Brian Keselowski was the guest on the latest episode of the NASCAR on NBC podcast, discussing his journeyman racing career as driver and mechanic.
Keselowski, who recently opened his own business to help Xfinity, ARCA and other racing teams with preparing their cars, is the older brother of 2012 Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who helped push Brian into the field of the 2011 Daytona 500.
Brian and Brad Keselowski began racing a go-kart together on a makeshift dirt track (really a field) across from their father’s race shop. They both raced Late Models and other cars around the Midwest, and Brian recalled a humorous story about Brad’s first encounter with Tony Stewart on Berlin Speedway near Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“(Brad) was there for a big show, and Tony was there as the big NASCAR driver,” Brian said on the podcast. “Brad had to make the field through a qualifying race. The top 12 transfer in, and he’s running 13th.
“Tony took the lead at the same time Brad was going to (get lapped), and they got together, and Tony spun out, Brad didn’t. Tony got so mad, he parked the car, and it just so happened that Brad was on the lead lap, so Brad got into the race because Tony spun out. It was interesting that was his first experience with Tony Stewart.”
Did it underscore that Brad Keselowski always had a penchant for challenging the establishment?
“Well, that wasn’t even on purpose,” Brian said with a laugh. “But yeah, it kind of looked that way, didn’t it?
“It’s funny. Brad’s always been looked at different at the track. He’s always looked younger than he is, so when he started as a 16-year-old in factory stocks, those guys didn’t like him then, either. He won eight to nine times that year, and they didn’t like getting beat by this little kid coming in and whipping up on them.”
Among other topics discussed on the podcast:
–The origins of the Keselowski family’s race teams and why being based outside North Carolina had its advantages.
–How Brian Keselowski won his first race as a jack man (making his debut in a Camping World Truck Series race at Bakersfield as a teenager).
–Why there was a “Keselowski for President 2016” car.
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