Shortly before the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series geared up for the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225, Brad Keselowski took some time in the media center to address his winless Brad Keselowski Racing team’s season.
A basic summary: There’s room for improvement, but the team’s doing just fine.
“I think we have two drivers over there that are competing full-time,” Keselowski said.
For the first time since the team’s creation, BKR has devoted the majority of its resources into two full-season campaigns for Daniel Hemric and Tyler Reddick in 2016, with an occasional third truck fielded for one-off drives.
The group entered the season as one of the favorites to win the championship, fielding arguably two of the best upcoming drivers in the paddock. However, while Keselowski’s group has shown consistency, with three top fives for each of their full-time drivers, they’ve yet to make their way to victory lane.
Instead, BKR and Ford have come up short in each of the first nine races, watching two Chevrolet victories to start the season and seven-straight triumphs from Toyota in the weeks since.
“I think as a group we’re still trying to get to where we can run with the Toyotas,” Keselowski said. “They’re really, really fast over there. They’ve got good teams and incredible resources, so we’re not quite at the A level, but we’re fluttering right at that B-plus level, and I think we can break through at any moment.”
With drivers like Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez entered in occasional races, temptation exists for Keselowski to put a Sprint Cup or XFINITY Series driver in one of his machines, but the Michigan native assured the media that his focus lies elsewhere.
“It would be very easy for me or a handful of other Cup or XFINITY drivers to jump in and out of those trucks and probably raise the numbers, so to speak,” Keselowski said of his team. “That’s not really the goal. The goal is to get Daniel Hemric and Tyler Reddick a quality opportunity that can position themselves for a future in this sport as a professional race car driver. To do that they need to run full seasons and have all of those things available to them.”
Still, even without a Cup star in the cockpit, Keselowski remains faithful that his team will make their way to victory lane soon.
“I feel as good as you can without having a win that we will get some wins and that we will get into the Truck Series Chase with time, but we’re not quite there yet,” Keselowski said. “Maybe this is the weekend.”
The 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion also took some time to voice his opinion on the caution clock – a mandatory caution thrown every 20 minutes if nothing on-track requires one sooner – implemented in the Truck Series this season.
“I’d like to see it go through a whole season, but it certainly has changed the races dramatically in my opinion,” Keselowski said. “The pit stops have gone up and the tires, strategy and all those things.
“It affects the race even when it doesn’t come out, because you have to plan for it. If a yellow comes out and you’re just outside of your fuel windows when the caution clock expires, you’re forced to make some tough decisions.”
About the author
A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.
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