Round One goes to Keselowski in Chase fight - Notes by Lugnut - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, Florida-

NASCAR NOTES: Cocky Keselowski takes lead in Chase

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Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"
JOLIET, IL -

Muhammad Ali once said, "If you dream of beating me, you'd better wake up and apologize." That brazen confidence is what made Ali one of the greatest fighters in history.

Brad Keselowski seems to posses that same attitude after sending a message to the rest of the field that he is the one to beat in this year's Chase.

Comparing Sunday's first Chase event to a heavyweight title match, Keselowski said he was happy with winning but knew he had a long way to go before he could claim the crown.

"It feels like Round 1 of a heavyweight title bout, just it's a 10-round bout," he said. "Week 1 is done and we won the round, but we didn't by any means knock them out. We've got a lot of racing left to go."

Keselowski's sometimes overbearing confidence can come across as egotistical. However, that type of confidence in his abilities and destiny has always been his driving force.

"I feel like it's my goal to be a Sprint Cup champion, to be a winner," he said. "Racing is one of the few things I've ever done in my life that has been able to take me to another level mentally and physically, and it demands that out of you to be successful."

The victory put Keselowski at the top of the point standings for the first time in his career. Although a gratifying thought, the team will need to stay focused for nine more weeks if a championship is in their future.

"It's great to get to the points lead," he said. "But we've got so much racing left and it would be a disservice to [Sunday's] accomplishments to allow our focus to get off of tomorrow's workload."

Keselowski has grown into a first-flight driver this season, and his team has rallied around him to form a cohesive unit.

"It's certainly a long road and a tough road to get to where we're at," commented Keselowski on his team's progress. "I'm proud of every step that we've taken along the way. I think that we can still be better. I think that these are really good times, and I think we're just getting into them, and the best is still yet to come here at Penske Racing."

As the bout heads on to Loudon, NH, for Round 2, Keselowski will set his eyes on staying at the top of the standings. He might not float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, but he certainly can drive a race car and in this sport, that's what wins championships.

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