Quaker State 400 Presented by
Advance Auto Parts
(July 2015) – Brad Keselowski captivated the audience from start to finish at the Kentucky Speedway’s Quaker State 400 in 2014. He claimed the Sprint Cup Series race for the second time in three years, but it remains to be seen if his luck will hold out in 2015.
• 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11
• 267 Laps, 400 Miles
To grab the title, Keselowski had to pass Kyle Busch with 20 laps remaining. He led 199 of 267 laps and said of the race, “It was kind of one of those races where the whole race you just know you’ve got a really fast car.”
Keselowski, a native of Rochester Hills, Mich., grew up in a racing family and has a naturally aggressive racing style, which no doubt has contributed to his wins. He will participate in the Quaker State 400, presented by Advance Auto Parts, on July 11 at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. This will be the fourth time for this race to be held at Kentucky Speedway.
Of last year’s race he said, “It was an eventful three days. I ran all three races – a great three races for us. It was kind of funny, the Truck race I think was my worst finish, then (in) the Xfinity race, I ran second and then won the Cup race. I guess we saved the best for last.”
Kentucky Speedway photo
Brad Keselowski (right) celebrates his 2014 Quaker State 400 victory at the Kentucky Speedway. He clinched his second title there in three years with the win in 2014. He also finished second in the Xfinity race last year.
Keselowski said he likes the track at the Kentucky Speedway. “I like the fact that it’s really rough in the corners,” he said. “A track that’s very rough in the corners requires something different out of the driver. It requires something a little different out of the setup of the car as well. And that seems to really fit my style.”
In 2014 Keselowski, 31, enjoyed one of his most productive seasons, claiming a series-leading six victories in the Sprint Cup Series competition. He was the only driver to sweep both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Sprint Series races in a single weekend, a feat he has accomplished twice in his career.
Keselowski started 11 races in the NXS in 2014. He scored five poles and five victories, helping the No. 22 Discount Tire/Hertz Ford team claim its second consecutive NXS Owners’ Title. This bumped him up to fifth on the NXS All-Time win list with 32 career victories.
Recently, Keselowski’s No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion finished sixth in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Even though he led for six laps, June 14, 2015 turned out to be a rainy day in Michigan ending his hopes for a victory in that race.
He had posted the third fastest time in qualifying, marking his best time trial effort at the two-mile Brooklyn, Michigan track. Shortly after the races’ fifth caution flag flew at lap 137, NASCAR made the call to end the race and declared Kurt Busch the winner.
In a press conference before the race, Keselowski had commented, “This is a huge race for me, my team and for Ford. We’ve been so close here previously.” This race marked the 50th start for a member of the Keselowski family at Michigan International Speedway.
A new announcement Keselowski recently made was that he would team with Webasto Thermo & Comfort North America in a multi-year promotional marketing campaign. The company is one of the largest suppliers of heating, cooling and ventilation systems to the commercial truck, specialty vehicle, recreational and marine markets.
“It has always been very important to me to stay connected to my roots in Michigan, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to align with an industry leader whose North American operations are based in suburban Detroit,” said Keselowski of the partnership.
Fans have seen him behind the wheel of the No. 2 Miller Lite/Alliance Truck Parts-Wurth Ford Fusion and the No. 22 Discount Tire-Hertz Ford Mustang this year. His father, Bob Keselowski, was a 1997 race winner in the Camping World Truck Series, while his uncle, Ron Keselowski, competed at the Cup Series level in the early 1970s.
At age 14, Keselowski transitioned from turning wrenches at the family-owned team, K Automotive Motorsports, to racing. He learned to balance a racing career with his full time job working for the family’s Camping World Truck Series.
He climbed the ladder fast, running a partial schedule in both the Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series in 2006. A year later he caught the eye of Dale Earnhardt Jr., owner of JR Motorsports. The race at Memphis Motorsports Park became the turning point in Keselowski’s NASCAR career.
The 2010 season was his first full season as a member of the Team Penske family. That year he captured the first NASCAR championship for legendary team owner Roger Penske. In 2012 he won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in Penske Racing history in his third full season with the team.
During the 2012 season, Keselowski recorded a career high five race victories including regular season wins at Bristol, Talladega and Kentucky and two victories during the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Chicago and Dover. Keselowski also set career bests with 13 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes, as well as 735 laps led.
Although he couldn’t defend his title in 2013, Keselowski posted seven wins to his Xfinity Series legacy and helped earn the first-ever NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Owners’ Championship for Roger Penske. This set him up for a winning 2014 season.
He scored Team Penski’s 400th race victory when he took the checkered flag at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia and Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. In the postseason, he scored two wins: Chicagoland and Talladega, finishing fifth in the final championship standings.
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