Richmond II: Brad Keselowski preview

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT - Brad Keselowski took a hit in his quest for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship last weekend at Auto Club Speedway when a problem with the rotor button left him with a 33rd-place finish, but with eight races remaining in...

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT - Brad Keselowski took a hit in his quest for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship last weekend at Auto Club Speedway when a problem with the rotor button left him with a 33rd-place finish, but with eight races remaining in the season, the driver of the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS is not out of the hunt. With his win at Bristol two weeks ago, Keselowski had closed to within 122 points of leader Clint Bowyer, the closest the NNS point battle had been at that point in the season since 2004. While Keselowski remains second in the standings, the finish at Fontana pushed his deficit up to 204 points. As Keselowski noted before the race at Michigan (see quote below), Alan Kulwicki was 280 points out of the lead with six races to go and came back to win the Cup Series championship in 1992. So for Keselowski, making up 204 points is not an impossible feat.

KESELOWSKI AT RICHMOND - Heading into Friday's Emerson Radio 250, Keselowski has made four prior NNS starts at Richmond International Raceway. He scored his best-ever finish at the 0.75-mile track in May when he crossed the start/finish line in 11th position.

WINNING TRADITION - Eleven years ago Bob Keselowski, Brad's dad, scored his sole NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 4, 1997. He became the first Keselowski to score a win in one of NASCAR's top-three divisions. The younger Keselowski has continued the winning tradition this year by visiting Victory Lane at Nashville Superspeedway in June and at Bristol Motor Speedway last month. This weekend he'll look to become the second Keselowski to visit Victory Lane at RIR.

SEASON STATS - With only eight races remaining in the 2008 season, the No. 88 Navy team has scored two wins, one pole award, nine top-fives and 15 top-10 finishes. Keselowski has also led a total of 293 laps this year.

CHASSIS NO. 434 - Crew chief Tony Eury Sr. has selected Chassis No. 434 for Friday's race at Richmond International Raceway. The team has run this car four times in 2008, and scored finishes of eighth at The Milwaukee Mile and tenth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

FLEET HONOREE - The No. 88 Navy team's Fleet Honoree for Friday's race is the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Group TWO. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) forces are trained and equipped to handle explosive threats ranging from unexploded ordnance to improvised weapons of mass destruction. Navy EOD forces operate wherever these threats are present and pose an obstacle to Naval and joint operational forces. They conduct their mission in a multitude of tactical environments to include minefields, underwater, on land, in urban settings, onboard ships, and most recently on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Navy EOD has a critical role in enabling naval special warfare and special operation forces for mission success. EOD provides Navy and Army special operations forces with capabilities to prosecute and render safe weapons of mass destruction and terrorist devices. Navy EOD forces clear the way for operational forces and enable their movement through hazardous battlefield environments which may include buried mines, unexploded ordnance, booby-traps, or improvised explosive devices (IED's).

KESELOWSKI (on racing at Richmond…) - "Richmond is definitely a short track. The banking there is kind of funny. It's got a little more banking on the very bottom than on the top, but then the corner exits really level off. The banking drops off. If you run the bottom you're way faster in and through the center of the corner than if you run the top. But then when you run the top, you get up off the corner a lot better. So there's a constant see-saw between the guys who run the bottom and those who run the top. That makes for interesting racing. It makes it easier to run side-by-side there compared to some of the other tracks we run at. That's why I think you see some of the best racing of the season at Richmond."

KESELOWSKI (on point battle…) - "As we saw two weeks ago with Carl [Edwards] at Bristol and with me in California, one race can make a huge difference in the point standings. I lost a lot of ground last weekend, but it would just take a rough weekend or two for Clint [Bowyer] and Carl and I would be right there."

KESELOWSKI (on the point deficit he faces (re-run from MIS preview)…) - "I was reading something the other day about Alan Kulwicki when he won his championship in 1992. He wrecked out at Dover with six races to go and he was about 280 points behind and came back to win the championship. We need to race to win, and if we can win some races, we can close that gap really quickly."

-credit: jrm

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Drivers Clint Bowyer , Brad Keselowski , Alan Kulwicki