2013 — Brad Keselowski fulfilled the dream of a family dedicated
to stock car racing and took the 2012 Sprint Cup Championship driving
under the Dodge Motorsports banner.
In 2013 that long association between Dodge and Keselowski will
end when Brad's team - Penske Racing roll out their 2013 Ford
INTO 2013 - BKM - Brian Keselowski, custodian
of the K-Automotive legacy has sealed an alliance with young driver
Garrett Smithley as their 1st driver to work with in 2013. Looking
to a great
season with much success!
BEACH 2009 — The list of things Brian Keselowski
needed heading into the Daytona 500 was long and overwhelming. A
day after earning a spot in the biggest race of his career, everything
Keselowski did not have seemed trivial.
Brian Keselowski was $250,000 in debt, but he will start at No.
12 in the Daytona 500.
We’ve already won the Daytona 500,” Keselowski said Friday. “Just
getting in was the win.”
A week ago, Keselowski had no idea if he could even afford to come
to Daytona International Speedway. His bid to make it in Nascar had
left him more than $250,000 in debt, and as a two-man team that consists
of Keselowski and his father, they had been able to prepare only
one of the six cars in his stable.
I figured I had a credit card somewhere with enough room on it to
get us down to Daytona,” he said.
So Keselowski, 29, packed up a minivan and headed south with his
father and Jen Calandrillo, a budding motorsports reporter Keselowski
found online and recruited to do some public relations for him while
in Daytona. His uncle Ron flew from Michigan to complete the crew.
Their low-budget adventure received a lift Saturday when Keselowski
reached a sponsorship deal with Discount Tire, which also sponsors
his 27-year-old brother, Brad, in the Nationwide Series. His team
spent the morning applying the company’s logo to his car before
It’s awesome,” Keselowski said. “I’ve had
a lot of calls and a lot of people I’d really like to work
with, but when they called up last night and said Discount Tires
was interested, I said, ‘We need to make this happen.’ It’s
awesome. They’ve made it happen.”
Keselowski’s situation had been in stark contrast to the ride
Brad was enjoying at the other end of Daytona’s vast garage.
A budding star and the reigning Nationwide champion, Brad Keselowski
has every tool at his disposal with the backing of Penske Racing
and Miller Lite.
At times, Keselowski has been jealous of his little brother’s
success, wondering why all those breaks never fell his way. But he
has never been one to ask for help — until last Thursday’s
critical qualifying race.
Keselowski needed to be pushed around the track by his brother, he
needed that Penske horsepower, and Brad was all too willing to help.
He patiently stayed on his older brother’s bumper for most
of the 150-mile race, which was the push he needed to claim one of
the open spots in Sunday’s Daytona 500, the Super Bowl of Nascar.
In the wake of making the 500, which will be Brian’s first
Sprint Cup Series start, he was learning quickly to accept help.
Offers of assistance were coming in faster than he could field them,
including potential sponsorship opportunities for Sunday and a call
from the former Nascar crew chief Ray Evernham, who offered to pay
Keselowski’s tire bill for the weekend.
But other issues needed immediate attention. The payday Sunday — last
place in last year’s race paid $261,424 — means Keselowski
can clear his mounting debt and ensure he can try more races. But
he needed to find a way to get someone back in North Carolina into
his race shop to finish building a car so he would have something
ready to take to the next race in Phoenix.
No way, no way we’ll have a car ready for Phoenix,” his
uncle Ron said. “Impossible.”
Then Ron turned his attention to Calandrillo, insisting that she
stay on top of the quest to locate a new front splitter. Keselowski’s
was damaged in the qualifying race, and he had lent the other one
he had with him to Norm Benning, who damaged his in a wreck.
But Calandrillo was fielding rapid-fire news media requests and trying
to solve the most pressing issue: where their five-member team would
sleep the rest of Speedweeks.
We checked out of our rooms on Thursday because nobody thought we
were making the race,” she said. “We thought for sure
we were going home. We did the ‘friend of a friend knows somebody
in Daytona’ and all crashed at her house last night, but we’re
working on something to get us through the rest of the weekend.”
Keselowski was willing to sleep in the minivan if needed.
After struggling so long,” he said, “just trying to make
it week to week, and now we get to pay our bills and know we can
go to another race, this is the first time that’s ever happened
Keselowski will start 12th in the 500 — four spots ahead of
his brother — and plans to race with the help of volunteers
who have offered to help him prepare the car and pit.
I’m going to race, I know that,” he said. “How?
Those are details. Very minor details compared to what it took to
Daytona last year...
and the K crew went for it all in the run up to the Daytona weekend.
They took a cup car - a proven Dodge chassis that once entered
Victory Lane at Lowe's in '08 - and pushed into superspeedway /
restrictor plate territory. At the wheel, Mike Wallace, as K Automotive
made its first attempt to start a Cup Series race for thirty years.
It was a bridge too far, but worth the effort.
The real beef was K's entry of three cars into the Nationwide Series
opener, with Brian driving his own 26 car, supported by Johnny
Chapman and Dennis Setzer aiming to qualify the 92 and 96 cars
too. Trouble was, no -one had counted on the Florida weather:
The arbitary way NASCAR chose to fill out the field after the rain
washed out Friday's qualifying left some teams scratching their
heads and some, like K-Automotive and Mears Racing, pretty sore.
The rules were vague, and it became clear that the race lineup
would be effectively a lottery. Thirtyfive entries locked in by
owner points (even though some of the richer owners had bought
those points from defunt 2009 teams) leaving just a few places
to be settled on time.
The rain changed all that. Team Keselowski's three entries were
suddenly reduced to one, and the hard work was looking wasted. Dennis
and Johnny saty it out, but then Brian got busy once the race started.
In the Nationwide Drive4COPD 300 Brian had a worrying strat, almost
taken out by an early race incident. But it didn't slow his progress.
Mid-race he found himself conserving tires and riding alongside
the new darling of NASCAR, Danica Patrick, who was making her first
start at NNNS level.
And then the race got serious - and Brian found enough pace to
ride along with the leading pack into the home stretch of an eventful
race. Final position 11th. A nice end to the toughest of weeks.
to make it to the top, you have to be where the action is. That’s
the case in any industry, and in the case of NASCAR you have to
be in North Carolina. That’s
why the Michigan-based K Automotive Racing team has decided to
head down South for the 2010 racing season, in hopes that the move
will help grow the small family-run team into a Nationwide series
really cannot believe that they look you in the eyes and tell you
that the reason youÍre not in this race, after you spent every
single dime you possibly could, is because somebody drew a number.
completely eliminates the legitimacy of what weÍre doing. I just
canÍt believe we donÍt even
get a chance. Everyone should have an [equal] shot to make the
KESELOWSKI, to Tom Bowles of Frontstretch .
with Brian K in the Oakland Press: “"There's room for me right
now in Nationwide,” he said. “"A guy like me without
a lot of money can still succeed and make a living. That's all
I do —- racing. I don't have my hands in anything else.
resign myself to the fact that that stuff isn't going to happen
right now. So the only way is to race for myself."” http://tinyurl.com/yevsh3w
Kay Keselowski Interview http://tinyurl.com/yaqvj3k