For most of the last 25 years the public face of K-Automotive Motorsports
was Kay Keselowski.
Husband to Bob, and mother of racers Brian and
Brad she's been at the heart of the company. She's been owner,
spotter, organizer and lynchpin of the team through its ARCA and
Craftsman Truck eras.
you grew up in the farming area in Ohio - a world away from auto
My family was into horses so auto racing wasn’t even in my
vocabulary. My first experience was at the Indy national drags
and I was hooked from the first moment I watched the first run. What
Is it true you met Bob after being transferred to Michigan because
That is true.Bob was just getting going as a serious racer then.
He was racing locally in the super late model division when
I met him. He and Ron did a lot of independent work for Chrysler
and small business’ to get enough money to race with. They
worked very hard and raced even harder. It was very exciting
and a lot of sacrifice.
Do you remember much of John Keselowski?
I do. I was told he was a rough and grumble type of guy so
I was pretty nervous when I met him. But he was nothing but
wonderful to me and to our children. He was long since retired
from racing ventures when I came along.
There was definitely a tradition and a deep desire to compete. Ron
was done driving when I came along but Bob says he was a great natural
driver who really didn’t have to work at being good.
I helped as much as I could from the beginning but I had to work
so that limited my ability for a while. We went to the races
several times a week and I sat in the stands with our kids cheer
leading. Women were not in the pits at the time. I went
to work for the team in 1996.
When did you get into spotting?
When we went truck racing there was a lot more travel involved and
we could no longer depend on solely volunteer helpers. So,
out of necessity, Bob taught me what he wanted in a spotter and I
did the best that I could.
Do spotters get the recognition they deserve?
Probably not to the general public, but anyone who is involved with
a team knows the importance of a spotter who pays attention. You
have to give up watching the race and concentrate solely on your
vehicle and what’s happening around it. You need
to scan NASCAR to know what is being said about the track, the competitors
and your race team and relay that information when appropriate. You
won’t know what happened in an opposite corner until you watch
Did you ever get behind a race car wheel yourself?
Not ever. I’m much too big of a coward!!
Did the kids spend much time at the tracks in those days?
All of the kids went to the local tracks with us and to many of the
ARCA events also. When we went to the trucks the girls were
in school and didn’t get to a lot of races. The boys
went as often as we could but with me spotting there was no one to
watch them. When they got a little older, they stayed in the
motor home and our fellow competitor’s spouses etc helped watch
I love my children more than life itself, so anytime there is a dangerous
situation, I’m nervous. That being said, they are exceptional
in watching their safety equipment and understanding what they need
to do to avoid situations. Wrecks still happen and I don’t
breath until I know they are okay.
Bob was involved in a crazy accident at Texas once. Fireball 50ft
high they say. Were you there that day? Was he OK?
That wreck was before me but I have heard a lot about it. He
was fine but it got his attention for sure!!
When Bob last raced I didn’t really know it was
for the last time. It was hard to watch another driver in the
truck that Bob had put his life into. So
I’m not sure sad would describe it but it was hard.
I read somewhere that Ron could probably
build a race car single handed. Do you think that’s true?
Ron, Bob, Brian and Brad could all build a car in their sleep. It’s
their love and their passion and they are each very talented at it.
What was Brian like as a young boy? Was he a racer or more into fixing
Brian is an amazing talent who understands each
and every piece of a race car. He was , And still is, what every
mom would want her son to be. He
was very thoughtful and followed most of the rules you set down for
him ( I said most...) He never liked getting into trouble but
would not back down if he felt he had to stand up for something or
What saw you all through the
tough times,such as Bob’s health scare and the difficulties
working without a big sponsor?
Racing is huge roller coaster ride. The good times are the
best you could ever dream of but the bad times are some of the harshest. Bob’s
health gave us a few scares but his last heart failure put each of
his family to the test. You definitely found out who your friends
are and who they aren’t. Sponsors are a true test. You
have to try to stay 10 steps ahead of them and there is always someone
trying to take them away.
How hard was it to close the truck operation in Feb. 06 with Brad
improving all the time.
That was the lowest of lows for our entire family. To watch
all that you worked for go away and leave us all with nothing but
a stack of bills, was devastating. The saying that everything
happens for a reason is oh so true. It is hard to see what
possible reason at the time, but in hind sight, it made us stronger. Brad
was forced to go out of his comfort zone and make things happen and
Brian was forced to take control and work out his life style too. I
see it all coming together now and we survived it all!! It
was hard... Very very hard.
Who are the unsung heroes of K-automotive.
Naturally everyone sees how hard Bob and Ron, Brian and Brad have
worked but what most don’t know is how much our other children
sacrificed as they grew up. We missed the births of all of
our grand children ( They could never be born in the off season!)
And we were gone so much that if the girls couldn’t come with
us, they were at home in some capacity. I see now how that
caused them pain and it’s a regret I will live with always.
What K races do you remember the most?
I remember the ARCA Pocono races that Bob was so dominating at, the
MIS race he won and of course the Richmond truck race he won. Then
of course, the boys races. Brad’s quarter midget races,
Brian’s late model wins. The memories are something I’ll
Well, when you have been around racing forever, it’s like a
comfortable chair. It’s where you are the happiest which
makes you relaxed. That being said, there are some very tense
moments especially when things aren’t going according to plans.
With Brian opening up in Mooresville do
you think you’ll
be as involved?
No, not really. I will do anything that I can but the distance
is a deterring factor.
Was it a difficult decision for him to move given so many family
members are connected with the team?
Very difficult. But he knew it was the only way for him to
move forward with his career.
43252 Woodward Ave Ste 180
Bloomfield Hills MI 48302
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General Information: info @ teamkeselowski.com
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few questions about Brad and his career. Are you pleased to
see Brad moving back into the trucks so quickly (with Brad
Keselowski Racing) and running a team?
I think that he wants to give back to the racing community and I’m proud
of all of his efforts to help up and coming drivers succeed.
Do you remember Brad’s first quarter
Like it was yesterday. We just watched the video tape a few weeks ago.
Bob , Brian and I went to that first race and Eddie (who owned the car). It
was so much fun.
A champion in 1999 am I right?
How sweet was Brad’s Michigan win? Lot of family
history out there in the Irish hills...
That was amazing. I was in Also Steels suite with a ton of Brad’s
fans. I watched on the roof in the infield thinking that he was going to
finish in the top 5 , Which is awesome. Those last few laps were the most
exciting that I can remember. If he needed any bolster I guarantee the
crowd that I was with pushed him to the finish line!! I had no voice left!! It
Will it help that Brad’s driving
a Dodge these days?
Dodge was always the vehicle of choice for Bob and Ron. They were dodge
diehards and still are. I believe that Dodge’s involvement will be
of paramount help to Brad and the Penske teams.