$9 Million Dollar Man...In last weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, all that Keller needed to bring home was a mere $7,610 to become the first driver in NBS history to reach the nine-million dollar mark in career earnings. Although Keller was involved in an early race incident on lap 2, he managed to bring his Miller High Life Ford home in the 35th position, along with a paycheck for $20,930; putting his total career earnings at $9,013,320.
Desert Air Kind To Keller--Although the last couple of months Keller has had his share of bad luck, he enters this weekend's race with a smile. Phoenix has always been a good track for the 34-year old veteran. In his five starts here, he has three top-10 finishes; including a fourth place finish here in 2002 when he was on his way to a victory but blew a right front tire in the closing laps of the race. The South Carolina native seems to dominate the intermediate flat tracks on the NBS circuit. He hasn't had a finish worse than fourth on these types of tracks all year; with the exception of Loudon where Keller was in fourth with five laps to go and got caught up in a late race incident. Keller currently sits sixth in the driver standings; 81 points out of fifth place.
Sponsorship Update--Keller's No. 22 Ford will be carrying the blue and red colors of First Horizon this weekend at PIR. First Horizon's is one of the nation's leading home financing companies, with more than 12,000 employees in over 40 states. Keller's primary sponsor, Miller High Life will return to the hood of his No. 22 Ford again next weekend in Darlington.
The Car--Keller's ppc Racing crew will be bringing car No. 57-15 to the track this weekend in Phoenix. This is the same car that Keller was involved in a crash with at Loudon, posting a 26th place finish. Keller also drove this car at Gateway, Nazareth and Milwaukee earlier this year where he posted finishes of third, fourth and third, respectively.
Keller on racing at Phoenix--"I've typically run well here in the past. It's just one of those flat-surfaced one mile ovals that I run well at. I like this race track; it's in a great area out in the desert and it just always seems to be good to me. I look forward to racing out here every year."
Keller on his plans for 2005--"I'm doing my best to give ppc adequate time; I think a lot of people have assumed that I've thrown in the towel there. But I'm just trying to be patient. I've talked to several other teams, but that doesn't mean that anything is done yet for next year."
Keller on reaching the $9 Million Dollar Mark in Career Earnings--"Looking at all the landmarks you reach in your career, I'm not really ready to be studying stats. I always thought I'd be talking about these milestones when I was old with my grandkids on the porch. Don't get me wrong, all of these milestones are an honor, but I'm sure there are many more drivers that will pass this milestone as the purses get bigger."