Brad Keselowski shares secret to success at Talladega
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Talladega EDITOR'S NOTE: In a rare first-person exclusive, Brad Keselowski gives his thoughts on racing at NASCAR's biggest track, Talladega Superspeedway. From racing the track on a video game to racing the pack in real life, Keselowski gives a glimpse into the "moves" that translate into Talladega success. Some drivers relish Talladega. Some drivers hate it. I still remember this time—it was probably 2003—and there was this video game called "NASCAR Racing 2003 PC." And I would run it and have a great time. There was this online community, and we would race all kinds of different tracks. It was a lot of fun, but there weren’t a lot of great drivers. I wasn't a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver then, but I was a decent online racer. We'd go to all these different tracks. We'd go to a Bowman Gray or a Dover or a Michigan, and I had a blast with that. But you'd only get maybe five or 10 guys who were any good, and the rest were intimidated, so it was almost like it was too easy. So this online league I was racing with started this thing where we would race on Tuesday nights, and we had this series where we would race on superspeedways, and like 80 to 100 people would show up and race it. Talladega was two of the races, and my bother (Brian) and I would race on it together. I remember winning those races and thinking, 'That's so cool to beat all these guys' and kind of almost falling in love with Talladega online. And so the first time I went there, it was a little bit of a shellshock being in a pack for real. It was a lot different from being in a pack on a damn computer—I can tell you that right now. But the moves and the techniques and all those things are really similar, and when you can slow it down and think of it as a giant chess match, where things aren't just happening—they're happening because you want them to, it starts to breed a lot of confidence in you. You feel comfortable at those tracks. And that why I’m looking forward to Sunday’s GEICO 500 (2 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). MORE: Full Talladega schedule " 'Dega paint schemes You've still got to get over the wrecks and the big packs and all those things you know you’re susceptible to. You still have to get over that, and that's a tough challenge, but the moves to me are like a game of chess, and I enjoy that game. Learning the moves is like anything else in life. How do you learn to ride a bicycle? Sometimes you bust your ass. Sometimes you learn by watching somebody else and what they can do. What's interesting about Talladega is that it seems like every year—or maybe every three or four years—a new move comes out that no one has ever thought of, no one has executed before. That's what made Dale (Earnhardt) so special there. He was always creating the new moves. Because of that, he was always a step ahead. I think that continues to happen now. The great racers at Talladega are the ones that can innovate and create a new move that nobody knows how to defend. And that's really, really tricky. It takes a lot of research, a lot of timing, a lot of work, a lot of study. But some of it's just intuition and learning the hard way, too. STATS: Keselowski's 4 Talladega wins, more I guess what I’m trying to say is, like anything else in life, there’s a lot of ways you can learn. You can learn the hard way. Sometimes you learn because you just have a natural talent at it, or sometimes you learn from studying. I think it's really all three. In my first win in the No. 2 Miller Lite car, when I broke the draft on the final lap, someone else had made that move, but they made it at a time that wasn't critical to the outcome. Going into that race, I had that move planned, but not until the end when the timing was most beneficial. That won that race, and now that move is defunct. You always think you've found the next move, but you never know until the race is over, and it either worked or it didn't. But I can't tell you what it is—it's a trade secret. I think it goes in waves. I think you have a year or two where it’s like nothing's clicking, and you get frustrated. Then you find a new move, find a new technique, and things start to click, and you feel like you're in charge and dominant. And then everybody eventually catches up to those moves, or those moves are made irrelevant by rules changes and so forth, and you have to find a new one. I think there's a bit of an ebb and flow to it. At this point in time, we have a series of moves that are pretty strong, that have put us in a position to win a lot of plate races at Team Penske with a lot of things that Joey (Logano) and I have learned and worked on together. But those moves eventually will become irrelevant. There will be something different. Hopefully, it will last a long time, but history shows it won't. That's OK. I look at probably the last three years on the plate tracks, and I feel like Joey and I have been the most successful, and we hope to continue that. As told to Reid Spencer of the NASCAR Wire Service. &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Monster Energy All-Star Race format 101
RELATED: All-Star Race to honor 1992 classic BUY TICKETS: See the All-Star Race in person at Charlotte The 2017 Monster Energy All-Star Race will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first All-Star Race under the lights in 1992. That race signaled a new era that became a tradition for the fan-favorite event. Below is a breakdown of how the event will unfold and answers key questions on the format, eligibility and more. Programming info for the Monster Energy All-Star Race When: Saturday, May 20, events start at 6 p.m. ET with the Monster Energy Open followed by the Monster Energy All-Star Race Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway TV: FS1 Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio What is the format? The race will have stages of 20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps for a total of 70 laps, run over four stages, as a nod to the 1992 race, which also had 70 laps. Only 10 cars will earn a spot in the final 10-lap segment. How does one advance to the 10-lap segment? The winners of the first three stages will lock up a spot in the final segment as long as they remain on the lead lap. The rest of the 10-driver field will be determined by the drivers with the best average finish in the first three segments. Yes, that means drivers will be eliminated from the race before the final stage. How is the starting lineup for the last segment determined? Cars are lined up by average finish of the first three stages with the best average finishing driver starting positioned first and the worst average finishing driver positioned 10th. Pit road is then open for an optional pit stop. The order off pit road sets the lineup for the final segment. Are there any strategy plays in this race? Great question. Yes, there are. Each team will be granted one set of softer tires to use at their discretion as part of the tires allocated for the race. A softer tire provides the car with more grip and thus, speed. There is a catch, though, as teams that choose to put on softer tires for the final stage must start behind those drivers that choose regular tires. RELATED: Sneak peek at 'soft' tires How does a driver qualify to be part of this event? Those eligible for the Monster Energy All-Star Race include drivers who have won a points event in either 2016 or 2017. Drivers who have won a previous Monster Energy All-Star Race and compete full time or drivers who have won a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete full time also are eligible for the event. Based on that criteria, these 16 drivers are already in the field (as of May 17): Chris Buescher, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. How else can one make the field? The Monster Energy Open is back, and will take place on Saturday night prior to the All-Star Race. The Open, comprised of those full-time teams not already in the All-Star Race field, includes three stages: 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps. Each stage winner earns a spot in the All-Star Race. Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez won stages to transfer into the All-Star Race. In addition, the Fan Vote returns, and Chase Elliott will make the field as the Fan Vote winner. How is the starting lineup for the race determined? Qualifying will be held Friday night and include a no-speed-limit, four-tire pit stop. Each team will have three timed laps, one of which will include the mandatory four-tire stop. The five quickest teams will advance to the final round of qualifying to determine starting positions one through five. What is the prize? No points are on the line, but the winner gets a cool $1,000,000. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;span _rtetemp=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;spchk&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot; style=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;background-color: #ffffaa;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot; _rtespchksugg=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;Lt"alt"ult"flt"let"lit"lat"lot"ltd"t&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;am&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/span&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;p;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner Standings
MORE: Monster Energy Series owner standings " XFINITY owner standings Rank Owner Trk # Points Ldr Next Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Points Attempts 1 Maurice Gallagher Jr. 21 242 0 0 0 3 3 5 2 Kyle Busch 4 227 -15 -15 1 2 7 5 3 Kyle Busch 51 207 -35 -20 2 4 14 5 4 Rhonda Thorson 88 191 -51 -16 0 0 0 5 5 Brad Keselowski 29 171 -71 -20 0 0 0 5 6 Duke Thorson 27 170 -72 -1 0 0 0 5 7 Tom Deloach 17 170 -72 0 0 0 0 5 8 Maurice Gallagher Jr. 24 161 -81 -9 1 1 6 5 9 Mike Curb 98 147 -95 -14 0 0 0 5 10 Maurice Gallagher Jr. 33 139 -103 -8 1 0 5 5 11 Shigeaki Hattori 16 139 -103 0 0 0 0 5 12 Tom Deloach 7 126 -116 -13 0 0 0 5 13 Joe Nemechek 8 124 -118 -2 0 0 0 5 14 Ricky Benton 92 114 -128 -10 0 0 0 5 15 Kyle Busch 18 111 -131 -3 0 0 0 5 16 Jeff Bolen 66 107 -135 -4 0 0 0 5 17 Norm Benning 006 104 -138 -3 0 0 0 4 18 Brad Keselowski 19 99 -143 -5 0 0 0 5 19 Duke Thorson 13 97 -145 -2 0 0 0 5 20 Randy Young 02 93 -149 -4 0 0 0 5 21 Matthew Miller 99 88 -154 -5 0 0 0 5 22 Jennifer Jo Cobb 110 78 -164 -10 0 0 0 4 23 Al Niece 45 78 -164 0 0 0 0 5 24 Jay Robinson 49 64 -178 -14 0 0 0 5 25 D J Copp 83 61 -181 -3 0 0 0 5 26 Mark Beaver 50 60 -182 -1 0 0 0 5 27 Mike Mittler 63 58 -184 -2 0 0 0 5 28 Shane Lamb 44 57 -185 -1 0 0 0 5 29 Chris Larsen 52 55 -187 -2 0 0 0 5 30 Tim Self 22 54 -188 -1 0 0 0 3 31 Tracy Lowe 1 49 -193 -5 0 0 0 5 32 Charles Henderson 75 48 -194 -1 0 0 0 4 33 Richard Wauters 5 36 -206 -12 0 0 0 2 34 Tim Self 132 35 -207 -1 0 0 0 1 35 Rick Ware 12 32 -210 -3 0 0 0 5 36 Mark Rette 130 12 -230 -20 0 0 0 1 37 Norm Benning 6 11 -231 -1 0 0 0 4 38 Jennifer Jo Cobb 10 10 -232 -1 0 0 0 4 39 Clay Greenfield 68 8 -234 -2 0 0 0 1 40 Beverly Mittler 136 7 -235 -1 0 0 0 1 41 Chris Fontaine 47 0 -242 -7 0 0 0 1 42 Jim Rosenblum 28 0 -242 0 0 0 0 1 43 Mike Harmon 74 0 -242 0 0 0 0 1 44 Jerry Brown 86 0 -242 0 0 0 0 1
Kyle Busch burns it down after first win at Charlotte
Watch Kyle Busch's burnout after his win in the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race.
Brad Keselowski surges late for Atlanta victory
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Detailed breakdown SHOP: Keselowski gear HAMPTON, Ga. – Thanks to the unintentional generosity of the dominant driver in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, opportunistic Brad Keselowski won the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season. Kevin Harvick led 292 of the 325 laps at the 1.54-mile track, but a pit road speeding penalty under caution on Lap 311 sent him to the back of the field for the final restart. That gave Keselowski the chance he needed, and on Lap 319 he surged past Kyle Larson for the top spot and pulled away to win by .564 seconds. Larson came home second, followed by two drivers—Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne—who lost laps early but recovered to run third and fourth, respectively. Chase Elliott overcame a pit road speeding penalty incurred on a green-flag stop on Lap 212 to finish fifth. Keselowski overcame his own issues to put his No. 2 Team Penske Ford in position to win the race. Keselowski beat Harvick off pit road after stops under caution on Lap 264, but the lug nuts on his left rear wheel weren't tight, and Keselowski had to return to pit road and give up the No. 1 position for a restart on Lap 270. But Keselowski persevered, and by the time the final caution flag waved on Lap 309, he had worked his way up to third in the running order. When Harvick drew the penalty on Lap 311, Keselowski restarted third after pitting for tires, got past Kenseth in the first corner and tracked down Larson five laps later. "We had a lot of adversity today. There's no doubt about that," said Keselowski, who won for the first time at Atlanta and for the 22nd time in his career. "These races aren't easy. They're 500 miles, and a lot can happen, and when you think you've got it, they slip away. I know how it goes. "This one kind of fell in our lap at the end, and my team put it all together when it counted. They gave me a great Autotrader Ford Fusion, and we were able to get by Kyle there at the end. I knew that he wasn't going to be easy to pass. His car was great, and I was able to make the right moves to get by him." RELATED: See every one of Keselowski's wins
Crew Call: Inside Victory Lane with Brad Keselowski's crew
Members of Brad Keselowski's No. 2 crew react to winning their first Martinsville clock as a team in Sunday's STP 500.
RECAP: 'Bad' Brad battles back
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman recaps the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 where a late surge from Brad Keselowski gave him the win after Kevin Harvick led most of the laps at Atlanta.
Brad Keselowski celebrates with the people
Watch as STP 500 race winner Brad Keselowski celebrates short-track style and heads into the stands after his big Martinsville win.
Brad Keselowski Racing reveals '17 Truck Series lineup
CONCORD, N.C. -- Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) announced its team lineup details for the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season at the National Motorsports Press Association annual convention in Concord, North Carolina. Austin Cindric will pilot the No. 19 Draw-Tite Ford F-150 and Chase Briscoe, who was recently named as the first driver in the Ford Performance development program, joins the organization as the driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150. Cindric and Briscoe will both compete on a full-time basis as they pursue the NCWTS championship for BKR. Doug Randolph, who has been atop the pit box at BKR since 2012, will serve as crew chief for Cindric, while two-time NCWTS championship-winning crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. will lead the effort for Briscoe. "We're very fortunate to have partners like Cooper Standard and Horizon Global, with brands like Draw-Tite, Reese and Bulldog, that make it possible to give two young drivers an opportunity. And that's something I'm very proud of," team owner Brad Keselowski said. "Austin Cindric has already had success in various forms of racing, and has shown a lot of potential in our Ford F-150 race trucks. I certainly believe that Chase is ready to take the next step in his career, and we're excited to have him join the BKR family. He won the ARCA championship in his first full-time season, and he's proven to have the ability to learn quickly and win races. We're pleased to give both Austin and Chase the opportunity to compete full-time at a high level in NASCAR." Cindric, 18, has six NCWTS series starts dating back to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October 2015 -- all with BKR. He made four starts with BKR in 2016, qualifying a career-best second at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Bowmanville, Ontario). Cindric scored victories in the ARCA Racing Series event at Kentucky Speedway and in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and Virginia (Danville, Va.) International Raceway. "This is a massive opportunity from Brad and everyone at BKR who trusts me and believes in my abilities as a driver to move on to the next level for a full season," said Cindric. "2017 gets more and more exciting for me with every day that goes by. I've only done a handful of one-off races in my brief stock car career, so I'm really looking forward to having the same guys by my side week in and week out. I've spent a lot of time at the shop the last few weeks and I know everyone is really excited to get back racing." The past two seasons for Briscoe read like a Hollywood screenplay. The 22-year-old Mitchell, Indiana, native joined Cunningham Motorsports in 2015 as a volunteer in the team's shop, and just one year later, the rookie driver was celebrating the ARCA Racing Series Championship. Briscoe led the series in wins (six, including four consecutive victories) and poles (six). He finished with 14 top fives and 18 top-10 finishes in 20 races. "It's is an absolutely huge opportunity and such an honor to drive for Brad ," said Briscoe. "The competition level in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is so high, but I'm going to be in the best equipment out there. It's really cool to once again be working with the Keselowski family. When I moved to North Carolina three years ago, I was helping Brian and Bob in their shop, so things have come full circle. I'm truly blessed with this opportunity, and I hope to make the most of it. At the end of the day, it's all about winning races and championships, and that's what I plan to do."
Brad Keselowski, Paige White get married
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski and fiancée Paige White were married on Feb. 10 in a ceremony the 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion said would "live on forever." Keselowski tweeted the news and posted a video of the event Saturday evening. Last night will live on forever, an amazing night w/my bride @PaigeKeselowski & our family/friends! https://t.co/UY2rcSMJwh ⚖️ — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) February 11, 2017 Best night ever! ❤ https://t.co/JxcsQzcpng — Paige (@PaigeKeselowski) February 11, 2017 The two dated for years before announcing their engagement in December 2016 -- a lavish proposal in which Keselowski dropped to one knee in front of a beautiful horse and carriage, the moment captured by a photographer and shared on Twitter. Crazy fun day, this was more nerve racking than 500 miles @TalladegaSuperS ! Ps: she said yes pic.twitter.com/mfR0TcoPBp — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) December 12, 2016 Keselowski, who turns 33 on Sunday, and his wife have one child together, Scarlett, who will turn 2 in May. Congrats to the happy couple!
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