KESELOWSKI AND NAVY TEAM PREPARED TO CONQUER NEW BRISTOL CONCRETE * NASCAR Busch Series rookie contender Brad Keselowski will attempt to master the fresh concrete surface at Bristol Motor Speedway as he drives the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your...
KESELOWSKI AND NAVY TEAM PREPARED TO CONQUER NEW BRISTOL CONCRETE
* NASCAR Busch Series rookie contender Brad Keselowski will attempt to master the fresh concrete surface at Bristol Motor Speedway as he drives the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS on Friday in the Food City 250.
* Keselowski has three previous starts at Bristol Motor Speedway. He has competed in two Truck Series events at the track, scoring an 18th-place finish in 2005. In the spring Busch race he was the fastest of 43 cars during the first practice session. He qualified 12th, marking his best-ever start in the Busch Series, but was caught up in a wreck just 32 laps into the race.
* In NASCAR's open test session for the Busch Series at Bristol on July 14, Keselowski ended the day third on the speed chart in the Navy Chevy. Slower than only Nextel Cup drivers David Reutimann and David Ragan, Keselowski was faster than 15 other Nextel Cup regulars who tested that day.
* Keselowski first met JR Motorsports team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the Spring Busch race at Bristol. Driving for another organization, Keselowski's team was set up in the pit stall next to Earnhardt Jr., who was also running the Busch race. Keselowski apparently made quite an impression that weekend, because when Earnhardt Jr. started searching for a new driver for the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet in July, he called Keselowski to see if the rookie driver was interested in the position. Keselowski agreed and has made four starts in the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet. In four starts for JR Motorsports, the young driver has captured one top 10 and three top 15s. His average finish in the No. 88 is 15.75.
* The JR Motorsports team will run chassis No. JRM 027 on Friday at Bristol. It is a brand new car that the team tested at Bristol last month during NASCAR's open test session.
* Last weekend, Keselowski coasted to a 13th-place finish in front of his hometown crowd at Michigan International Speedway. The Rochester Hills, Mich., native ran out of gas on the final lap of the CARFAX 250, but managed to make his way back around to the start/finish line to complete the race. He also scored top-rookie honors for the third time in the last four races he's competed in.
Brad Keselowski, Driver, No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo
"Bristol is one of my favorite tracks to race on even though I haven't had the results that I've wanted in the past. I've run well there, but just had mechanical failures and other problems arise. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with the solid equipment of the JR Motorsports team behind me.
"I tested at Bristol with the Navy team a few weeks back and we ran really well, which is fairly encouraging as we prepare to return for the race. NASCAR is giving us another test day on Thursday, so we'll have even more time to work on perfecting our setup. Between the four hours we're on track Thursday and the two hours of practice on Friday, I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to get even better for the race."
Wes Ward, Crew Chief, No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo
"We had a good test session at Bristol a few weeks ago and learned a lot of things that we should be able to apply for the race. Brad's raced there a few times before, so he's familiar with the track, which is a plus. However, the new concrete they've laid down is still a bit of an unknown. NASCAR is giving us a lot of track time this week. I'm sure we'll make good use of it and have the Navy Chevy running up front in the race."
The fleet honoree for Friday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway is the Navy Operational Support Center Knoxville. Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Knoxville, Tenn., is nestled on the banks of the Tennessee River and located just two miles south of the city of Knoxville. The NOSC is home to nine Navy Reserve Units, as well as two Fleet Marine Force Units who serve under the auspices of Marine Forces Reserve, headquartered in New Orleans. The NOSC's primary mission is to mobilize Selected Reservists to their gaining operational commands and ultimately, service on active duty.