Montreal: Brad Keselowski preview

Montreal: Brad Keselowski preview
Jul 30, 2008, 6:39 PM

KESELOWSKI STRONG IN NNS POINT BATTLE - Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for JR Motorsports, continues to hold onto second position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings. Heading into Saturday's race at ...

KESELOWSKI STRONG IN NNS POINT BATTLE - Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for JR Motorsports, continues to hold onto second position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings. Heading into Saturday's race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, the 24-year-old driver sits 173 points behind leader and Cup Series contender Clint Bowyer.

TOP SUMMER PERFORMER - Keselowski leads the top-10 Nationwide Series drivers in points earned in the past 10 races. From the May event at Lowe's Motor Speedway through last weekend's race at O'Reilly Raceway Park, Keselowski scored 1,543 points. That's 67 more than point leader Bowyer earned in the same span of races, and 97 more than third-place driver Carl Edwards. Keselowski moved from seventh in the series standings to second in that time.

UTILIZING RESOURCES - Since Keselowski has never been to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve before and has limited road course experience, the 24-year-old driver has decided to utilize his resources before traveling to Montreal for Saturday's race. He will spend some time this week talking with road course veteran Andy Pilgrim who drove the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet in last year's Nationwide Series race at Montreal. Keselowski also logged on to to check out clips from last year's race and video game simulations to help familiarize himself with the 2.71-mile course.

BUSY WEEK FOR KESELOWSKI - While Keselowski had planned to spend a few days this week at home in Michigan catching up with family and friends and tending to business, those plans went out the window after last Saturday's Nationwide Series race at O'Reilly Raceway Park when he discovered that someone had gotten into the JR Motorsports' team hauler during the race and stolen many of his personal belongings. Two of Keselowski's firesuits, his shoes, backpack, hard card, passport and cell phone were taken from the No. 88 hauler, along with cash from several crew members' wallets and an additional team firesuit. So, instead of enjoying his time at home in Rochester Hills, Mich., he had to work on getting replacements for all the items that were removed from the hauler. That included spending a majority of the day on Monday trying to get a replacement passport in time to travel to Montreal for this weekend's race.

KESELOWSKI'S ROAD COURSE EXPERIENCE - In April's road course race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Keselowski started 28th and finished eighth. It was his first full-length race on a road course.

TEAMMATE WITH EXPERIENCE - Keselowski may have limited road racing experience and no experience whatsoever at the Montreal track, but this weekend he will have a veteran teammate to lean on. Road course racing ace Ron Fellows will be at the wheel of the No. 5 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for Saturday's race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In last year's race in Montreal Fellows started third and finished fourth.

CHASSIS NO. 369 - The No. 88 Navy Chevrolet team will utilize Chassis No. 369 this weekend in Montreal. Keselowski finished eighth in this car in Mexico City in April.

2008 STATS - In the first 22 races of the 2008 season Keselowski and the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet team have accumulated one win, one pole award, eight top-fives and 13 top-10 finishes. Keselowski has led a total of 268 laps this season and has finished 98.3 percent of the laps run so far in 2008.

DALE JR. CELEBRITY SPORTS AUCTION - The No. 88 Navy Chevrolet will feature the logo of the Dale Jr. Celebrity Sports Auction on the decklid this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. 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

KESELOWSKI (on point battle headed in to back-to-back road course events…..) - "We've come a long way this season and made it all the way up to second in the standings. The entire Navy team and everyone back at the JR Motorsports' shop are giving it their all to help me win this championship. The next couple of weeks are probably going to be our biggest obstacle of the season to overcome. I don't have nearly as much road course experience as the guys I'm competing with for the title, so we're hoping for the best."

KESELOWSKI (on his goals for the next two weeks...) - "Our main focus is to get through these next two weeks as smooth as possible. I'm aiming for top-15 finishes, so I've got to concentrate on being smooth and do my best to keep the Navy Chevrolet on the course both weeks. We had a great run in Mexico City, and I'm hoping that success carries over to Montreal and Watkins Glen."

KESELOWSKI (on preparing for this weekend's race...) - "The deal with our hauler last weekend was a bad deal for me and the team. It screwed up my plans for the week because I had to spend about five hours on Monday reapplying for a passport so I could go to Montreal this weekend and then it took another few hours to get a new cell phone. I still can't believe someone stole all that stuff from us. Once I got through all of that I spent time online looking at footage from last year's race at Montreal and some simulated laps around the course from a video game. I've never been there before, so any information I can learn beforehand about the track helps me feel a little more prepared. I'm also going to talk with Andy [Pilgrim] before I fly up to Canada. He had a great run in the Navy Chevrolet last year and I want to see what tips he can offer. Andy joined our team at a test at Sebring last fall and having him there was a huge help for me, so I'm going to see if I can pick up any pointers from him before the next two races as well."

-credit: jrm

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