Brad Keselowski was in the thick of the championship hunt a year ago at Phoenix International Raceway, where he rolled into the race on Jimmie Johnson's rear bumper. He left with the points lead and wrapped up his first Sprint Cup title a week later.
Now back at the track where his fortunes turned, Keselowski is a mere spectator to this year's title fight.
Johnson takes a seven point lead into Sunday's race over Matt Kenseth — the same margin Johnson held over Keselowski at this point last season. Johnson or Kenseth will end Keselowski's reign next week at Homestead.
But Keselowski takes pride in knowing he defeated five-time champion Johnson to win his title, a feat only he and Tony Stewart have accomplished since 2006.