Brad Keselowski

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Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski Champion 2012.jpg
Keselowski with the 2012 Sprint Cup Championship Trophy
Born (1984-02-12) February 12, 1984 (age 30)
Rochester Hills, Michigan, U.S.
Achievements 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion
2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion
Awards 2008, 2009, 2010 Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
184 race(s) run over 7 year(s)
Car no., team No. 2 (Team Penske)
2013 position 14th
Best champ.
finish
1st (2012)
First race 2008 Dickies 500 (Texas)
Last race 2014 Oral-B USA 500 (Atlanta)
First win 2009 Aaron's 499 (Talladega)
Last win 2014 Camping World RV Sales 301 (New Hampshire)
Wins Top tens Poles
13 71 6
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
213 race(s) run over 9 year(s)
Car no., team No. 22 (Team Penske)
2013 position 90th
Best champ.
finish
1st (2010)
First race 2006 Ameriquest 300 (Fontana)
Last race 2014 Zippo 200 at the Glen (Watkins Glen)
First win 2008 Federated Auto Parts 300 (Nashville)
Last win 2014 U.S. Cellular 250 (Iowa)
Wins Top tens Poles
30 134 18
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
61 race(s) run over 10 year(s)
Truck no., team No. 19 (Brad Keselowski Racing)
2013 position 87th
Best champ.
finish
21st (2005)
First race 2004 Kroger 250 (Martinsville)
Last race 2014 UNOH 200 (Bristol)
First win 2014 UNOH 200 (Bristol)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 14 1
Statistics current as of August 31, 2014.

Bradley Aaron "Brad" Keselowski (kez-LOW-skee; born February 12, 1984) is an American professional stock car racing driver and team owner. He currently races for Team Penske in NASCAR, driving the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion in the Sprint Cup Series and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in the Nationwide Series. He is also the owner of Brad Keselowski Racing, which currently fields two full-time teams in the Camping World Truck Series. In 2012, Keselowski joined Bobby Labonte as the only NASCAR drivers to have won a championship in both the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series. In 2014, he became the twenty-fifth different driver to score victories in all three major NASCAR series by winning the UNOH 200 Camping World Truck Series event.

Personal life[edit]

Keselowski grew up in a racing family from Rochester Hills, Michigan. He is the son of Kay and Bob Keselowski and the nephew of Ron Keselowski. His older brother, Brian, is also a NASCAR driver. The Keselowski family is of Polish descent.[1]

NASCAR[edit]

2004–06: Early years[edit]

In 2004, a 20-year-old Keselowski began his NASCAR career as the driver of the No. 29 Ford F-150 for the family-owned K-Automotive Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series. He made his debut in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville, where he started 26th and finished 33rd. He made seven more starts that season, with his best finish coming in the UAW/GM Ohio 250 at Mansfield, where he finished 16th.

Keselowski began competing in the Truck Series full-time in 2005 with backing from SUBcrews.com[2] and Samson Stone.[3] He opened the season with a seventh-place finish in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona, his only top-ten finish of the year. He would end up finishing 21st in points. He ran the first two races of 2006 for K-Automotive before a lack of sponsorship caused the team to temporarily suspend operations. Keselowski then drove the No. 02 Chevrolet at Kentucky and Memphis, filling in for the injured Kelly Sutton, and drove the No. 63 Ford for MB Motorsports at Bristol and in the season finale, the Ford 200 at Homestead.

2007–09: Breakout years[edit]

Keselowski in victory lane following his first career Nationwide Series victory at Nashville Superspeedway.

Keselowski began competing in the Busch Series full-time in 2007. He drove the No. 23 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for Keith Coleman Racing, until the team suspended operations in July. Earlier in June, during the 2007 Truck Series season, Keselowski was tabbed by Germain Racing to replace Ted Musgrave in the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Tundra for the running of the O'Reilly 200 at Memphis after Musgrave was suspended for an in-race scuffle with another driver at the Milwaukee Mile. Keselowski won his first career pole for the race, and led 62 laps, but got turned around by Travis Kvapil as they fought for the lead with ten laps to go. Keselowski wound up finishing 16th. Shortly afterwards, Keselowski was called by car owner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to drive the No. 88 United States Navy Chevrolet for JR Motorsports for the rest of the Busch Series season. During the Camping World 300 at California Speedway, Keselowski was involved in an accident involving A.J. Allmendinger and J.J. Yeley. Keselowski was able to climb out of his damaged car, but complained of foot pain. He would later be treated and released from Loma Linda University Medical Center, and was cleared to race at Richmond the following weekend. Keselowski would close the 2007 season out with five top-ten finishes and a 25th place finish in points.

In 2008 Keselowski re-signed with JR Motorsports for the 2008 Nationwide Series season, and earned his first career victory in the Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville Superspeedway, holding off Clint Bowyer. Keselowski would hold off Bowyer again for his second career win in the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. He ended the season third in points, the highest finish by a full-time Nationwide Series-only driver. Keselowski also got his first taste of Sprint Cup action during the 2008 season. He was on standby for an ill Jeff Gordon at Kansas and for expectant father Casey Mears at Talladega, before competing in two races for Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 25 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Impala. Keselowski finished 19th in his Cup debut, the Dickies 500 at Texas, and 23rd in the Ford 400 at Homestead.

Keselowski returned to JR Motorsports to drive the No. 88 Chevrolet for the 2009 Nationwide Series, with sponsorship from GoDaddy.com, as well as competing in a limited Cup schedule. He drove the No. 25 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in seven races, and drove the No. 09 Miccosukee Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing in ten races.

First career Sprint Cup victory at Talladega[edit]

Keselowski pulled off a massive upset and earned his first career Sprint Cup victory in the 2009 Aaron's 499 at Talladega. He pushed Carl Edwards towards the front from 5th with two laps to go. Coming out of turn four on the final lap, he attempted to trick Edwards into blocking on the high side so that he could pull underneath. Edwards moved high to block, opening the door for Keselowski to attempt a pass on the low side. When he saw Keselowski moving low, Edwards again tried to block him. Their cars made contact, with Edwards spinning as Keselowski charged to the checkered flag. Due to the rear-wing design on the 2009 Car of Tomorrow, Edwards' car lifted off of the ground as it spun backwards.[4] After Ryan Newman's No. 39 hit Edwards' car, it sailed into the catchfence separating the track from the front grandstands, then skidded to a stop in the middle of the track. Eight fans were injured by flying debris; the most serious one being a woman who broke her jaw and was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital. Keselowski earned his first career victory in his fifth career start, and earned James Finch his first career victory as an owner in his 20th year of racing. The race's final lap was the first Sprint Cup lap that Keselowski ever led, and therefore the only lap he led for the entire race; this was the first time in history that the very first lap a Sprint Cup driver led was the final lap of a race.[5]

Rest of the 2009 season[edit]

Keselowski's No. 88 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet on pit road before the NorthernTool.com 250 at the Milwaukee Mile.

Keselowski's victory at Talladega earned him more seat time in the James Finch-owned Chevy. Originally scheduled to appear next in the 18th race of the season, at Daytona International Speedway, he was then rescheduled to appear in the upcoming race at Richmond International Raceway. Keselowski also was entered into the Sprint All-Star Race as well.[6] He was forced to pull out of the Richmond race due to commitments to his Nationwide series team.

Keselowski got his third Nationwide victory at Dover when Kyle Busch cut a tire on the restart and second-place Joey Logano made contact, allowing Keselowski to pass both.

After taking a gamble and staying out past his pit-window, Keselowski garnered his fourth win at the first ever Nationwide race at Iowa Speedway after battling Kyle Busch to take over and maintain first position. Keselowski finishing first over Kyle Busch, though Busch still tied a record with his ninth consecutive top-two finish.

At Montreal in the 2009 NAPA 200, Brad Keselowski had a promising run. After a brief red flag for sprinkles, Brad Keselowski only could hold his spot up in the top fifteen causing him to lose some spots in the standings. With 3 laps left Keselowski barely avoided a pile-up in turn 1 to end up in 5th spot earning back his lost points. When the race ended with rival Carl Edwards as the winner, Keselowski among other drivers said that the pile-up and the shocking finish between Marcos Ambrose and Carl Edwards; resembled the finish of the Montreal race in 2007 when Marcos Ambrose almost won but was crashed by Robby Gordon during confusion of a similar crash in turn 1.

Keselowski's next Nationwide Series victory came in August at the CARFAX 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Pole-sitter Brian Vickers and points-leader Kyle Busch dominated the race, but Keselowski passed them both on the final lap after a blocking move by Vickers on Busch forced both drivers to slow down slightly.[7]

The rest of Keselowski's 2009 season in Sprint Cup was less than stellar. After the win, he only captured two Top 15's until November 2009. He met controversy at the fall race in Talladega when he bumped future teammate Kurt Busch going into the tri-oval causing a 15-car melee, that included Busch, Jeff Gordon, and Mark Martin who went upside down after being clipped by Martin Truex, Jr. Because Keselowski was already being ridiculed by most of the drivers and fans for how he drove aggressively throughout the races, this wreck earned him some jeers, including a disapproving look from Mark Martin who is one of the classiest gentlemen in the sport.

In the Nationwide series, Keselowski also had a series of run-ins with Denny Hamlin. Throughout 2007, 2008 and 2009 Keselowski and Hamlin tangled in many races. After Keselowski punted Hamlin during the autumn Phoenix event in the Nationwide race, Hamlin said he would retaliate. The next week Hamlin kept his promise, intentionally colliding into Keselowski early in the race. The wreck ended Keselowski's huge chances of beating Kyle Busch for the championship. NASCAR black-flagged Denny 3 laps for aggressive rough driving, but Hamlin recovered for a top ten spot. Hamlin was unapologetic in an interview and all of the fellow competitors said that Hamlin was justified.

Brad Keselowski ended up in third spot behind rivals Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch in the final NNS standings.

2010–present: Penske years[edit]

Keselowski's No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge at Road America.

2010[edit]

In 2010, Keselowski joined Team Penske to drive the No. 12 Dodge Charger in the Cup Series and the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the Nationwide Series. In Atlanta, on lap 41, Keselowski unintentionally tapped Carl Edwards on a restart and Edwards went up to the wall to collect Joey Logano. Later, Keselowski appeared to be headed toward a top-5 finish at Atlanta with three laps to go when Edwards, apparently in retaliation for this accident, intentionally spun Keselowski. Keselowski's car caught air and despite the roof flaps working his car overturned, hitting the front-stretch wall roof-first in an accident that resembled the Talladega finish of the previous year. His new teammate Kurt Busch ended up winning the race. Edwards was parked by NASCAR and Keselowski was physically okay, but shaken up from the heavy impact.

Keselowski scored his first 2010 Nationwide win at Talladega on April 25, after crashing out of the Sprint Cup race earlier in the day, and then went on to win five more races at Richmond, Nashville, Michigan, and Charlotte. At Gateway International Raceway in 2010 Brad Keselowski fought rival Carl Edwards again in the closing stages of the Nationwide Race. On the final lap Keselowski got loose and unintentionally bumped Edwards. Keselowski briefly took the lead, but gave the position back and falling in behind Edwards. The two ran side-by-side through turns two and three before Edwards ran high in turn 4 and then made a hard left into the right quarter panel of the #22, tuning him intentionally into the wall hard at the finish line and causing an 11 car wreck. Keselowski's car came down in front of the field and was hit hard by the car of Shelby Howard. Keselowski climbed out of his car with a grimace on his face and mostly unscathed, though one driver was sent to the hospital with rib injuries. With his team and in victory lane Edwards was loudly booed as he bragged publicly that the crash was not an accident. Keselowski was infuriated and told a reporter that Edwards just wrecked him for no reason, saying, "I am sure Edwards will say sorry or think about how cool he is in his mind but that is not reality."[8] That week NASCAR put Edwards on probation for his actions, fined him $25,000, and deducted 60 points from him in the Nationwide Series point standings. NASCAR also placed Keselowski on probation just in case Keselowski felt the need to pay Edwards back. Both drivers were then told by NASCAR to either calm down the rivalry or face indefinite suspension from the sport.[9]

At Bristol in the NNS race Keselowski was the center of controversy because he got some contact with NNS rival Kyle Busch. In turn 3 with 33 laps left, Busch slid in front of Keselowski, causing Keselowski to bump him. The incident was clearly caused by Busch. However, Busch was angry that Keselowski bumped him, so in the next turn Busch retaliated, by intentionally spinning Keselowski. NASCAR did not penalize Busch because they had previously made a rule allowing drivers to police themselves called "Boys have at it." Keselowski finished in 14th instead of possibly contending for the race win. Kyle Busch ended up winning the race and admitted that wrecking Brad was on purpose in a post-race conference. In reply to the crash, Keselowski called Busch "an ass" during driver introductions before the Cup race.[10] Both drivers were given a warning by NASCAR the next week and temporary probation. In 2012 Keselowski and Kyle Busch announced that they ended their rivalry though they've had a few run-ins since (Such as when Keselowski wrecked Busch at Watkins Glen in 2012 and Busch accidentally crashed Keselowski at Kansas) that didn't boil over.

The next week at Montreal, Keselowski redeemed himself from Bristol. Keselowski had his greatest finish at the track in 4th spot. He was in 6th spot on the restart but Robby Gordon ran out of gas on the restart letting Keselowski battle Paul Menard for 4th place. Eventually as Boris Said and Max Papis had a close amazing finish for the win, Keselowski had a similar finish with Paul Menard with Keselowski holding off Menard for 4th spot.

With crew chief Paul Wolfe all year, Keselowski won his first ever NASCAR Nationwide Series title, collecting 6 wins, five poles, 26 top 5s, and 29 top 10s along the way.[11] His 26 top 5s beat Kyle Busch's record of 25 top 5s set in 2009.

In the Sprint Cup it was a different story. Keselowski finished 25th in the final Sprint Cup standings and recorded one pole, no wins, 0 top 5s, and 2 top 10s.

2011[edit]

During the offseason, Penske teammates Keselowski and Kurt Busch swapped cars. Busch moved to Keselowski's old car, the renumbered No. 22 Shell/Penzoil Dodge with his crew from the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, while Keselowski took over the No. 2 car with his No. 12 crew coming with him. This was done at the behest of Royal Dutch Shell, who Penske signed on as a sponsor (after their sponsorship of Kevin Harvick expired following the 2010 season). Shell wanted the more experienced Busch to drive their car; thus, since SABMiller was signed as a long-term sponsor for Penske's team, this necessitated the shift. Keselowski's Nationwide Series crew chief Paul Wolfe replaced Jay Guy in the Sprint Cup Series; Todd Gordon became Keselowski's crew chief in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.[12]

Keselowski's 2011 Cup season began slowly, but starting in May his fortunes began to change. He won the pole for the 2011 Coca-Cola 600, and the following week, he was able to get the lead with nine laps to go and hold off a charging Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to win the 2011 STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on fuel mileage. During his victory celebration, he ran out of fuel.[13]

While testing at Road Atlanta in August, Keselowski was driving over 200 miles per hour on a straightaway, but his brakes unexpectedly failed. Keselowski could not stop and slammed into a solid concrete wall violently at approximately 190 MPH and broke his left ankle.[14] Keselowski was airlifted to a hospital, claiming he had terrible back pain. Despite racing with injuries, Keselowski won his second race of the season at the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway less than a week after the accident. The win put him into contention to grab one of the two "Wild Card" spots available in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.[15]

The next week, Keselowski finished second at the 2011 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen. He took the lead on a restart two laps to go but was passed by Marcos Ambrose in turn five of the same lap. A violent crash involving David Reutimann and David Ragan on the last lap forced NASCAR to throw the caution, and Ambrose was declared the winner. Keselowski followed his 2nd place finish with a 3rd place finish at the Pure Michigan 400. The next week, Keselowski won his third race of the year at the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol.

That win virtually assured Keselowski a spot in the 2011 Chase for the Cup, given NASCAR's rule change designating the final two Chase spots as wild card slots for drivers ranked 11th through 20th in the points with the most wins. Keselowski finished the regular season 11th in points, using his three wins to qualify for his first career Chase.

Keselowski was a factor for much of the Chase, before a late spin during the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway derailed his championship hopes. Still, Keselowski finished his second full Cup season fifth in the point standings, 84 points behind champion Tony Stewart. Keselowski finished the season with more wins than teammate Busch (three to two) and with a better points finish.

2012[edit]

In addition to continuing running in the Sprint Cup Series and a limited Nationwide Series schedule for Penske Racing, Keselowski has competed in a limited number of Camping World Truck Series races for his own team as a teammate to Parker Kligerman.[16]

Statistically, 2012 was Keselowski's best Sprint Cup season to date: he won five races on the way to winning his first Sprint Cup championship. Keselowski started the year by memorably posting pictures and status updates via Twitter from his car during a red flag period. Cars were stopped on the track when a mechanical failure on Juan Pablo Montoya's car caused it to run into a jet dryer under caution at the Daytona 500, leading to a large fire that damaged the track surface, which had to be repaired before the race could be concluded.[17] Keselowski was caught up in a crash on lap 188 and finished 32nd.

On March 18 he won his first race of the season, the Food City 500 at Bristol. He also won the Aaron's 499 at Talladega from a late race restart and a push from Kyle Busch that allowed him to overtake Matt Kenseth. It was the first time since Dave Marcis in 1976 that Dodge won a Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega and only the fourth win at the track for the automaker. (This also proved to be Dodge's last win at the track as the manufacturer left NASCAR following the end of the 2012 season.)

On June 30, Keselowski picked up his 3rd win at Kentucky Speedway, the first driver to win three races in the 2012 Cup season and joining Kyle Busch as the first two-time Sprint Cup winners of the race at Kentucky. Beginning with Kentucky, Keselowski went on a hot streak that lasted all the way to the season finale at Homestead that ultimately earned him his Sprint Cup title. In these 19 races, he only finished worse than 11th twice (30th at Bristol and 15th at Homestead).

Keselowski won the first Nationwide series race to be contested at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indiana 250. Although Penske Racing has fifteen victories in the Indianapolis 500, this was the team's first NASCAR triumph at the track.[18]

In August 2012, Keselowski put himself in second place at the Nationwide race at Watkins Glen. He led the closing stages but several cautions ended up putting his old rival Carl Edwards to the lead; with two laps to go Keselowski fell back to second place and Edwards charged for the win and in victory lane he confirmed he and Keselowski no longer dislike each other; Keselowski in his review said the same confirmation.[19]

The next day, Keselowski led 37 laps in the Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen. With two laps to go, he was second behind Kyle Busch, and had Marcos Ambrose behind him. Busch slipped on oil after taking the white flag, and Keselowski slid into him, spinning him out in the esses. Keselowski then led most of the final lap before Ambrose was able to get by Keselowski in the final turns; Keselowski finished second to Ambrose in an almost carbon-copy repeat of the previous year's finish.[20]

Keselowski notched another 2nd place finish the following week at Michigan, leading with 10 laps to go but being passed by Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle. Johnson's engine blew up leading with six laps to go, giving the race to Biffle. Keselowski's strong showing during the 2012 Sprint Cup season qualified him automatically for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which he entered in 4th place on account of his 3 regular season wins.[21]

In September, he won the first race in the Chase, the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Two weeks after that, he won at Dover after several of the dominant leaders had to pit late for fuel, allowing him to assume the point lead. Keselowski continued on a hot streak of top-eleven finishes: 7th at Talladega, 11th at Charlotte, and 7th at Kansas, although his point lead over Jimmie Johnson narrowed during this stretch. He lost the point lead to Johnson the following week at Martinsville, finishing sixth while Johnson won. The next week Keselowski finished second at Texas, racing Johnson hard before relinquishing the lead.[22] His aggressive driving at the end of the race prompted defending champion Tony Stewart to say that Keselowski drove with a 'death wish.'[23]

While Johnson wrecked the following week in Phoenix, Keselowski's sixth-place finish allowed him to reassume the points lead by 20 points. During a red flag period due to Jeff Gordon intentionally crashing Clint Bowyer, Keselowski again tweeted a photo from his car. NASCAR fined Keselowski $25,000 for this, stating that it was prohibited under NASCAR rules (despite NASCAR not having penalized Keselowski for tweeting a photo from his car during the lengthy red flag at the Daytona 500).[24][25] He qualified third for the finale at Homestead-Miami, but was then moved up to second after pole-sitter Joey Logano was involved in a Saturday practice wreck involving Greg Biffle and Denny Hamlin. Keselowski finished in 15th place, but still clinched his first Sprint Cup championship when Johnson dropped out of the race with gear failure, joining Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt as the only drivers to win the Cup championship within their first three full-time seasons. In an interview on ESPN's SportsCenter during the post-race celebration, Keselowski admitted to being "a little buzzed" after consuming plenty of his sponsor, Miller Lite. The video of his interview went viral; interviewer Kevin Connors called it the best interview in SportsCenter's history.[26]

2013[edit]

Keselowski during the 2013 STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville.

Keselowski opened the 2013 season with four straight top-5 finishes, including a fourth place finish in the Daytona 500 despite being caught up in two crashes. He almost was on point to repeat what Dale Earnhardt had accomplished in 1995 - start off the season following his championship with five top five finishes, but this attempt came to an end at the Auto Club 500, where he finished 24th after dealing with handling issues.[27] He posted three more top-10s in the next three races before suffering a dropped cylinder in his engine towards the end of the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway that relegated him to a 33rd place finish.[28] From April–May 2013, Keselowski had one of his worst spring starts of a NASCAR season.

At Talladega, Keselowski had a promising run. After a long red flag due to rain Keselowski was entering the top ten. He drove his way up to contention to win after two crashes. On the last restart, Keselowski started on the low line. Because of a misunderstanding, Keselowski was not happy with the race winner David Ragan after he ended up in 15th spot due to him being told to restart on the not preferred low line. David Ragan lined up on the high side after making a pass on Keselowski under caution. Ragan used the lane and went on to win a race that is considered the biggest upset of 2013.

After climbing out of his car, Keselowski gave a rant on Twitter accusing David Ragan of lining up improperly and NASCAR allowing a rule violation. Nobody agreed with him and Keselowski got jeered by fans and medias; which further made Keselowski frustrated. However after looking at a video of the finish Keselowski realized that NASCAR was directing fairly and that Ragan was fairly in his line; he apologized two days later.

At Darlington, Keselowski finished in 32nd place after being involved in a crash on lap 313. At Charlotte in the All-Star race, Keselowski had one of his most heartbreaking races ever. On lap 2, he lost a transmission. He had to slide 15000 feet back around the track to get to the garage. His car had broke down from steering problems that would take the rest of the race to fix. Keselowski also attended the Indianapolis 500 to cheer on and direct his Team Penske friend/teammate Helio Castroneves. At the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, though, on lap 317, Keselowski was wrecked by Danica Patrick after her off-track boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse made it three wide. Keselowski subsequently retired from the race, finishing 35th, his first DNF since the 2012 Daytona 500.[29] At Kentucky, Keselowski won the rain-shortened Nationwide race, but in the Sprint Cup race, he was tagged on lap 47 by Kurt Busch, causing a seven car wreck, and he finished 34th. He then had a 21st place finish at Daytona in the Coke Zero 400.

At New Hampshire, Keselowski won his first pole of the season. On August 10, 2013, Keselowski won at Watkins Glen in the Nationwide series, giving him 4 consecutive wins in his last 4 starts.[30]

At Watkins Glen International in the Cup race, Keselowski recovered from a spin in turn 1 to challenge former Cup rival Kyle Busch for the victory. Keselowski was unable to get by Kyle and finished in second place for the third consecutive time in the event (2011, 2012, and 2013). Brad raced Kyle completely clean, later saying he did it in an attempt to repair their old rivalry. After the event at Watkins Glen International, Keselowski said "I had nothing for Kyle. He had a great run. Congrats to him and those guys. I could not get by him unless I wrecked him in that final turn and I didn't want to create drama so I decided to settle for my second place spot."

At Michigan, Keselowski nearly scored his first dream Cup victory at Michigan while in a fuel crisis. Keselowski led with 30 laps left but caution issues forced him to pit, putting him in 12th spot for the final results. The only positive side of Keselowski's heartbreak was that through his new teammate Joey Logano who won the race; Penske Racing won at the track they originated from. After the race, Keselowski emotionally said that although he was sad about losing, he was happy to have seen his entire team win the race through Logano. On September 5, 2013, Keselowski won the 1000th Nationwide series race at Richmond, making it 5 race wins in his last 6 starts, and his 25th career win.[31] However, he is in danger of being the second defending Sprint Cup champion since Tony Stewart to ever miss the Chase in the next season.

At Richmond, Keselowski led the most laps with 142, but a late caution during the race caused him to finish 17th, and missed the Chase due to being 16th in the points standings.[32] On October 2, Keselowski signed a contract extension with Penske Racing to remain with the team until 2017.[33]

At Kansas during the Nationwide race Keselowski tangled with Kyle Busch who accidentally wrecked Keselowski late in the race. Keselowski threw a tantrum during the caution and tried to attack Busch's pit crew. Officials said Busch was not at fault for the wreck and said it was a racing accident. In an interview Keselowski snapped at Busch and vowed to retaliate. A frustrated Kyle Busch convinced Keselowski out of retaliation the next week, by reminding Brad that he himself felt the same way when Keselowski wrecked him at Watkins Glen in 2012 thus costing him a shot at the 2012 Cup Championship; and that only in contrast Busch didn't try to retaliate. Keselowski and Busch ultimately came to grips in late 2013 of the incident and Keselowski didn't retaliate as he promised.

At Charlotte, Keselowski started well, though he was penalized early when he left his pit during a pit stop under caution carrying the jack with him. He rallied to the last caution and took the last restart in 4th. After battling Kasey Kahne for the lead with 15 laps remaining, Keselowski took the point and captured the win. This was Keselowski's first win driving a Ford, snapping a 38 race winless streak, and also the first Chase race won by a "spoiler" (non-Chaser) since Kahne won at Phoenix in November 2011.

NRA 500 controversy[edit]

His car and teammate Joey Logano's car each failed pre-race inspections at the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway due to an issue with the cars' rear-end housings. Keselowski was able to start the race from his original qualifying position as his car cleared inspection as driver introductions were ending, while Logano was forced to start from the back of the field because he didn't pass inspection in time to line up in the starting grid. After the race, Keselowski told members of the news media that he felt the Penske teams had been targeted by NASCAR.[34] Both drivers finished the race in the top 10, with Keselowski finishing 9th.[35]

On Wednesday, April 17, 2013, NASCAR announced penalties related to the rear-housing infraction discovered in Keselowski and Logano's cars prior to the NRA 500: Keselowski's crew chief Paul Wolfe, car chief Jerry Kelley, team engineer Brian Wilson and Penske competition director Travis Geisler were all suspended for the next six races, including the non-points Sprint All-star Race. Wolfe was also fined $100,000 and Keselowski was docked 25 driver points. Identical penalties were also handed down to all of the people in the same positions on Logano's team. Penske Racing released a statement saying the organization planned to appeal the penalties,[36] but on May 1, the NASCAR Appeals Panel unanimously upheld the penalties. Team owner Roger Penske said he would further appeal the ruling to NASCAR Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook.[37]

2014[edit]

Keselowski started his 2014 season finishing second to Denny Hamlin in the Sprint Unlimited.

In the Budweiser Duel, Keselowski led 34 laps early, until the cycle of green flag pit stops. However, he was caught speeding and ended up finishing dead last, three laps down. He still made the Daytona 500 under an owners points provisional. In the Daytona 500, Keselowski started 33rd, led 13 laps, and finished third.

At Phoenix, Keselowski clinched his first pole of the season with a record lap speed of 139.384 mph (224.317 km/h).[38] He was the first driver to win a pole position under the two-round version of the new "knockout" qualifying procedure. Keselowski led three laps and finished third.

At Las Vegas, Keselowski and Joey Logano swept the front row again, with Logano winning the pole. He led 53 laps and overtook Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for the lead on the last lap after Earnhardt ran out of fuel to score his first win of the season.[39] Keselowski was very emotional about his win because it automatically qualified him in the Chase; redemption from 2013 when he did not make the chase. Keselowski finished 14th in the 2013 standings. 13 drivers qualified for the chase, leaving Keselowski one spot out. If it weren't for a controversial 25 point penalty handed to Keselowski earlier in the season, Keselowski would have had enough points to make the chase. After the controversial 25 point penalty, it left many fans feeling that NASCAR had targeted Brad in an attempt to make him miss the chase, after he had won the 2012 championship.

A couple weeks later, Keselowski got into an altercation with former teammate Kurt Busch. On lap 39 during pit stops, Keselowski slowed down for a slow Kasey Kahne. Busch was coming up fast behind the stopped Keselowski and slammed into Keselowski's car after not attempting to stop. Officials called it a simple pit road accident but said it could have been avoidable. Keselowski was furious and ripped Kurt in an interview while in the garages, saying he was "Tired of Kurt's recklessness". Keselowski eventually got back on track, and encountered Busch on lap 87. Keselowski bumped Busch repeatedly to show Busch that he wasn't happy, but Busch was expecting Keselowski and attempted to wreck Keselowski while entering a turn. Officials told both of them to stop by radio communications and they both settled down.

Busch went on to win the race and end his 83-race winless streak. In a post-race interview an angry Keselowski said "Kurt does nice things for charity and is such a talent, but he is one of the dumbest drivers" Busch replied to Keselowski's comments hours later in a media conference, calling Keselowski's bumping "punk-ass moves." Though Busch promised to punch Keselowski after the race, he did not stand true to his word and actually avoided Keselowski. This incident caused a lot of fans to lose respect for Kurt Busch.

Keselowski nearly won the Toyota Owners 400 a few weeks later, but engaged in a battle with Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon which allowed teammate Joey Logano to take the lead and ultimately the win with 4 laps left. Kenseth had repeatedly blocked Keselowski, trying to keep Keselowski from winning the race. Keselowski showed displeasure with Kenseth after the race, pointing his finger at Kenseth and throwing his gloves into his own car. Keselowski called Kenseth's blocking "Mind-boggling". However, though Keselowski was upset with Kenseth, Keselowski jumped onto the hood of Logano's car and gave Logano a thumbs up. Keselowski and Logano are great friends off and on track.

A week later at Talladega Superspeedway, Keselowski tried to go for the lead on lap 13, but when the leader, Danica Patrick, tried to slide behind Keselowski, she got into his left-rear quarter panel and wrecked him. Later in the race, Keselowski was trying to regain his final lap back but got loose and spun. 14 cars wrecked as they attempted to avoid Keselowski's spin. During the controversy over his spin, Keselowski said in an interview that it was not on purpose and apologized on television and in a tweet on Twitter. The victims of the wreck, fellow racers, and many fans were upset with Keselowski even though the incident was not intentional. Jeff Gordon is most notably one of the victims who called out Keselowski for his spin; as well as Matt Kenseth (collected in the crash) who expressed his displeasure against Keselowski by insulting him in an interview.

Keselowski finished second to Jimmie Johnson at Dover in the FedEx Autism Speaks 400 and said that he had a good car but "ran out of laps". The next week, Keselowski nearly got redemption by nearly winning the Pocono 400. Taking the lead from Justin Allgaier with less than 19 laps to go, Keselowski led with 10 laps to go on a restart but got a trash-bag lodged in his grill. As a result, Dale Earnhardt Jr. caught up to Brad. When Keselowski tried to use a lapped Danica Patrick to blow the trash off his grill, Earnhardt Jr. made a pass and pulled away to win. This was Earnhardt's second win of the season. Keselowski was visibly disappointed in a post-race interview.

A week later at Michigan, Keselowski finished 3rd, which marked his 3rd consecutive top-3 finish. Keselowski is a Michigan native, and said that winning the Michigan race would mean more to him than winning the Daytona 500.

At Sonoma, Keselowski got wrecked by Kyle Busch on lap 11 after Busch was aggressively trying to gain positions. After the wreck, Keselowski's car struggled and went on to finish 23rd. This finish ended Keselowski's streak of 3 consecutive top-3 finishes. Keselowski however didn't blame Busch for his misfortune, which gained him a lot of respect from many fans. The incident was clearly Busch's fault, and it showed that Keselowski was the bigger man by not blaming Busch.

At Kentucky, Keselowski raced in all 3 series (CWTS, NNS, and NSCS) and nearly won both the truck race and the Nationwide race, but came up just short. Keselowski however dominated the Sprint Cup race and got his second win of the season. Keselowski said his team was in "Championship Form". Keselowski made the headlines when his hand got severely injured by a champagne bottle during the victory lane celebration. Keselowski was rushed to the hospital and released after getting stitches.


At Daytona, Keselowski got caught up in 2 wrecks, but finished 18th, one lap down.

Keselowski had a perfect weekend in New Hampshire, when he won both Cup series practices, the pole for the Nationwide race, and leading one-hundred and fifty-five laps to win the Nationwide race. In the Cup race, Keselowski started seventh and moved to the lead early in the race to win his second Cup race in three weeks, his third of the year, and sweep the weekend.[40]

At Iowa, Keselowski qualified on the front row beside Ford Racing teammate, Trevor Bayne. Keselowski passed Michael McDowell with 2 laps to go to win the race. This was Keselowski's 3rd Nationwide Series victory of the season. Keselowski now has 3 wins in both Nationwide and Sprint Cup.

At Bristol in August, Keselowski won his first Camping World Truck Series race and became the twenty-fifth driver to record wins in all three of NASCAR's major series. He joined Aric Almirola as one of two drivers to record the feat in 2014. Keselowski had never won a truck race in his previous 63 starts. This win meant a lot to Keselowski and his family. The win also marked Ford's first truck win in the 2014 season. In the Sprint Cup race, Keselowski finished second to teammate Joey Logano after leading many laps.

Brad Keselowski Racing[edit]

Keselowski formed his own race team in 2007. The team began competing in the Truck Series in 2008. Brad drove the No. 29 Chevrolet himself and earned the team's first Top 10 finish.

In 2011 and part of 2012, Parker Kligerman drove the No. 29 Ram in the Camping World Truck Series for BKR. Kligerman finished 11th in points in 2011, but was released from BKR midway through the 2012 season,[41] being replaced by Ryan Blaney.[42] Ryan Blaney drove to the team's first victory on September 15, 2012 at Iowa Speedway.

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Nationwide Series[edit]

Camping World Truck Series[edit]

* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Keselowski, Dombrowski and Zayak honored by Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame". National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame (Yahoo News). March 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Keselowski, SUBcrews.com team up in Trucks". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. February 10, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-20. 
  3. ^ "Samson Stone – The Third Turn". Thethirdturn.com. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  4. ^ Hinton, Ed. "Dega a disaster waiting to happen". ESPN. ESPN. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  5. ^ http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=276594
  6. ^ "The 2009 Sprint All-Star Race". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  7. ^ Spencer, Gary (2009-08-17). "Busch and Vickers mouth off at Carfax 250 | The Car Tech blog - CNET Reviews". Reviews.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  8. ^ "Carl Edwards beats Brad Keselowski in wild finish - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  9. ^ "Carl Edwards docked, fined for wrecking Brad Keselowski - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  10. ^ McGee, Ryan (August 25, 2010). "Fight excitement filled up Bristol". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  11. ^ "Brad Keselowski clinches Nationwide title with ease - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2010-11-07. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  12. ^ "Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski will carry the flag for Penske Racing - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  13. ^ "Keselowski saves fuel, claims victory at Kansas". Nascar.com. 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  14. ^ "Brad Keselowski crashes at road course test, taken to hospital - ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2011-08-04. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  15. ^ "Brad Keselowski wins at Pocono despite broken left ankle - ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2011-08-08. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  16. ^ Rodman, Dave (January 14, 2012). "Keselowski steps up Truck Series schedule in '12". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  17. ^ Sandomir, Richard (2012-02-28). "Nascar's Keselowski Gains More Than 100,000 Twitter Followers During Daytona 500". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ "Keselowski seizes inaugural victory at Indy". Nascar.com. 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  19. ^ "Carl Edwards wins Nationwide race at Watkins Glen - ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2012-08-11. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  20. ^ "Marcos Ambrose passes Brad Keselowski on final lap for win - ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  21. ^ "Standings | NASCAR Sprint Cup Series". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  22. ^ "Jimmie Johnson holds off Brad Keselowski to win at Texas and extend lead - ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  23. ^ Ryan, Nate (2012-11-10). "Keselowski is no longer 'Bad Brad' — he's just better". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  24. ^ Fryer, Jenna (2012-11-13). "NASCAR's Keselowski can't tweet in car anymore". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  25. ^ Ryan, Nate (November 12, 2012). "Jeff Gordon fined $100,000, put on probation". USA Today. Retrieved November 14, 2012. 
  26. ^ posted by Hannah Worster on November 19, 2012 2:13 PM (2012-11-19). ""Buzzed" Brad Keselowski had real answers on tap for SportsCenter’s Kevin Connors | ESPN Front Row". Frontrow.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  27. ^ "CUP: Keselowski Finally Stumbles". Nascar.speedtv.com. 2013-03-29. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  28. ^ "Toyota Owners 400". Nascar.com. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  29. ^ Gluck, Jeff (2013-05-26). "Danica, Keselowski collide; crashes pile up at Coke 600". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  30. ^ Spencer, Reid (2013-08-10). "Keselowski bags Nationwide win at Watkins Glen". NASCAR. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  31. ^ http://www.nascar.com/en_us/news-media/articles/2013/09/06/race-recap-richmond-international-raceway-nationwide-series-nascar.html Kes wins in heartbreaker for Brian Scott
  32. ^ Associated Press (2013-09-08). "Brad Keselowski not in Chase field". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  33. ^ Spencer, Lee (2013-10-02). "Penske inks Keselowski through '17". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  34. ^ http://aol.sportingnews.com/nascar/story/2013-04-13/brad-keselowski-joey-logano-penalties-rules-violation-illegal-parts-penske-racin SportingNews| Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Penske teams face potential penalties after parts taken at Texas
  35. ^ http://www.nascar.com/en_us/sprint-cup-series/standings/results/2013/nra-500.html NASCAR.com| NRA 500 results
  36. ^ http://www.nascar.com/en_us/news-media/articles/2013/04/17/nascar-penalizes-penske-drivers-keselowski-logano-truex.html NASCAR.com| NASCAR lowers boom on Penske drivers, April 17, 2013
  37. ^ Ryan, Nate (May 1, 2013). "NASCAR panel upholds penalties to Penske Racing teams". USA Today. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  38. ^ Associated Press (February 28, 2014). "Brad Keselowski wins Phoenix pole". ESPN. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  39. ^ Spencer, Reid (March 9, 2014). "KESELOWSKI EDGES DALE JR. TO WIN AT VEGAS". NASCAR. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  40. ^ Ryan, Nate (July 13, 2014). "Brad Keselowski wins NASCAR race in New Hampshire in OT". USA Today. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Kligerman released from Brad Keselowski Racing". The Miami Herald. Miami, FL. August 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  42. ^ "Ryan Blaney to drive for Brad Keselowski Racing". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. August 9, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tony Stewart
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion
2012
Succeeded by
Jimmie Johnson
Preceded by
Kyle Busch
NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion
2010
Succeeded by
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
Awards
Preceded by
Carl Edwards
NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver
2008, 2009, 2010
Succeeded by
Elliott Sadler