Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski scores Daytona victory

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola

Photo by: Matt Sullivan

Brad Keselowski knows his way around restrictor-plate tracks, scoring five victories since his Sprint Cup start in 2009, so it’s no surprise that he dominated his way to victory lane during the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Keselowski led 115 of 161 laps while avoiding damage from multiple wrecks Saturday night before capturing his first win at Daytona. The victory is also Penske’s 100th Cup victory.

“It’s been a kick in the you-know-what,” Keselowski said about scoring the Daytona victory, “I got down on myself here. We came down here for the 500 and quite honestly we ran like dog crap, but my team worked on it. I didn’t give up on them.

“I believe in my team and my team believes in me and we went to work and we put together a better car, and it really showed today with a great effort from the whole team. I’m really proud of everybody.”

Although Keselowski has had little to no success at Daytona, his continued effort has helped him gain more knowledge on what to expect at Daytona and its sister track, Talladega Superspeedway.

“I always thought it was one of his strengths for sure,” Paul Wolfe, crew chief of the No. 2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford said. “Brad is a thinker and he studies and he tries to understand, so I know he’s put his time in to try to understand how the draft works and how to be better at it.”

Keselowski, with the help of his teammate Joey Logano, held off Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch in NASCAR overtime for his 20th career Cup win, which happened to be during Keselowski’s 250th Cup start.

“It was a good effort for us for sure. The wins are never easy to come by, and I think this one means a lot to me for sure because looking at our past here, it hasn’t been all that rosy.” Keselowski said, “Usually I’m loading up the car and about to be to the airport, so it’s nice to be here and have a great finish.”


Brad Keselowski avoids wreckers, gets checkers

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500

Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton

Brad Keselowski was one of five drivers that were not involved in any wreck during Sunday afternoon’s Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Keselowski escaped a day that was full of multi-car wrecks, which included two drivers getting airborne and flipping multiple times.

“This [track] is one where it’s in your face challenging to if you make a mistake, it’s going to be a really, really big wreck” Keselowski said

Keselowski protected his position throughout the day, but also received help from Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray for his fourth win at Talladega

“Jamie McMurray behind me gave me a great push, and then Kyle Busch gave me a push that was big to clear the 41 (Kurt Busch), and without those two I couldn’t have made it to the front. So ‘Thank you’ to them.”

Keselowski may have been the only one with some encouraging words for the racing that took place. Many drivers, including second place finisher Kyle Busch, were less enthused about restrictor-plate racing.

“These cars, you try to get a little bit aggressive, start bumping people and pushing people, they’re real easy to get out of control,” Busch said. “I really don’t know why we’re bumping and pushing and everything else, because these cars, they go slower when you push. Makes a lot of sense. That’s how stupid we are.”

Chris Buescher and Matt Kenseth received the worst end of damage throughout the day that included 10 cautions. Their cars went airborne, in separate accidents, after contact with other vehicles.

“I saw it happening in front of us and checked up and the next thing I knew I was upside down,” said Buescher. “I am pretty sick and tired of speedway racing at this point. It has been a rough year for that. We felt we were decent this race. We were holding our own and waiting but here we are. It is unfortunate. I really hate it for the guys.”

Sunday’s race was chaotic, but nothing short of a typical day at Talladega. The advancements in NASCAR’s technology, again, allowed multiple drivers to walk away. Another being Stewart-Haas Racing’s Danica Patrick.

Patrick was a part of a 12-car pile-up on lap 181 and appeared to be shaken up after her No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet hit a SAFER barrier. She underwent X-rays on her chest after experiencing pain while breathing after the crash. The scans came back negative.

“We all raced to the halfway, then we all raced to the rain that was coming, then we all raced to the end,” she said. “It was like the whole race, you spent it racing like it was the end. There was no moments to relax at all.”

While the race may not have been relaxing, drivers did not second-guess taking the necessary measures in order to be a contender at the end.

“I have to put myself in a situation I don’t want to be in to get into a good situation,” Dillon, who finished third, said. “You have to put yourself in bad situations that you wouldn’t normally do to figure out how to get to the front.”

Keselowski, who described restrictor-plate racing as being a daredevil-type track shared a similar perspective.

“You’re going to make a move inches from another drive, cut them off, push them, you’re going to drive sideways, hang it all out there knowing something bad can really happen,” Keselowski said. “I think it’s special under the circumstances and under that level of adversity. It’s a challenge I’ve always embraced.”