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<< Sports >>

Local Sports News / Auto Racing

Thursday, 10 February, 2011 3:23 AM

NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski previews the upcoming racing season at MIS

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Brad Keselowski is all smiles during a press conference in Lansing, Mich.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

|

LANSING, Mich. -- Rochester Hills, Mich. native Brad Keselowski joined officials from Michigan International Speedway (MIS) for a special press conference inside the Troppo Restaurant in downtown Lansing. Keselowski is the driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the #22 Discount Tire Company/Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger in the Nationwide Series. MIS will hold race weekends on June 17 - 19 and August 19 - 21. In addition, RainEater was announced as sponsor of the ARCA race.

"I look forward to everyone coming out and having a good time," said Roger Curtis, President of Michigan International Speedway. "Prices are still very low for everyone. I just looked the other day. Ticket prices were the lowest they have been since 1998. Tickets start at $25 to see all the stars of the Cup series. A great opportunity to come out. I'm excited about the momentum we've seen. I think we're going to have a good crowd. We had an unbelievable crowd last year. We had over 100,000 at both Cup races. Expecting that this year."

Keselowski was honored at the State Capitol with a legislative proclamation on the Senate floor from 12th District Michigan Senator Jim Marleau of Lake Orion, who represents the NASCAR driver's district. He received the honor for winning his first Nationwide Series championship (2010) and for giving back to his local community.

"I love the idea of rewarding race winners," Keselowski said about the new NASCAR rules regarding the Chase for the Cup. "I don't see anything that can come negatively from that. We try so hard in our sport to compare it to other sports. Sometimes there's things that aren't comparable. The value of winning the race is one of them. You'd like to say well the Lions would have made the playoffs if they beat last year's Super Bowl winning team. It's kind of tricky how that works. Sometimes we have to separate ourselves and not try to be NFL, baseball or hockey or basketball."

He will now drive the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Previously, he drove the #12 car. The Rochester Hills, Mich. native also gets a new crew chief, Paul Wolfe, a man who he has worked with in the past. Keselowski is headed to Daytona for this weekend's Budweiser Shootout and then the Daytona 500 race one week later.

What goes through your head when you win a race at Michigan?

"Wondering what friends from high school are sitting in the grandstands I didn't know about," he responded. "That's the first thing I think. Then, you think about your mom and dad in victory lane. Your sisters and your long lost cousins and so forth."

How did you get the nickname "BK2"?

"I don't know, it just seems simple," Keselowski said. "I don't come up with my own nicknames. People just give them to me. There's a lot of them."

What are your thoughts on the recovery of the Big Three automakers as a driver of a Dodge?

"It's amazing to see how quickly things have turned," the NASCAR driver added. "I remember two years ago reading all of this crap about how the government shouldn't bail out the auto companies. Now, here we are and they're all about to pay back everything they've gotten. I think some of them already have. It's just quite amazing to see that rapid turnaround. Remembering some of the comments about how Detroit will never come back and how the automotive industry will never come back. Boy, did some people eat some crow on that one. Yeah, it was a good feeling."

Several improvements are being made to the race track in Brooklyn, Mich. just in time for this year's races.

"We're always making improvements for the fans out there," the MIS president said. "This year is no exception. We're putting in some new tram routes, which is really important for the fans. We've got improvements going in for the scoreboard. The pedestrian tunnel to allow fans to go back and forth. Pit passes for the race, that's getting improved. We're a few years down the road working on the garage area. We've got these other projects we're working on. It certainly is on the burner, probably not the front one, but it's on the stove."

RainEater Wiper Blades was named the sponsor of the ARCA Racing Series 200 race on June 17.

"I'm the NASCAR guy at my company," said Lance Thornton, President of RainEater Automotive Aftermarket Products. "I have a few employees that have never gone to a track. I knew MIS was a track that I really liked. We visited many different tracks. You do a good job at promoting the brand and the sponsors. One of the important things was finding the right partner. We're at Advanced Auto Parts, locally here, AutoLab, 50 locations here and also Family Farm and Fleet. We owe that success to the staff at MIS. It's exciting for our company."

The Great Lakes Wine Fest was moved from July in 2010 to May 21 in 2011 at MIS.

"We had a great time last year with the inaugural wine festival," Curtis explained. "We decided to move it a little bit earlier. The wineries were excited about kicking off their season, the whole summer in May. We're looking forward to another Great Lakes Wine Fest."

For more information on Michigan International Speedway, visit www.mispeedway.com.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Keselowski listens as MIS President Roger Curtis asks a question.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Rochester Hills, Mich. native drives in both the Sprint Cup series and the Nationwide series.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

He also took questions from members of the MIS Fan Advisory Board.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A close-up of NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Later, he answered questions from the media.

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.

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