BUSCH: Fontana II: Brad Keselowski preview

KESELOWSKI RETURNING TO CALIFORNIA WITH A DIFFERENT GAME PLAN A year after making his NASCAR Busch Series debut at California Speedway, Brad Keselowski is prepared to return to the track, this time in the No. 88 Navy Seabees Chevrolet Monte...

KESELOWSKI RETURNING TO CALIFORNIA WITH A DIFFERENT GAME PLAN

A year after making his NASCAR Busch Series debut at California Speedway, Brad Keselowski is prepared to return to the track, this time in the No. 88 Navy Seabees Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for JR Motorsports, and compete for a top finish in the Camping World 300.

In honor of the 65th Anniversary of the Seabees, the U.S. Navy's construction battalion, the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet will feature a special Navy Seabees paint scheme for Saturday's race at California Speedway. Instead of the regular navy-colored paint scheme, the No. 88 will be tan with the Seabees 65th anniversary logo adorning the hood. In June, JR Motorsports team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. visited the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Miss. While there he had the opportunity to visit with a number of Navy Seabees stationed there and gained experience on some of the equipment they work with on a daily basis. **

Keselowski has a total of two starts in the Busch Series at the two-mile oval. His best finish thus far at the track is 32nd. He also has two prior Truck Series starts at California Speedway. Keselowski finished 16th in the 2006 Truck race at the track.

In three starts at California Speedway, the Navy team has scored one top-10 finish. In last year's fall race in Fontana, Calif., Robby Gordon drove the Navy Chevy to a ninth-place finish.

Since the team's inception, JR Motorsports has competed in five Busch races on two-mile tracks, scoring two top 10s and one top-five finish. In the team's last race on a two-mile track, Keselowski finished 13th two weeks ago at Michigan International Speedway after running out of fuel on the final lap.

The JR Motorsports team will run chassis No. JRM 023 in Saturday's race at California Speedway. Keselowski made his debut in the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet with this car at Chicagoland Speedway in July. There he started 33 and finished 14th. The team also raced this car at Kentucky in June where the No. 88 team finished fifth.

Last weekend at Bristol, Keselowski finished seventh, scoring his career-best finish and his second top-10 in the Navy Chevrolet. In five starts in the No. 88 for JR Motorsports, his average finish is 14.

Brad Keselowski, Driver, No. 88 Navy Seabees Monte Carlo SS

"Going back to California with JR Motorsports will be a completely different experience for me. Last year I was running for another team when I attempted to make my first Busch race at California. Our focus with that program was just to qualify for the race since the team wasn't guaranteed a starting spot. I made it in on time, but struggled with the car during the race, lost a few laps and didn't end up with a great finish.

"Working with the Navy team is very different. I'm excited to go back to the track with a competitive car and a team that has a shot at a top 10 or a top-five run. It makes a huge difference to show up with a team that has all the parts and pieces in place to run up front.

"I'm also honored to run the special Seabees paint scheme this weekend. The car looks really great. It's pretty awesome to get to represent the sailors who defend our country out on the track each week."

Wes Ward, Crew Chief, No. 88 Navy Seabees Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

"I'm looking forward to racing in California with Brad. He's done a great job in the four or five races he's run for us so far. Our communication and understanding of what he needs in the car continues to improve each week.

"The Navy team has run well at California in the past. We had a good run there earlier in the year until we broke a shock. We had a top-10 car that day and I'm confident the car we're taking this weekend can run in the top 10 as well. I'm looking forward to going back to California and getting a top 10 for the Navy."

-credit: jrm

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Robby Gordon , Brad Keselowski
Teams JRM Racing , JR Motorsports