Growing up in a racing family, Brad Keselowski was well aware of the sacrifices that needed to be made to reach the top level of racing. After years of climbing the steps of the NASCAR ladder, it’s somewhat fitting he earned the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of the most iconic rides in motorsports history - - the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion - - and made the most of it in 2011. Keselowski made the move with confidence and momentum fresh off his first NASCAR championship in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010. As Paul Wolfe also moved up to join Keselowski as crew chief of the Miller Lite team, he was well positioned for a strong run in the Miller Lite machine. Then in 2012, in just his second season behind the wheel of the "Blue Deuce," Keselowski delivered his second NASCAR championship in just three years by winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship, one in which he outdueled six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson. Despite not qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2013, Keselowski captured his third consecutive winning season for the No. 2 Ford, and his fourth winning season in the last five years. The NASCAR champion also provided Team Penske with its first NASCAR owner’s championship by helping claim the title in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Keselowski was raised in an environment where spending time at the race shop and the track was just a way of life. His father, Bob Keselowski, was a 1997 race winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His uncle, Ron Keselowski, competed at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series level in the early 1970’s.
At the age of 14, Keselowski made the transition from turning wrenches for his family owned team, K Automotive Motorsports, to racing. He started competing in the Senior Honda 120 Quarter Midget division in 1998. In his first season, he earned six feature wins. The next year, he moved up to the Senior Honda 160 Quarter Midget division where he won eight feature races and the championship.
In 2000, Keselowski began racing stock cars in the Factory Stock division. That season, he collected nine feature wins as well as Rookie of the Year honors at two Michigan tracks -- Auto City Speedway and Dixie Motor Speedway.
During the next three years, Keselowski balanced his budding racing career with his full-time job working for his family’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series operation. He advanced to the Limited Late Model and Super Late Model divisions and continued to rack up wins despite competing on a limited basis.
In 2001, he earned five fast qualifier positions, one feature win, and five top-five finishes. Over the next two seasons, he collected 11 fast qualifier positions, two Super Late Model wins, two Limited Late Model victories, and nine top-five finishes.
Keselowski graduated to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition in 2004 as he drove the truck operated by his family’s team for eight races. The following season, he ran the full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. His best finish was seventh, which he recorded in February of 2005 at Daytona International Speedway.
In 2006, Keselowski continued to gain more NASCAR experience as he ran a partial schedule in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He earned valuable seat time as he competed in 13 combined races - - seven in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and six in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. That experience prepared him for 2007 when he caught the eye of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., owner of JR Motorsports.
Keselowski entered the 2007 season expecting to compete full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Keith Coleman Racing, but he had to alter his plans when the team suspended operations in June. Keselowski, who already raced in two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events earlier in the season, was given another chance later that month when Germain Racing needed a last minute replacement for Ted Musgrave in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Though Earnhardt was aware of Keselowski’s talent, he really became intrigued as he watched the young driver win the pole position, lead 62 laps, and compete for the win that day in Memphis. What struck Earnhardt, Jr. the most about Keselowski though was how he handled himself on the track -- especially after being spun out with 10 laps to go by the eventual race winner, Travis Kvapil.
Keselowski still salvaged a 16th place finish after the incident. The race was the turning point in his NASCAR career. Realizing how much Keselowski had to offer, JR Motorsports signed the young gun to drive the No. 88 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Keselowski made his debut for JR Motorsports in the July 2007 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. He earned a 14th place result - - the first of eight top-15 finishes he would score during the season. Keselowski competed in 27 races in all, but earned his best results driving the No. 88 entry recording five top-10 and eight top-15 finishes in 14 starts.
In 2008, Keselowski enjoyed a banner season. He finished third in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings as he produced wins at Nashville Superspeedway and Bristol Motor Speedway in his first full season of NASCAR Nationwide Series competition. He also earned one pole position, 11 top-five, and 20 top-10 finishes.
The promising driver led in 21 races for a total of 295 laps as he earned the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award for 2008. Keselowski was also chosen by the fans as the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ Most Popular Driver.
On November 2, 2008, Keselowski made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Texas Motor Speedway driving the No. 25 car for Hendrick Motorsports. He climbed from his 37th starting spot to finish 19th. Later that month, he made his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and finished 23rd in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The 2009 campaign was a season to remember for Keselowski. Not only did Keselowski capture four victories and two poles in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but he also won the biggest race of his young career up until that point when he took the checkered flag at Talladega Superspeedway in April marking his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.
Over the final three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events of the season, Keselowski took over behind the wheel of the No. 12 Team Penske Dodge Charger and earned a finish of 25th place at Homestead.
Keselowski earned four top-10 results in 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts in 2009. He was once again a force in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as he finished third in the championship battle for the second consecutive season and was also voted the Most Popular Driver in the series for the second year in a row.
In 2010, his first full season as a member of the Team Penske family, Keselowski did something no other driver in motorsports history was able to accomplish - - he captured the first NASCAR championship for legendary team owner Roger Penske and was voted the Most Popular Driver for a third consecutive year. With Wolfe calling the shots, Keselowski rewrote the record book as he won the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series title. He also won his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September to go with two top-10 finishes and nine results inside the top-15 behind the wheel of the No. 12 Team Penske Dodge Charger.
The confidence level for Keselowski remained high as he prepared for his first season behind the wheel of the “Blue Deuce” in 2011, which was full of firsts for the Rochester Hills, Michigan native.
Following a slow start to the 2011 season in which Keselowski was mired in the 28th position in the point standings after nine races, his season began to turn around following a third place finish at Darlington Raceway in May. He followed that up with a pole position at Charlotte Motor Speedway the following week. His win at Kansas completed a three week stretch that propelled the team to the torrid summer portion of the schedule that included two more wins at Pocono Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway and the No. 1 “wild card” spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
In one of the gutsiest performances in recent sports history, Keselowski picked up his final two victories along with two more top-three finishes in a four race stretch immediately after breaking a bone in his left ankle during a testing incident at Road Atlanta in early August. This earned him the 2011 Dale Earnhardt Tough Driver Award by The Sporting News, and the respect of everyone in the garage.
Though he wasn’t able to defend his driver’s championship in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Keselowski continued to produce at a high level in the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in 2011. He earned five wins and four poles in 29 races as he scored his 17th career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory. Still, it was his impressive performance at the NASCAR Sprint Cup level as the season wore on that made 2011 so special.
In 2012, Keselowski and Wolfe picked up right where they left off as they entered the season with confidence and the knowledge that the Miller Lite team was a championship caliber unit over the second half of the 2011 season. With many of the same parts in place and another year of experience under their belts, the Miller Lite team hit the ground running out of the gate and never looked back. Keselowski recorded a personal best five wins at Bristol, Talladega, Kentucky, Chicago, and Dover in addition to 13 top-five finishes and 23 top-ten finishes on his way to securing Team Penske's first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.
Keselowski also found continued success in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as he secured three wins, 11 top-five finishes, 14 top-ten finishes, and one pole in 21 races and showed his versatility by competing in 6 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in which he captured three top-five finishes and four top-ten finishes.
Despite not qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, leaving him unable to defend his title, 2013 was a winning season for Keselowski as Team Penske enjoy a strong first season back with Ford in NASCAR. Keselowski produced a win on one of the sport’s biggest stages as he took the checkered flag in the fall race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October.
In the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Keselowski was able to help deliver the last piece of hardware remaining for team owner Roger Penske - - a NASCAR owner’s championship - - as the No. 22 team claimed the title in 2013. Teaming up with Joey Logano, A.J. Allmendinger and Ryan Blaney in the Discount Tire / Hertz Ford Mustang, Keselowski picked up six of the 12 wins for that car last season. He also earned an additional victory in the final NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the No. 48 Ford marking his only career start in that number.
Keselowski is as hungry as ever to prove that last season was an anomaly. He’ll get that opportunity in 2014 as he returns to drive the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion with two new key partners on board in Alliance Truck Parts and Wurth. Keselowski will also return to race the No. 22 Discount Tire / Hertz / Snap-on Ford Mustang as he will share the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship ride with Team Penske teammates Joey Logano and young gun Ryan Blaney, his protégé who also drives for Brad Keselowski Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The NASCAR champion will also compete in select races throughout the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season in the No. 19 Draw-Tite / Reese Towpower Ford F-150.