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Eleven years ago, K-Automotive Racing, owned by Brad Keselowski‘s father Bob, shut down its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. Now, Brad’s own team looks to be following suit.
On Thursday evening (Aug. 17), Brad Keselowski Racing announced in a press release that it would be closing its doors at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
“The Truck Series is truly special to me given my family’s ties to the history of the sport, and this decision comes with much contemplation,” Keselowski said. “But, for a number of reasons, and as I plan for the long-term future, I’ve decided not to field a team in 2018.”
“My goal with BKR was to create a top-tier team which would allow me to give back to the sport by creating opportunities and quality experience for others, whether they be drivers, mechanics, engineers or support personnel,” Keselowski said. “With outstanding leadership from BKR’s GM Jeremy Thompson, assistance from Team Penske and the support of our long-time partners Cooper Standard and Horizon Global, we were able to successfully achieve this goal. I am very proud of this and intend to do my best to help my BKR team members stay and grow in the sport.”
BKR first started competing in 2008 with Robb Brent and Keselowski behind the wheel. The team claimed in the press release to have “provided opportunities to more than a dozen up-and-coming drivers.”
Chief among those to come through the BKR ranks is Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner Ryan Blaney, who used his time in the No. 29 to propel his career to the next levels. Parker Klingerman, Tyler Reddick and Daniel Hemric also came through BKR.
The team has scored nine wins during its nearly decade-long tenure in CWTS, led by Blaney’s four. The team finished runner-up in the championship standings twice — first with Blaney in 2014 and with Reddick the following year.
“I am also incredibly appreciative of the great relationships we have developed with our partners over the years,” Keselowski said. “The team has also provided me with meaningful experience as a team owner.”
The team is shutting down for now, but do not be surprised if one day Keselowski eyes ownership again, perhaps at a higher NASCAR rank.
“I’ve never made it a secret that I would eventually like to be an owner at the top level of the sport,” Keselowski said. “And while this is many years down the line, I want to start to prepare for that possibility now. Part of that preparation is seeking to develop an advanced engineering and manufacturing company that would be housed out of our 78,000-square-foot facility in Statesville [N.C.] and ultimately help to support this vision.”