Amy Henderson · Wednesday July 18, 2012
If it’s true that a real racer eats, sleeps and breathes racing, then Brad Keselowski is as real as it gets. The 28-year-old Michigan native is a second-generation racer along with his brother Brian. Their father, Bob, is a winner in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series (ironically, the only national touring series that Brad has yet to win in) and uncle Ron raced in what is now the Sprint Cup Series. Brad Keselowski has been racing since the age of 14 and his passion for the sport is evident—Keselowski races several Nationwide Series races a year and owns a Truck Series team. His three Sprint Cup wins this year is tied with Tony Stewart for best in the series. With a reputation for being aggressive on the track and brutally honest off it, his star in the sport is clearly on the rise. Keselowski sat down with Frontstretch.com Senior Writer Amy Henderson at Loudon to talk about his Penske Racing team and crew chief Paul Wolfe, his aspirations as an owner, and his favorite things to do away from the track (hint: even then he’s thinking about racing…online). Unless he’s busy blowing things up…
Amy Henderson, Frontstretch.com: You’re a complex person, as far as the way you race. It seems like everybody has a different opinion on your driving style. How do you want them to think of you as a racer?
Brad Keselowski: That I race my ass off and that I have a passion for what I do.
Henderson: How would you respond to those who say you’re too aggressive on the racetrack?
Keselowski: I would say that when there are people that say I’m too aggressive that means I’m doing it just right!
Henderson: You and Paul Wolfe have really clicked as driver and crew chief. Can you describe your communication style and relationship?
Keselowski: Paul is a very sharp guy. I think he brings a really down-to-earth approach to racing that I respect immensely. Obviously, he has a driver’s background, too, which I think gives me a little bit more respect for him as well because I think he has my best interests in mind, knowing what things do and don’t do, and knowing by the tone of my voice how serious I am. I think he picks up on those things very well. It’s just a mutual respect is the best way I can sum it up.
Henderson: You’re one of a few guys in Sprint Cup still running a lot of Nationwide races, along with Kyle and Kurt Busch. How has that changed since you came into the series, and how does that translate into the Cup car on Sunday?
Keselowski: The amount of races I’m running has reduced significantly over the last 16 months and will continue to reduce. You know, it translates in different ways. On different weekend, it’s a different kind of advantage, and it’s hard to measure that consistently. But I enjoy it either way. I enjoy being part of a team and going out and racing. I’m a racer at heart. Some guys go out and run dirt cars or late model races, and I prefer to run for Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series.
Henderson: You also own a truck team, with Parker Kligerman as driver. Obviously ownership is another aspect of the sport for you. Is it something you plan to expand in the future?
Keselowski: No, no, absolutely not! I’m happy where I’m at right now and I’m happy with my truck team’s ability to assist Penske Racing in any way possible.
Henderson: Have you ever thought about running one of Penske Racing’s Indy cars?
Henderson: Is that on the table in the future?
Keselowski: If it was done right.
Henderson: You do a lot of online racing, and you’re very active in the social media aspect of your life. What else do you like to do?
Keselowski: What else do I like to do? That fills a lot of my time right there! Well, I do a lot of stuff on the computer. I like to play video games. I like to compete. Anything with competition is fun. I like to blow things up. Whether that’s fireworks, or rifles, I like to shoot. Those are the type of things I enjoy.
Henderson: I heard about your fireworks stash! I heard Kelley (Earnhardt) Miller was glad you didn’t set them all off after you won Kentucky.
Keselowski: Oh, I set them off. She just wasn’t there!
Henderson: Did you have a Fourth of July show, then?
Keselowski: No, we set them off on the eighth so she was gone. Dang, it was good!
Henderson: You talk to the fans a lot on social media. Obviously you enjoy it; do you ever feel like there’s too much information, or do people get weird?
Keselowski: That’s the great thing about Twitter. You can engage or disengage as you like. If I feel like there’s something out there that I don’t want to talk about, I don’t talk about it!
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