By Konnie McCollum
(June 2010) After 11 starts this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Penske Racings Brad Keselowski stood at the top of the points standing, just ahead of Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, respectively.
Photo courtesy of NASCAR
Brad Keselowski will pilot the
No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge in the
Meijer 300 Presented by Ritz.
On June 12, Keselowski will try to add another win to his record in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Meijer 300 Presented by Ritz at the Kentucky Speedway. Last year, he finished third in the 200-lap, 300-mile race.
As of late May, Keselowski, the driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge, had garnered two wins, two poles and eight top-five finishes. In April, he won Talladega Superspeedways Aarons 312, and Richmond International Raceways BUBBA Burger 250.
The season hasnt been exactly perfect for the veteran driver, though. In March at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Keselowskis car went airborne after driver Carl Edwards clipped his rear left tire. The two drivers had been dueling for position for several minutes when Edwards tapped Keselowskis car. Fortunately, Keselowski, who was going more than 190 mph when the incident occurred, walked away unhurt. Edwards was disqualified by the move, which some speculate was intentional. He was later placed on probation for three races by NASCAR officials for causing the wreck.
Earlier in the same race, Edwards, the four-time winner in Atlanta, was bumped from behind by Keselowski. Edwards hit the wall, which ended his chances of winning.
The two drivers have had a past history of entanglements. In April 2009 at Talladega, Edwards and Keselowski collided, and Edwards car hit several other cars and then landed in the stands. Several NASCAR fans were injured.
New, more relaxed NASCAR rules for 2010 are encouraging drivers to show more emotion and be more aggressive. Contact, including some bump-drafting at Talladega and Daytona, is going to be allowed, which may result in more incidents like the one between Keselowski and Edwards.
Last season, Keselowski, whose older brother Brian, father Bob and uncle Ron and grandfather, have all raced, finished third in series points. He came within 20 points of second place in the standings with only two races left. He won a career high four races in 2009 and also captured two poles. He was voted by fans the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver for the second consecutive year.
In 2008, he also finished third in series points and saw his first series wins and pole. His first victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series came in June at Nashville Superspeedway. Then in late August he won at Bristol Motor Speedway.
He made his NASCAR debut in 2004 in the Camping World Truck Series. In his first race at Martinsville Speedway, he started 26th and finished 33rd but eventually he took his first checkered flag at Mansfield.