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NASCAR Cup: Brad Keselowski makes 300th start

Brad Keselowski (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Sunday’s Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway will mark the 300th Cup Series start for Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford.

While Sunday’s race will mark a milestone for Keselowski, the driver will honor another driver. The race also is expected to be the last Cup Series race at Talladega for the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr. To commemorate the occasion, Keselowski’s No. 2 will carry a paint scheme similar to the No. 88 Keselowski raced for Earnhard’ts JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity (then-Nationwide) Series early in his career.

“Dale and I are great friends, and as many of you probably know, he gave me a chance to drive for him in 2007, and that opportunity changed my life,” Keselowski wrote in a blog post on his website. “I was very, very fortunate to drive for him, and to have his help building a career. I don’t know if I’d be where I am without him, but I’m glad I don’t have to find out.”

Keselowski has been a full-time driver in the Cup Series since 2010 after running two races in the series in 2008 and a partial schedule in 2009, while also running full-time in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports. After driving a fifth No. 25 entry for Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 09 for the now-defunct Phoenix Racing, Keselowski moved to Team Penske to embark on his full-time Cup Series career.

In his first season at Team Penske in 2010, Keselowski piloted a No. 12 Dodge, moving to the No. 2 the following year. He ushered Dodge out of the sport in 2012 with the Cup Series championship, and Penske made the switch back to Ford.

During his time driving the No. 09 Phoenix Racing entry, Keselowski claimed his first-career Cup Series win at Talladega in 2009.

In his previous 299-career starts, Keselowski has won 23 times, including that first win at Talladega. He also has 87-career top-fives and 143 top-10 finishes, heading into Sunday’s race. That first-career series win was his first of four at Talladega Superspeedway, and he won there as recently as last year.

Keselowski is among the 12 drivers remaining in the 2017 playoffs, and he has two wins on the season, so far, coming in the first six races of the year at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He heads into Sunday’s race 10th in the standings, 64 points behind leader Martin Truex Jr., but only a single point behind ninth-place driver, Matt Kenseth, and three points ahead of 11th-place driver, Ryan Blaney.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on October 15, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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