Two weeks in a row, Brad Keselowski had a car capable of contending for the Michigan win but ultimately had to settle for team-mate and employee Chris Buescher going to Victory Lane instead.
Sure, the 2012 Cup Series champion would like to win his first race since buying an ownership stake into Roush Fenway Racing prior to the start of the 2022 season, but Keselowski is feeling awfully proud with both cars surging just three weeks away from the start of the playoffs.
Buescher has won twice, and three times over the past calendar year, while Keselowski also holds a playoff spot in the closing weeks of the regular season. It's a far cry from where the organization was at this point last year, still reeling from a massive technical penalty for modifying spec parts, and a pair of cars that hadn't yet shown race winning speed.
“The highs are high and the lows are low over here,” Keselowski said. “We had a lot of lows last year. It's nice to have these high marks. I don't take them for granted. They mean more to me probably because of how big a struggle last year was for both teams. Probably even more specifically for me.”
Now, the team called RFK Racing has scored two wins for the first time since 2017 when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won at Talladega and Daytona, but also their first back-to-back wins since Carl Edwards accomplished the feat in the final two races of the 2010 season at Phoenix and Homestead.
Recall that this is a team that once placed all five cars in the playoffs back in 2005. The past decade hasn't been as kind with the organization falling off in a major way having lost both Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards to free agency in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
Keselowski joining the team as both a driver and owner, alongside the debut of a new spec last year, has revitalized the organization and its employees. His first order of business was retaining Buescher and crew chief Scott Graves but simply expanding their resources.
“With Brad, there are expectations, but he has been very adamant and supportive about actually giving us the tools,” Graves said.
“He has just made investments. We got a new hauler this year, a new pit box, and those might not seem like big things on the outside, but they make coming to the racetrack easier.
“They make being in the race, having all the right information in front of you, having the right equipment makes things better.”
“You look at the shop and everything looks new,” Graves said.
“A few years ago, it wasn't something you'd necessarily want to take a lot of pictures and put it out there. You look at it now, everything is bright, everything is clean. It starts at that level, then it works down to everything you do, the expectations that everyone has.
“It's hard to just say specifically what it is. It's a lot of things. But it's really just been his support, I guess, to the teams to make sure we have everything we need to be competitive.”
And for his part, Keselowski is proud of the results, even if they haven't come in the same fashion for his #6 yet.
“It's been two great weekends and I'm just thrilled to death for our company,” Keselowski said.
“There are a lot of people just working their guts out, trying to push, work within the limits of the rules and regulations, but not leave anything on the table.
“At the same time, [they're] executing at the highest of levels, whether it be on pit road, restarts, whatever else it takes. I'm happy for them, their efforts, getting them the results they deserve. We're also just keeping our head down because we have a lot of racing left in front of us.”