Success at Dover International Speedway is nearly as tough to grasp onto as the concrete track itself. The challenge presented is one that Brad Keselowski has always embraced, and has recently thrived on.
“Dover is an incredible challenge,” he says. “You literally drive into the corner and you fall down two stories, while going about 160mph, and your stomach just drops. Your right foot has to stay in the gas pedal, and that challenge to do that every lap for three hours is very tough.”
At first, the 1-mile concrete circuit was even too much for BK to overcome. His first Dover Sprint Cup start was slated for spring 2009, and he seemed like a sure lock in the field driving Rick Hendrick’s fifth car, the No. 25 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet. However, qualifying didn’t go how Brad hoped, and he was left on the outside looking in on Sunday. However, the next day in a Green-White-Checkered XFINITY race finish, roles reversed as contact from the leaders parted the way for Brad to slip right on through. Holding off then-Joe Gibbs Racing driver Joey Logano for two laps wasn’t easy, but BK managed to claim his first series win of the year
“I have to thank everyone at GoDaddy.com, because I missed the show yesterday. I just flat out missed it. I felt terrible yesterday,” BK said after his NXS win at Dover. “I felt terrible for them, so I got to put them in Victory Lane, I hope they’re happy about that.”
And just three years later, Keselowski’s fuel stretching excellence led to his only Cup level triumph at the Monster Mile in 2012, similar to his Kansas win just a year prior. While the win wasn’t stolen from the competition like Kansas was, Brad ran well inside of the Top 5 for a majority of the race, but only led 14 laps in the process: the last 14.
“We ran up front all day. We might not have been in the lead, we hung around that Top 5 and kept creeping around,” BK said. “When you do that, you put yourself in position for great things to happen.”
Both 2014 Sprint Cup events saw BK wind up as the runner-up, but the spring race became the pedestal for him to set the track qualifying record. Laying down a blazing lap of 21.892 seconds at 164.44 mph, his record has stood since then, and with the 2017 aero configuration, it’s likely to remain.
Piloting the Wurth Fusion for the second time this season, the red and white scheme will be fitted with an Autism Awareness puzzle piece on the C-pillar in recognition of Autism Delaware. After being collected in an early wreck in the Coca-Cola 600, Kes is looking for redemption at The Monster Mile. See if he can pull it off on Sunday, June 4 at 1 p.m. ET, live on FOX Sports 1.