Texas: Brad Keselowski preview

KESELOWSKI ON A ROLL -- After a less than ideal start to the 2008 season, Brad Keselowski and the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo team have scored top-six finishes in the last three races leading into Saturday's O'Reilly 300...

KESELOWSKI ON A ROLL -- After a less than ideal start to the 2008 season, Brad Keselowski and the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo team have scored top-six finishes in the last three races leading into Saturday's O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Keselowski scored finishes of sixth at Atlanta, and fourth at Bristol and Nashville. The runs have the 24-year-old driver up to sixth in the driver standings and the No. 88 team is ranked ninth in owner points -- a career-best for both the driver and team.

KESELOWSKI TO DRIVE FORMER COWBOYS STAR AROUND TMS -- Prior to practice on Thursday, Keselowski will get behind the wheel of the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo Team Texas two-seater to drive former Dallas Cowboys star and Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin around Texas Motor Speedway. The laps will mark the former wide receiver's first experience in a race car, and fittingly enough they will be inside the No. 88 -- the same number Irvin wore from 1988 to 1999 while making 750 receptions for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns with the Cowboys.

SMI PERFORMANCE -- Since joining JR Motorsports in July 2007, Keselowski has consistently performed well at all of the SMI tracks he's competed at. He finished seventh at Bristol Motor Speedway, 11th at Lowe's Motor Speedway and sixth at Texas Motor Speedway in 2007. At the beginning of the season, he led on two occasions at Las Vegas and was a contender for the win until a late-race accident sent him to the garage with five laps to go. He also scored a sixth-place finish at Atlanta and a fourth-place run at Bristol last month.

KESELOWSKI AT TEXAS -- Keselowski has three previous Nationwide Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway. Last November he finished sixth in the O'Reilly Challenge after running inside the top 15 for 89 percent of the race. Keselowski scored more green-flag passes (42) than the other 42 cars in the field, and was second behind Tony Stewart in the number of quality passes during the race. He also has three Truck Series starts at TMS.

NO. 88 TEAM AT TEXAS -- Keselowski scored the No. 88 U.S. Navy team's best finish at TMS in November. Prior to that race the team's best finish at the track was 23rd.

EURY AT TMS -- Tony Eury Sr., director of competition at JR Motorsports and crew chief for the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life team is no stranger to success at Texas Motor Speedway. The veteran crew chief led his former driver, and JRM team owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr. to his first-career NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series wins at the 1.5-mile track. He's looking to find the same success with Keselowski this weekend.

USS CARL VINSON -- The USS Carl Vinson is the No. 88 Navy team's fleet honoree for the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The USS Carl Vinson is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier that was commissioned in 1982. Last year the sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson were presented with their second Flagship Award for Community Service for large commands afloat. The carrier is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard in Virginia. The overhaul is an extensive process that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle. The crew of the USS Carl Vinson is schedule to move aboard the ship in August to prepare for sea trials early next year.

SCHOOL VISIT -- U.S. Navy Fleet Honorees from USS Carl Vinson will meet with an estimated 1,000 students at Arlington High School in Arlington, Texas, from 11 a.m. -- 1 p.m. on Friday. The event is a part of the Navy Motorsports community outreach program, and the Sailors will talk to the students about their experiences in the Navy, as well as answer questions the students have about Navy life. Navy Band New Orleans will also play at the event.

KESELOWSKI (on racing at Texas Motor Speedway) -- "I enjoy running at Texas for a couple different reasons. It's really fast and the track has a lot of banking that really throws you into the seat. I've always liked tracks like that. To run well at Texas you've got to figure out how to keep your car fast throughout the entire run, especially since we always seem to have a lot of long, green-flag runs."

KESELOWSKI (on running well in the Nationwide Series) -- "Running well in this series hinges on a lot of different factors, but having a strong team and a good sponsor behind you with the funding it takes to run competitively are probably two of the biggest things. You have to have everyone behind you, believing in your ability to get the job done and working hard to put the cars together the way they need to be put together to run well. I consider myself really fortunate to have the U.S. Navy and everyone at JR Motorsports behind me. Their support has been a huge part of my success so far this year."

KESELOWSKI (on the strong performance of Nationwide-only drivers so far in 2008) -- "I think the Nationwide-only drivers are working with better teams than they have in the past, and there's a really strong crop of drivers in the Nationwide Series this year."

-credit: jrm

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About this article
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Tony Stewart , Brad Keselowski
Teams JRM Racing , JR Motorsports