivers on Sunday.

There are a lot of unknowns with the Gen-6 car taking to a surface and configuration at Phoenix International Raceway that is just three races old. What we do know, and what we could anticipate, is revealed in the numbers.

Danica impresses at Daytona, NASCAR's Gen-6 does not

Through the Gears: Five things we learned in the Daytona 500
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<p> Through the Gears: Five things we learned in the Daytona 500</p>

The Great American Race, for the first 180 laps, looked more like the Great American Parade. Cars ran single-file for much of the Daytona 500, content to ride in packs for fear that pulling out for a pass would leave them slower than the street cars the new Gen-6 models are supposed to resemble.

Jimmie Johnson wins the Daytona 500

Johnson edges Earnhardt for second 500 crown
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<p> Johnson edges Earnhardt for second 500 crown.</p>

NASCAR’s new Gen-6 car gave way to a new style of drafting in the Great American Race, while newcomer Danica Patrick once again made history. The ultimate result, though, was all too familiar. Jimmie Johnson scored career Cup win No. 61 by holding off a charging Dale Earnhardt Jr. on a frantic final lap to win the 55th Daytona 500.

Violent Daytona crash mars NASCAR race, injures fans

Fans hurt in ugly Nationwide Series wreck in Daytona
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<p> Fans hurt in ugly Nationwide Series wreck in Daytona.</p>

DAYTONA BEACH, FL — A violent ending to Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway marred an exciting race and left numerous fans injured and a sport shaken.

As a pack of cars sprinted to the start-finish line on the event’s final lap, a massive crash broke out when Regan Smith attempted to block Brad Keselowski while racing for the lead. Smith’s car clipped the nose of Keselowski in the tri-oval and impacted the wall head-on. Keselowski also spun, and chaos ensued when drivers took evasive action to miss the accident.

Top 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers for 2013

Predicting the best drivers to hit the track this season.
<p> Predicting the best drivers to hit the track this NASCAR season  </p>

As the 2013 NASCAR season revs up this weekend at Daytona, Athlon Sports offers up our preseason Top 25 Sprint Cup Series driver rankings. Click on each driver's name for a detailed preview of what fans can expect in 2013. 

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