Brad Keselowski finished third in Friday’s Bashas’ Supermarkets 200, good enough to take over the NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings from Carl Edwards.
Keselowski’s lead is tenuous, as he’s only four points ahead of Edwards, with Kyle Busch 15 behind and Kevin Harvick 45 back. But Busch and Harvick aren’t running the full Nationwide schedule.
Still, Keselowski will take it, as he’s with a team that didn’t exist at the end of the 2009 season.
"It makes me feel good," Keselowski said. "This move over during the off-season was one of the toughest moves I think you could ever make in professional sports. I had a shot down the line to follow in the footsteps of guys that are winning a lot of championships and races on the Hendrick (Motorsports) side, but chose a different path.
"To be able to take a brand-new program, the Nationwide team that we have here with Discount Tire and (crew chief) Paul Wolfe and to run up front and take the point lead, to sit on poles, is justification for all those decisions that I stressed over. I made the right one."
Keselowski moved to Penske for 2010, running both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide schedules. He raced last year for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series and appeared to be headed to Hendrick in Cup at some point, though nothing was ever confirmed.
"We still have a lot of work to do on the Cup side," Keselowski said of Penske Racing. "We know that. We’re working. It’s not going to happen overnight. The Nationwide side was my rock when I came to Penske Racing.
"It was what I had to lean on as a benchmark to know where I’m at, to know that I’ve progressed from where I was last year. It makes me feel good, and makes me feel like I made the right moves and have a bright future at Penske Racing."
See the unofficial points standings here.