Keselowski hopes to bring Penske a championship
by Crystal Cole
TALLADEGA- Brad Keselowski is burning up Talladega.

In seven races he’s started here, Keselowski has won two and finished in the top 10 five times.

That’s nothing to spin your tires at.

Although he led just 10 laps, it’s his final move to the checkered flag that has people talking.

Keselowski used a push from Kyle Busch to get ahead of then-leader Matt Kenseth during the green-white-checker finish.

Then, he made a move to the bottom that left an air pocket between the two cars Busch was unable to overcome.

“You got to have a plan, have the moves ready,” Keselowski said. “We were fortunate enough to have the car and the team to put me in place.”

His victory at the Aaron’s 499 was Dodge’s first win at Talladega since August 8, 1976 when Dave Marcis took the checkered flag.

With his win Sunday, Keselowski jumped a position in the leader board to 12th, getting him closer to the elusive NASCAR Sprint Cup.

“You just got to keep pushing, moving forward,” Keselowski said. “The second where you think you have become a champion, everybody else evolved in the sport and gets ahead of you. I’m not really good at that label because I think being a champion to me, other than having the trophy, is not a destination, it’s part of the trip.”

It’s a trip team owner Roger Penske is glad to have him along for.

Penske said Keselowski came to him and told him he’d like to help Penske build a winning team and attract the best people.

“I saw a driver that could win, one that was committed to the team, not just himself, and he has been good with all our sponsors,” Penske said.

“That’s a third element you have to have, someone that is key from a commercial standpoint. When you put that all together, I think, as I said earlier, I wouldn’t trade him for anyone on the grid.”

Sunday’s win was the first victory at Talladega for the Penske racing team.

Keselowski said the race was the perfect combination of tandem and pack racing.

The Rochester Hills, Mich., native spent time all over the track, and was mid-pack for most of the day, but says his move to the front wasn’t part of the game plan.

“At Talladega you don’t have a plan,” Keselowski said.

“You go up front and race your butt off all day long. You either get to the front or you don’t and that’s what we did.”

The 28-year-old driver, who also took home a win at Bristol this year, formed his own race team in 2007 and in 2008, his team began competing in the Nationwide Truck Series. Keselowski drove the No. 29 Chevrolet himself and brought in the team’s first top 10 finish.

Moving forward in his career at Penske, Keselowski hopes to bring home the team’s first championship.

“I think he’s certainly paid his dues in this sport, has that reputation as, what did you say it was, a titan for a reason, and that is that he can get it done,” Keselowski said.

“I want to be that guy that, you know, proves it in the record books.”

Contact Crystal Cole at ccole@dailyhome.com.
© 2012