BRAD WITH HIS FATHER, MOTHER, AND OLDER BROTHER, BRIAN.
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 Camping World Truck Series. His uncle, Ron Keselowski, competed at the Cup Series level in the early 1970s.
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 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 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 Truck Series schedule. His best finish was seventh, which he recorded in February 2005 at Daytona International Speedway.
In 2006, Keselowski continued to gain more NASCAR experience as he ran a partial schedule in both the Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series. He earned valuable seat time as he competed in 13 combined races – seven in the Xfinity Series and six in the 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 Xfinity Series for Keith Coleman Racing. But Keselowski had to alter his plans when the team suspended operations in June. Keselowski, who already raced in two 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 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. But what struck Earnhardt the most about Keselowski was how he handled himself on the track, especially after being spun out with 10 laps to go by eventual race winner Travis Kvapil.