NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Kesolowski will try to keep
He won four Sprint Cup races
his streak alive at Kentucky
to capture the 2012 series title
(June 2013) – The 2012 “Quaker State 400” at the Kentucky Speedway was the 17th race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. For winner Brad Keselowski, it was his best Sprint Cup series race to date.
On June 20, 2012, he won the race at Kentucky Speedway, with Kasey Kahne right on his heels. Kesolowski outlasted the field, which was contested over 267 laps on the tri-oval, 1.5-mile track. The victory was the second of five in 2012, enabling him to win the Sprint Cup Series championship later that year.
Keselowski, who grew up in a racing family from Michigan, first debuted in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville in 2004. He began his NASCAR career as the driver of the No. 29 Ford F-150 for his family owned team, K-Automotive Motorsports, in the Craftsman Truck Series.
He began competing full time in the Truck Series one year later. Keselowski, 29, opened the season with a seventh-place finish in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona, but it was his only top-10 finish of the year. He ran the first two races of 2006 for K-Automotive before a lack of sponsorship caused the team to temporarily suspend operations.
In 2007, Keselowski began competing in the Busch Series full time. Halfway into the season, he received a call from car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., to drive the No. 88 United States Navy Chevrolet for J.R. Motorsports for the rest of the Busch Series season.
In June of that year, he ran in the 2007 Truck Series, winning his first career pole. Keselowski was behind the wheel of the No. 23 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for Keith Coleman Racing until the team suspended operations in July.
During the Camping World 300 at California Speedway, Keselowski was involved in a major crash with A.J. Allmendinger and J.J. Yeley. He ended up closing out the season with five top-10 finishes and placed 25th in points.
He formed his own race team in 2007 as well. Brad Keselowski Racing currently fields two full-time teams in the Camping World Truck Series.
Last year, in addition to racing in the Sprint cup series and a limited Nationwide Series schedule for Penske Racing, Keselowski competed in a limited number of Camping Word truck Series races for his own team.
In 2008, Keselowski earned his first career victory in the Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. He had re-signed with J.R. Motorsports for the 2008 Nationwide Series season, ending the season third in points. This was the highest finish by a full-time Nationwide Series-only driver.
In the 2008 Sprint Cup series, he got a taste of the action as he was on standby for an ill Jeff Gordon at Kansas Motor Speedway and for expectant father Casey Mears at Talladega. He competed in two races for Hendricks Motorsports in the No. 25 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Impala.
One year later, Keselowski earned his first career Sprint Cup victor in the 2009 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega. That same year, he earned his next three Nationwide victories at Dover International Speedway, Iowa Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.
In 2010, Keselowski joined Penske Racing. He drove the No. 12 Dodge Charger in the Sprint Cup series and the No. 22 Discount Tire car in the Nationwide Series.
Keselowski won his first NASCAR Nationwide Series title at Talladega, collected five poles, 26 top five’s, and 29 top tens. But his performance in the Sprint Cup series was less than stellar. He finished 25th in the final Sprint Cup standings with one pole and no wins.
By May of 2011, Keselowski’s luck began to change in the Sprint Cup series. He won the pole for the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 and the 2011 STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. By winning the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway less than a week later, this put him into contention to snag one of two “Wild Card” spots available in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Keselowski ended his second full Sprint Cup season fifth in the point standings, trailing 84 points behind champion Tony Stewart. He managed to finish the season with more wins than his teammate, Kurt Busch, and with a better points finish.
On March 18, 2012, he won his first race of the season, the Food City 500 at Bristol. He went on to win five races and his first Sprint Cup series championship later that year, including the June race at Kentucky.
In August 2012, Keselowski placed second in the Nationwide race at Watkins Glen. In September, he won the first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.
That same year he joined Bobby Labonte as the only NASCAR drivers to have won a championship in both the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series.
Keselowski opened the current season with four straight top-five finishes. This included a fourth place finish in the Daytona 500, but his winning streak ended at the Auto Club 500 when he finished twenty-third after dealing with handling issues.
He is expected to race in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ “Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts” at the Kentucky Speedway on June 29.
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