Chicagoland: Brad Keselowski preview

LAST YEAR - One year ago, Brad Keselowski was set to make his first start in the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at Chicagoland Speedway. The race was the first in a three-race deal the 24-year-old driver made with team owner Dale...

LAST YEAR - One year ago, Brad Keselowski was set to make his first start in the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at Chicagoland Speedway. The race was the first in a three-race deal the 24-year-old driver made with team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. Prior to that race, Keselowski had run 20 Nationwide Series events in the No. 23 Chevy for Keith Coleman Racing and his best finish was 24th. In his first race in the No. 88 Navy Chevy, he finished 14th. Keselowski went on to finish out the season in the No. 88 and in 14 races he scored five top-10s and eight top-15 finishes.

ONE YEAR LATER - In the year since Keselowski made his first start for JRM, the Rochester Hills, Mich., native has made considerable progress in the Nationwide Series. In the 20 races he ran before joining the team, his average finish was 35.2 and he had nine DNFs. Since he joined JRM, Keselowski has made 33 Nationwide Series starts and scored one win, one pole award, six top-fives and 16 top-10 finishes. He also has an average finish of 13.8 over that span.

ON A ROLL - With his fifth-place finish in Friday's Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway, Keselowski is on a hot streak in the Nationwide Series. He has scored seven top-10 finishes in as many weeks and has moved into second position in the driver point standings. In 19 races this season, Keselowski and the Navy team have racked up one win, one pole award, six top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes.

CHASSIS NO. 318 - Keselowski and the No. 88 Navy team will run Chassis No. 318 this Friday at Chicagoland Speedway. In his last outing in this car, Keselowski scored his first win at Nashville Superspeedway last month.

NAVY PIER APPEARANCE - Keselowski will be at the Navy Pier in Chicago on Wednesday for the "Fast Cars and Country Stars" event hosted by US 99.5 and sponsored in part by the U.S. Navy. The event will run from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., and Keselowski is scheduled to join the crowd from 5:30 p.m. until the start of the Blake Shelton Concert at 8 p.m. Visit http://www.us99.com/ for more information and a full schedule of events.

KESELOWSKI AT RTC IN GREAT LAKES - Keselowski is scheduled to visit the Great Lakes Navy Exchange on Thursday from 9 - 10:30 a.m. While there he will meet with sailors and their families and sign autographs for the public at Navy Exchange Great Lakes, BLDG #3452, Greenbay Road, Great Lakes, Ill.

DALE JR. CELEBRITY SPORTS AUCTION - The No. 88 Navy Chevrolet will feature the logo of the Dale Jr. Celebrity Sports Auction on the decklid starting this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. The event is scheduled for Oct. 13, at the Concord (N.C.) Convention Center and will feature a roundtable discussion with celebrities in addition to live and silent auctions. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Dale Jr. Foundation, Make-A-Wish and Victory Junction Gang Camp. There will also be a charity concert at Whisky River on Oct. 12 in conjunction with the event. Tickets for the Dale Jr. Celebrity Sports Auction went on sale Monday. For more information on the event and how to get your tickets, visit www.thedalejrfoundation.org.

KESELOWSKI AT NAVY DISPLAY - Brad Keselowski is scheduled to sign autographs for fans at the Navy's trackside display at Chicagoland Speedway from 1:30 - 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

VFA-103 - The Navy team's Fleet Honoree for Friday's race at Chicagoland is Strike Fighter Squadron 103. The mission of this squadron is to support, maintain and provide combat-ready F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft and highly trained aircrews to support the Chain of Command in all assigned tasks - safely, timely, and professionally. Known as the Jolly Rogers since 1996, VFA-103 is a squadron rich with history and marked achievement. Flying more than nine different types of fighter aircraft over the past 65 years, the Skull and Bones have become the most recognized and feared insignia in the world.

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KESELOWSKI (on getting started with JRM last year) - "It's been quite a year. I started with JR Motorsports this time last year on a three-race deal. The team had decided to make a driver change and I was in search of a ride. I'd just come off a great run at Memphis in the Truck Series when I got the call from Dale Jr. to come race for him. We originally agreed to three races just to see how everything would fit together. At the end of that we'd had a few consistent runs and it got extended to a few more races. I think by the time we got through Bristol I knew we were headed toward a full-time deal. JRM had a great team in place and it only got better after the merger with Hendrick. The increased level of technology and resources made this a situation I couldn't pass up."

KESELOWSKI (on returning to Chicagoland with JRM) - "Now we're coming back to Chicagoland one year later and it's just incredible to look back over the last year and see how far we've come. I got together with the No. 88 Navy team at a time when we both needed to make something happen in this series and it's cool to see how everything came together. Now we're running up front consistently and battling for a championship. It's exactly what we were all looking to accomplish."

-credit: jrm

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