KESELOWSKI READY TO RETURN TO MEMPHIS WITH A FULL-TIME RIDE * Four months after his break-out run in the NASCAR Truck Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park, Brad Keselowski is set to return to the 0.75-mile track in the No. 88 Navy Accelerate...
KESELOWSKI READY TO RETURN TO MEMPHIS WITH A FULL-TIME RIDE
* Four months after his break-out run in the NASCAR Truck Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park, Brad Keselowski is set to return to the 0.75-mile track in the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for the NASCAR Busch Series Sam's Town 250.
* In June Keselowski made his fourth Truck Series start at Memphis behind the wheel of the No. 9 truck, replacing the suspended Ted Musgrave. With limited practice, Keselowski scored the pole award for the race and went on to lead on four occasions for a total of 62 laps.
* In five total starts at Memphis, Keselowski's best finish was 14th in the 2005 Truck race at the track. In June when he was spun out while leading with eight laps to go, Keselowski finished 16th in the Truck race.
* Last year at Memphis, the No. 88 Navy team started the race from third position and finished fifth.
* The Navy team is racing Chassis No. 378. It is the first car the team received as part of its alliance with Hendrick Motorsports. Keselowski raced this car at Richmond in September and was running in the top-15 when contact with another car sent him into the wall on Lap 195.
* While in Memphis, Keselowski will visit the Naval Support Activity Midsouth to meet with sailors and other naval personnel, and sign autographs at the Navy Exchange. The base is located just six miles from the track in Millington, Tenn.
Brad Keselowski, Driver, No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo
"There's just something about Memphis. I've run really well there in the past. The track just suits my driving style. It's kind of like getting back to the roots of short track racing. I started out racing short tracks in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, so getting to go to one of the shorter tracks on our schedule is pretty cool.
"Running the Truck race at Memphis in June was awesome. I qualified on the pole and ran up front the whole race. We led a bunch of laps and were right there until I got spun out at the end. The finish was disappointing, but running competitively up front all night was great.
"At that point I was searching for a ride. That run turned a lot of heads. I had a lot of voicemails to sort through when I landed back in Charlotte after the race and one was from Dale Jr. Now it's four months later and I'm coming back to Memphis with a full-time ride in the No. 88 U.S. Navy Chevy.
"It's been a crazy year, but I'm glad to be coming back to one of my favorite tracks with this Navy team. Pops [Tony Eury Sr.] and the guys have been working hard to get the car ready for Memphis. It's one of the cars we've received as part of the deal with Hendrick.
"This is going to be a special race for us. Memphis is one of my favorite tracks and it just happens to be right in the backyard of the Navy's recruiting headquarters in Millington. I'm looking forward to a great run in the U.S. Navy Chevrolet in front of the sailors and other staff from the CNRC in Millington, as well as all the sailors watching from across the world."
Tony Eury Sr., Crew Chief, No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo
"The key to getting around Memphis is pretty much the same as most of the tracks we go to -- it's all about making the car turn. It's important to qualify well there too. Track position is very important and the pit stalls are small. Qualifying up front helps with pit stall selection. The higher up you are the more likely you'll be able to get an opening."
The fleet honoree for Saturday's race at Memphis Motorsports Park is the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). It is the third ship of the Wasp class multipurpose amphibious assault ships. The USS Kearsarge's primary mission is the embarkation, deployment, landing and support of a Marine landing force. LHD 3 and her sister ships are the first ships specifically designed to accommodate Air Cushion Landing Craft (LCAC) for fast troop movement over the beach and Harrier II (AV-8B) V/STOL (Vertical/Short Take Off and Landing) jets, which provide close-in air support for the assault force. Launched on March 26, 1992, she was christened KEARSARGE on Saturday, May 16, 1992, at Ingalls Shipbuilding by Mrs. Alma Powell, wife of General Colin L. Powell, USA former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State. USS KEARSARGE joined the fleet October 16, 1993 during commissioning ceremonies in Pascagoula, Miss., and is home ported in Norfolk, Va.