DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It was a first-place finish of firsts — one involving fatherhood — for Brad Keselowski.
The Team Penske driver’s win in the Coke Zero 400 was his breakthrough at Daytona International Speedway. But just as special was the company he kept in victory lane while enjoying his 20th career triumph in NASCAR’s premier series.
For the first time, Keselowski’s 13-month-old daughter, Scarlett, joined her dad and mother Paige White for the postrace celebration of a Sprint Cup victory.
“That was really cool,” the 2012 series champion told NBC Sports. “She’s been in victory lane once with the Xfinity car last year in Kentucky, but every time we win in Cup it seems like she’s asleep, or we didn’t bring her that weekend or something happens.
“So I was beginning to think it was maybe a bit of a curse.”
Instead, it was a blessing to watch her absorb the scene just a few weeks after she began taking her first steps. Keselowski said Scarlett seemed to grasp the significance “a little bit. I think she was really mesmerized.”