Why Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano Form NASCAR's Best 1-2 Punch Right Now

Jerry BonkowskiFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2014

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Brad Keselowski has always been a scrapper, fighting for everything he's ever earned as a race car driver.

Joey Logano has also had to do some fighting in his own racing career, most notably for respect of his talent.

Now the Penske Racing teammates have become the most formidable one-two punch going in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Between the two of them, they've won a quarter of the first 19 races, five races to be exact—Keselowski with three, Logano with two.

Both are locks to make the reformatted and expanded 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup, and both stand a good chance of reaching the final four-driver, winner-take-all season finale race together at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.

While other drivers like six-time and defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson (shares the lead for most wins this season with Keselowski) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have had their time in the sun this season, Keselowski and Logano are at the top of the heap right now.

They're kind of NASCAR's version of the old nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Just like Mary and her lamb, everywhere Keselowski goes, Logano is sure to follow.

In my opinion, Keselowski has become so strong this season not because of what he did in 2012, but rather what he didn't do in 2013.

Keselowski earned his first Sprint Cup championship, as well as the first for legendary team owner Roger Penske in 2012.

But as good as that season was, the following year was the exact opposite. Keselowski not only failed to defend his championship in 2013, he didn't even qualify for the Chase at all.


Logano, meanwhile, did make the Chase for the first time in his career and finished a respectable eighth in the 2013 final standings.

Not bad for a Chase rookie, right?

But what strikes me most about this duo is how well they work off each other.

You don't have to look too hard to see that both men have each other's back on the racetrack.

Almost invariably, each time Keselowski has won this season, Logano has been close behind—and vice versa (except for last Sunday's race at New Hampshire when Logano's day came to an early end when he was involved in a wreck with 72-year-old Morgan Shepherd).

With 17 races remaining this season, including seven to determine the makeup of the expanded Chase, and then the 10 races of the playoffs, it's hard to pick against Keselowski and Logano.

At least right now, based upon what they've done so far in 2014.

There's no other pair of teammates that appear to be as close, or work so well together, as Keselowski and Logano—or KesLo as I like to call them because they seem more like one entity than two separate drivers.

Can Keselowski do for Ford what he did for Dodge in its final season in NASCAR in 2012, namely, win it all? It would certainly be a significant accomplishment to win two championships in three seasons and for two different manufacturers.

SPARTA, KY - JUNE 28:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, races Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on June 28, 2014
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Likewise for Logano. He left Joe Gibbs Racing after he was given his release following the 2012 season to make room for the then-incoming Matt Kenseth.

Ironically enough, that was also the same season Logano's then-future teammate would win the title. And since then, Logano has made it very clear that he wants to show his former team and manufacturer (Toyota) what they lost when they let him go to Penske.

In other words: Gibbs' big loss, Penske's even bigger gain.

Yes, Keselowski and Logano indeed make up the most formidable one-two punch in NASCAR today.

And if their success, good fortune and luck continue, it won't be a surprise at all if they finish the season one-two, as well.

Follow me on Twitter @JerryBonkowski.