Tag:Brad Keselowski
Posted on: March 2, 2012 3:51 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 3:58 pm
 

Brad Keselowski defends cellphone in car

By Pete Pistone


Image Detail
(Keselowski says his testing crash at Road Atlanta last year is another reason why he carries a phone)

Brad Keselowski
says he has a practical reason for having his cellphone with him when he straps into a stock car.

It's not just to have a device capable of tweeting pictures or thoughts to fans. Keselowski maintains there's a safety aspect to have the phone with him.

When Keselowski was involved in a violent crash at Auto Club Speedway a couple years ago, the cellphone was a lifeline to family and friedns concerned for his well being.

A similar scenario presented itself during his testing crash at Road Atlanta last summer and he was able to let him mother know that he was allright before news of teh accident had spread.

“That kind of put the fire out before it really got started and she really appreciated that,” Keselowski said. “It put me a lot more at ease. From that moment on, I decided I was going to keep my phone with me in the race car.

“There actually was a practical purpose for having it with me and I designed a pocket to put it inside my car to be able to keep it there. I didn’t put it in my car thinking, ‘We’re going to have a red flag at Daytona for a guy hitting a jet dryer and causing an explosion.’”

Keselowski is aware of those who have concern the smartphone could lead to some form of cheating or for teams to try to get a competitive advantage especially in the new age on electronic fuel injection.

However he's not sure how a driver or crew chief could actually use a phone in such a case.

"You could definitely make an argument that a smartphone is a mini-computer,” Keselowski said. “I could definitely see that. But it’s not like I had it plugged into anything. You have fuel injection in the cars, but I don’t know how you could use it to cheat, quite frankly.

“Unless you mounted it to something to maybe make a video.”

For now Keselowski plans to carry the phone with him and continue his heavy involvement on Twitter.

"As an athlete, entertainer, race-car driver, whatever you want to call me, the things I did on Twitter was something I would want to see,” Keselowski said. “The people that I follow on Twitter, if you were to ask me what I would want to see from them, that’s what I would want to see.

“That’s all I did. I don’t think any harder than that. I’m glad that people liked it and enjoyed it.”
 

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Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:36 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 2:06 pm
 

Tweeting in race won't cost Brad Keselowski

By Pete Pistone

Brad Keselowski
has embraced social media in a huge way. And his celebrated tweeting during Monday night's rain-delayed Daytona 500 won't land him in any hot water with NASCAR.

Keselowski took the unprecedented step of live tweeting from his car during the race providing his legion of followers, which reportedly grew by 65,000 during the race, with updates as things unfolded.

He tweeted up a storm during the nearly two hour red flag for Juan Pablo Montoya's fiery crash with a jet dryer on track before finally signing off when NASCAR had things ready to roll.

"Time to get back racing, thank you for following!," Keselowski wrote when the green was near.

There was speculation Keselowski may have unwittingly violated a NASCAR rule by bringing a recording device inside the cockpit of his car, something that is forbidden by the sanctioning body.

Some competitors pointed out that although Keselowski's interaction with fans brought a unique aspect to the night's proceedings, it wasn't exactly by the books.

"Yeah, I heard he was in trouble for having a recording device in his car," said Dale Earnhardt Jr. "But I think that's how Brad is, man. That's what he makes and what he enjoys.  I thought it was pretty funny."

However on Monday the sanctioning body issued a statement saying Keselowski did nothing to warrant any discipline.

"Nothing we've seen from Brad violates any current rules pertaining to the use of social media during races," read the NASCAR statement. "As such, he won't be penalized. We encourage our drivers to use social media to express themselves as long as they do so without risking their safety or that of others."

So the good news is perhaps this won't be the last time Keselowski or any driver brings along their cellphone for the ride.

Here's a snapshot of Keselowski's timeline during Monday night's red-flag delay:



 
Daytona Speedweeks


Posted on: February 16, 2012 2:26 pm
 

Brad Keselowski a fan of social media

By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - If you're a NASCAR fan that utilizes Twitter, chances are you'll run across the thoughts of Brad Keselowski.

The Penske Racing driver is very active on the social media front (@keselowski) and in fact has created a program that provides fans with an opportunity to have their Twitter handles displayed on his own team's Camping World Truck Series entry, that will be driven full-time by Parker Kilgerman this season.

“I was thinking about this the other day when I was around my dad," Keselowski said of his social media philosophy.  "I grew up with him and the race team in the Camping World Truck Series.  I was thinking about his approach and remember thinking about how that was so 1990’s.  I was thinking about how it’s a reflection on social media and how much from just five years ago the world has changed and social media is a large part of that.  It affects the sport of NASCAR and how we engage our fans and our sponsors.  I think those that are able to be leaders in that matter will come out on top.  This new age of NASCAR that’s coming where social media has so much power, I’m committed to being one of those guys, committed more than just in words.  I spent a pretty good chunk of money on the Twitter stuff that I have for the truck campaign.”

As for whether he tries to dial down his thoughts before Tweeting, Keselowski says what you read is from the hear.
 
“Absolutely not.  If I have to think about it twice, it’s not authentic," he said.  "If I have to stop and think, ‘If I should cut out this world not to make so and so mad’, I’m a big believer in authenticity.  I’ve had a few moments where I’ve had to explain myself.”

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:43 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 12:50 pm
 

Penske poised for Sprint Cup championship run

By Pete Pistone


  A.J. Allmendinger, Driver Of The #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, Speaks
(Allmendinger joins Keselowski in a new-look Penske Racing tandem that many believe can challenge for the title)


Roger Penske
has accomplished nearly everything possible in the world of auto racing.

Indy Car Series crowns, Indy 500 wins, sports car titles and Daytona 500 victories all adorn the resume of “The Captain.”

However there is one major item still on Penske’s bucket list and that is a Sprint Cup Series championship. 

That may change in 2012. 

Penske Racing enters the coming campaign with a new look duo of Brad Keselowski and A.J. Allmendinger and both drivers are poised to continue the success the team enjoyed last year. 

Despite the turmoil caused by the controversial departure of Kurt Busch from the stable at season’s end, the Penske team enjoyed a year that included five trips to victory lane and both drivers earning spots in the Chase. 

Ultimately things didn’t turn out the way he had hoped but the performance was encouraging enough for Penske to feel confident about where his organization is headed. 

“It takes good people to be successful in any business including auto racing,” said Penske. “We have that here in place all around our NASCAR program and to me I think we’re in as good of a position to succeed as we’ve ever been. What Brad did last year and what we believe A.J. can accomplish with us this year has us pretty excited for 2012.” 

Keselowski’s break out season that included three wins and a championship run once he got into the Chase as a wild car entry has the former Nationwide Series champ feeling pretty good about his chances this season. 

“I’m really happy with how we ended last year,” Keselowski said. “There certainly are some areas to improve on, some of which I’ve seen us make large strides and some of which I have not.

“The areas where we’ve made large strides I’m very proud of and we’ve got to hit the items that we haven’t and we’ve got to hit them hard and have got to hit them quickly.” 

Even before Busch’s departure, Keselowski had inherited the role of team leader, a position he completely embraces going forward. 

Penske says she isn’t surprised Keselowski evolved into the leader of the race team or of the impact he’s had on the entire organization. 

“He’s fully engaged; you can see the sponsors that we just renewed ... you don’t do that unless you have a good driver,” Penske said of Miller Lite signing on to continue its backing of the Blue Deuce. “I think that he helped us; he was instrumental in talking to AJ coming on to the team to give him some insight because when you’re changing drivers, you don’t have months and months to do research. It’s what you see on the track.” 

Keselowski has embraced the leadership position and sees it as another example of his commitment to do whatever it takes to succeed. 

“Sometimes you have to step up and do things,” Keselowski said. “It’s not because I necessarily enjoy it but it’s what we need to be successful and it’s what I’m committed to.

“I don’t really think I’ve changed that much off the track, but maybe I have. I don’t know. I’m certainly more confident and in a better position to be a leader at Penske Racing.” 

Although Allmendinger hasn’t had much time working with the team or his new teammate, he’s already connected with Keselowski due in great deal to the two sharing similar backgrounds. 

“The biggest thing for me is I look at Brad and he's a true racer,” Allmendinger said. “He's come up from a racing family. He's worked hard to get to this point. And something that I saw, which was pretty amazing, was the middle of the year where he was at to the end of the year and how much him and this organization stepped up their game and really worked well together and made their race cars better.” 

Allmendinger, who started the year with a Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona win last month, has made great strides in his Sprint Cup career the last two seasons when he drove for Richard Petty Motorsports. 

However he wasn’t able to get over the hump and break into victory lane last year despite finishing a career-best fifteenth in the Sprint Cup standings. 

When the opportunity to take the seat of Penske’s No. 22 Dodge to replace Busch arose, Allmendinger did not hesitate to answer the call. 

He realizes there’s a lot of work to be done but Allmendinger is confident he was the right man for the job. 

“I'm coming into a race team that's got a lot of momentum, an organization that's got a lot of momentum from a great solid year,” Allmendinger said. “So I feel like the race cars are going to be pretty good. It's more about myself and (crew chief) Todd (Gordon) and the race team gelling, and the quicker we can do that, the better we can be early on.

“And really when the season starts, you've just got to be solid .... You can't put yourself in a hole. So I think that's going to be a big thing for us is just to try to gel together as quick as possible.” 

Enthusiasm is high at Penske who again remains the only full-time Dodge team in the Sprint Cup stable. 

But even though last year’s successful campaign provided a foundation the team hopes to build on in 2012, it will remain a challenge to remain a factor in a highly-competitive Sprint Cup Series that produced eighteen different winners a year ago. 

“We’ve got to work hard, work smart,” Keselowski said. “This sport is a constant moving target. The only way that you’re going to continue to hit it is to fire a lot of bullets at the target and keep reloading.

“We’ve got a lot to do over the next few months as a company and as a team. We’ve got to make it happen, got to get stuff done. If we can do that, we can come back and not only repeat this year, but have a shot at the title."

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:07 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 4:29 pm
 

Penske expecting big things in 2012

By Pete Pistone

CHARLOTTE - Penske Racing put two cars in the Chase last season and won five Sprint Cup races.

The team expects similar success in the coming year.

The addition of A.J. Allmendinger to team up with Brad Keselowski has team owner Roger Penske bullish on the prspects for the coming year.

"We've already seen Brad and A.J. work very well together at the Daytona test and the communication between the two was just excellent," Penske said at Thursday's Media Tour gathering. "We made great strides last season on our pgoram and we're feeling very confident about continuing that success in 2012."

Keselowski, who inked an extension with Penske, will remain in the Miller Lite No. 2 Dodge for the forseeable future thanks to the company also deciding to continue its sponsorship of the team. Keselowski sees it as a vote of confidence.



"It's great when a company like Miller supports what you do and stays connected with a company like ours," said Keselowski. "The Penske Racing team does such a tremendous job of putting the business element of this sport together that gives us the resources to go out and be competitive. That's a tremendous vote of confidence to know we have that kind of support and we can go out and do our jobs."

As for Allmendinger, he's already at home with Penske after coming over from Richard Petty Motorsports a little over a month ago. He and new crew chief Todd Gordon, who was elevated from Penske's Nationwide Series program to work with Allmendinger, have created a tight relationship in a short period of time."

"A.J. is a very gregarious person and his enthusiasm for what he does is contagious," said Gordon. "We went to Daytona for the test and really got a lot done and we just kind of clicked. It's going to be fun working with him along side Brad and (crew chief) Paul (Wolfe)."

Allmendinger was happy to get a chance to get behind the wheel of the car during the Daytona test and get accustomed to his new surroundings.



"It was good to get out there and knock some of the rust off from over the holidays, especially with my new team," said Allmendinger. "The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge definitely had a lot of speed, especially in the two-car draft. I'm expecting a different rules package when we go back next month, but I think Brad and I will have great shots at winning another Daytona 500 for Penske Racing."

Keselowski agrees with his new teammate and in terms of what kind of style racing we'll see at Daytona, whether it's the two car tandem or pack drafting, he really doesn't care.

"Heck I'd go 300 mph if I had to just to win," Keselowski said.
 
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Posted on: January 6, 2012 3:14 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 9:23 pm
 

2011 Team Review/Preview: Penske Racing

By Pete Pistone

Image Detail
(Brad Keselowski was one of the 2011 season's surprises driving to three victories in the Penske "Blue Deuce")

Review

It was both a successful as well as tumultuous season for Penske Racing. 

While team owner Roger Penske saw both his cars make the Chase and win multiple races, an end of season controversy with driver Kurt Busch tainted the organization’s 2011 effort. 

Busch and teammate Brad Keselowski teamed up to find victory lane five times last season and both advanced to the playoffs. That performance more than exceeded expectations many had for the only Dodge team in the Sprint Cup Series. 

“I don’t believe we’re shorthanded at all,” said Steve Addington, who served as Busch’s crew chief in 2011. “In fact we maybe got more support from the manufacturer than other multi-car teams with say Chevrolet or Ford or Toyota because we were the only two Dodge teams on the track. They’ve been a great partner and we couldn’t accomplish what we have without the resources they provide.” 

Keselowski enjoyed a breakout season in 2011 and his three wins propelled him into the Chase as a wild card entry. 

After winning his first race of the season in the June trip to Kansas Speedway, Keselowski really caught fire later in the summer ironically right after breaking his foot and ankle in a testing crash at Road Atlanta. 

Keselowski roared back the following Sunday to win at Pocono and continued a roll that vaulted him into the Chase and made him a legitimate title contender until late in the playoff run. 

“This has definitely been a dream season for me in my first year driving the ‘Blue Deuce,'" said Keselowski, who finished fifth in the final point standings. "We were able to show progression as the year went along and that was one of the most important things for me. This was basically a new team and for us to compete for the championship in our first year together really bodes well for our future.”

Busch and Addington started the season strong with a stellar effort at Daytona’s Speedweeks that included a Budweiser Shootout and Gatorade Duel win as well as a solid in the in the Daytona 500. 

But it was a roller coaster season the rest of the way that had many peaks and valleys including a pair of wins at Sonoma in June and again at Dover come October. 

Busch’s famous temper got the better of him several times during races with radio communication meltdowns aimed at Addington, the team and even Penske punctuating the year. 

His emotional outbursts spilled over to the media and Busch got into heated exchanges with press members on more than one occasion at one point grabbing a transcript from a reporter and ripping it in half when he denied saying what was printed in black and white. 

(WARNING - GRAPHIC LANGUAGE)



 

However the final straw came at Homestead’s season finale when Busch launched into a expletive-laden tirade toward ESPN reporter Dr. Jerry Punch and his crew, a moment that was caught on video by a nearby fan and became a You Tube sensation. 

It led to Busch and Penske “mutually parting ways” at season’s end, finally drawing his at times successful but turbulent career with the legendary team owner to a conclusion.

 

Preview 

The Penske shake-up included Addington’s departure from the team to take over as Tony Stewart’s crew chief at Stewart-Haas Racing as well as Busch leaving the organization. 

So Penske rebuilt the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge squad by bringing A.J. Allmendinger over from Richard Petty Motorsports to pair up with former Nationwide crew chief Todd Gordon

Allmendinger, who was considered by many to be the next first time winner in the series after an impressive year with RPM, was elated to get an opportunity to drive for Penske. 

In addition to their NASCAR careers, the duo share experience and success in open wheel racing and Allmendinger hopes that will carry over to his stock car performance. 

Yeah, I think for me with my background and where I've come from, Roger Penske and just Penske Corporation as a race team, as a business, the way he goes about just taking care of his guys, everything that goes along with that, it's been the pinnacle,” Allmendinger said. “I've always wanted to drive for Mr. Penske, so it's something that when the opportunity arose, I was -- I jumped right at it. 

“It's something that I have always dreamed of, and I just feel like the way he runs his organization, the way he takes care of his people is first-class and top-notch. So that's something that I wanted to be a part of.” 

Keselowski and his crew chief Paul Wolfe now become the veteran leadership of the two car tandem in 2012. Keselowski believes the foundation of what they accomplished last season will again make the No. 2 entry a championship-caliber team again this year. 

"We want to fire out of the box strong next season, compete for wins early, and show everyone that we are going to be a legitimate team for years to come," Keselowski said. "I’ll take a little time to myself over the off-season, but I’m already excited about going to Daytona next year.”

 

Outlook

The pressure will be on Allmendinger and Gordon to take over a car that won twice and made the Chase last season. It may a tall task to ask from a driver still searching for Sprint Cup win number one and a rookie crew chief. A good start will go a long way in helping the pair build confidence and chemistry, which will be starting from square one. Keselowski appears poised to take the next step in his career and join the group of elite drivers in the series.  As he demonstrated last season, a good beginning to the campaign isn’t necessarily imperative in his case as he was impressive in the late regular schedule run into the playoffs. I’d expect at least one of the Penske duo to make the Chase and the driver of the Miller Lite No. 2 is the choice.

CHECK OUT MORE POSTS FROM OUR 2011 TEAM REVIEW/2012 PREVIEW SERIES 

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Posted on: December 15, 2011 4:45 pm
 

Logano, Keselowski visit Guantanamo Bay troops

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Dodge for Penske Racing, and Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, brought holiday cheer, smiles and good times to troops and their families on the NASCAR-USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during their NASCAR-USO visit Dec. 12-14.

The tour of Guantanamo Bay was part of an ongoing partnership between NASCAR and the USO to strengthen a connection between the military and motorsports in an effort to help boost the morale of U.S. troops and their families stationed around the world. The partnership also included NASCAR and the USO hosting a group of wounded warriors at the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas.

During the visit, Keselowski and Logano visited hundreds of sailors and coast guardsmen and their families. The pair also dined with troops, visited the U.S. Navy Hospital, signed autographs and patrolled the waters with service members.

This was the first USO tour for Keselowski and Logano, who are avid supporters of the military community. Both have visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center, now known as Walter Reed National Medical Center, and spent quality time with wounded warriors.

“This was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so glad to be a part of it,” said Keselowski. “I hope to go back on another USO Tour. After meeting the men and women in Guantanamo Bay, I cannot imagine the sacrifices and experiences they have to go through during their time there. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful that I was invited to go.”

“It was awesome to learn more about Guantanamo Bay and what the mission is down there and how it works,” said Logano. “It was great to meet and talk to the troops, and it was one heck of an experience. We get to see a lot of troops at the race track, but to see them in action and doing their jobs…I am so impressed and have such a high amount of respect for each and every one of them and what they do.”

“NASCAR is honored to work with the USO and be a part of bringing this tour to our men and women in Guantanamo Bay,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton. “We hope this tour has lifted the spirits of troops and their families; we are honored to have the opportunity to show our support and show how much our troops mean to NASCAR and its millions of fans around the world.”

"NASCAR and its drivers bring excitement to the track week after week and we are honored to have two of NASCAR's biggest names join us on a USO tour,” said USO President Sloan Gibson. “I can't think of a better, more suitable place for this tour to bring a touch of home than to NASCAR fans stationed in Guantanamo Bay.”
 

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Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:29 am
 

Keselowski, Logano visiting troops for holidays

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, are scheduled to be part of a NASCAR-USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Dec. 12-14.

As part of the NASCAR-USO trip, Logano and Keselowski will share stories of life on the track, sign autographs, pose for photos and spread holiday cheer to hundreds of troops and military families. Logano and Keselowski have participated in charitable races benefiting America's Armed Forces and are avid supporters of the military community.

Both drivers have also visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center, now known as Walter Reed National Medical Center, and spent quality time with wounded warriors. This tour of Guantanamo Bay is part of an ongoing partnership between NASCAR and the USO to strengthen a connection to the military and help boost the morale of U.S. troops and their families stationed around the world.

Joey Logano: "I jump at every chance I get to show my appreciation to our nation's Armed Forces and I look forward to my upcoming USO trip to Guantanamo Bay. Our service men and women and their families are doing an amazing job."

Brad Keselowski: "Traveling with the USO and getting the chance to spend time with our troops is something I wish everyone could do. To see what they do day-in and day-out and hear their stories is an opportunity of a lifetime and something I will never forget." 

 
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