Fontana II: Brad Keselowski preview

GETTING CLOSER - After scoring his second win of the season last weekend at Bristol, Brad Keselowski is now just 122 markers behind point leader Clint Bowyer. This is the closest the championship battle has been at this point of the season since...

GETTING CLOSER - After scoring his second win of the season last weekend at Bristol, Brad Keselowski is now just 122 markers behind point leader Clint Bowyer. This is the closest the championship battle has been at this point of the season since Martin Truex Jr. led Kyle Busch by 105 points after 26 races in 2004. Keselowski is 109 points ahead of third-place driver Carl Edwards, and continues to be the highest-ranked Nationwide Series-only driver.

BACK TO CALIFORNIA - Auto Club Speedway has proven to be an important track in Keselowski's career. In 2006, Keselowski made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at the Fontana, Calif., track for Keith Coleman Racing in the fall event. In the same race one year later, Keselowski survived a horrific, fiery crash on Lap 67 that destroyed his No. 88 Chevrolet. Emergency medical technicians helped Keselowski exit the wreckage, and he was air lifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center. There doctors performed a CT scan and x-rayed his left ankle and chest before releasing him later that evening. This year Keselowski returns to Auto Club Speedway as he battles with Cup drivers Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards for the Nationwide Series championship.

HOT SUMMER - Keselowski and the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet team have been on fire this summer. In the 14 races this summer (May 24 at Lowe's Motor Speedway through Aug. 22 at Bristol), Keselowski has scored two wins, one pole award, seven top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes. He's led in six of those races for a total of 269 laps. His worst finish in that stretch was 19th at O'Reilly Raceway Park, and it was his only finish outside the top 12 in that span.

SEASON STATS - Twenty six races into the 2008 season, Keselowski's first full year in the Nationwide Series, he has scored two wins, one pole award, nine top-fives and 15 top-10 finishes.

STAT LEADER - Keselowski continues to lead the Nationwide Series in quality passes. He's made 723 green-flag passes while running in the top 15. That's 34 more quality passes than Bowyer who has made 689 this year.

FOURTH FOR JRM - The No. 88 Navy team's victory at Bristol was the fourth win of the season for JR Motorsports. Mark Martin scored the company's first win in the Sam's Town 250 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Keselowski visited Victory Lane at Nashville Superspeedway in June, and earlier this month Ron Fellows picked up a win at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

CHASSIS NO. 318 - The No. 88 JR Motorsports team will race Chassis No. 318 in Saturday's Camping World 300 at Auto Club Speedway. Keselowski drove this car to Victory Lane at Nashville Superspeedway in June and finished third in it at Chicagoland Speedway in July.

FLEET HONOREE - The No. 88 Navy team's Fleet Honoree for Saturday's race is NMFC/JTWC, making the long commute from Hawaii. NMFC was originally established as Fleet Weather Central (FWC), Pearl Harbor in 1941 by authority of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific. JTWC was established in 1945 as the Typhoon Tracking Center and was responsible for tropical cyclone reconnaissance and warning in the Pacific from 1945 until 1958. In 1995, the JTWC became fully operational at this command and today, NMFC and JTWC work hand and hand as one command forming the Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

LENDING A HAND - The Navy Fleet Honorees from NMFC/JTWC will provide assistance at a Habitat for Humanity event on Friday in Redlands, Calif., as a part of their race weekend experience stateside.

KESELOWSKI (on battling Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer for the title…) - "Carl [Edwards] is going to be the guy to beat this weekend. He was struggling earlier this year and then at Michigan he killed everyone. He's going to be just as strong in California. I think Clint [Bowyer] and I are pretty equal, so my team and I need to do whatever we can maintain our place in the standings and capitalize on every opportunity we have to gain points. We're coming down to the last few races and every point counts. Every position is one step closer or one step back from the championship."

KESELOWSKI (on what it will take to win the championship…) - "We need to keep getting top-10 finishes and work toward having an average finish of eighth for the year. The start of the season wasn't so good for us. We had a few bad finishes right at the start of the year, so we need to do better now to help make up for that. I believe that about an eighth-place average is what it's going to take to win the championship this year."

-credit: jrm

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Ron Fellows , Gilles Villeneuve , Martin Truex Jr. , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Brad Keselowski , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin
Teams JRM Racing , JR Motorsports