DOVER, Del. (AP) - Brad Keselowski already knew he wouldn't defend his Sprint Cup championship.
Almost as bad, he has now gone a full year without winning a race.
A year after he took the checkered flag at Dover, Keselowski's No. 2 Ford limped off spewing fluid on the track and smoking in the cockpit.
He finished 37th on Sunday. He said he had no indication anything was wrong before the car went haywire on him.
"I didn't have much, but the crew guys had a bunch when they did the last pit stop," Keselowski said. "They noticed a lot of oil in the wheel well, so we tried to get off the track as fast as we could with the Miller Lite Ford to not bring out a yellow, but obviously wasn't quite quick enough."
Keselowski's season as champion started with promise. Four finishes of third or fourth to open the season moved him into the points lead one month into the season.
Trouble came three weeks later at Texas, where NASCAR officials seized parts from the rear suspensions of Keselowski's and teammate Joey Logano's cars. The drivers were docked 25 points each, seven Penske employees were suspended for six points races and the crew chiefs were fined $100,000 each.
Penske appealed to the highest level, and the suspensions were eventually reduced to two races, but everything else was upheld.
Keselowski has only seven top-five finishes and 12 top-10s a year after he had five wins, 13 top-fives and 23 top-10s.
"We're getting all of our bad luck out of the way this year, so watch out next year," he said.
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