In a bit of an interesting move, Brad Keselowski raced in the car that brought him victory at New Hampshire and Richmond. However, he confessed that he had a hard time convincing the team to save it for the Phoenix finale.
“I’m a car lover,” he said.
“You get a car you like, you run it. That’s very anti-Penske. They don’t feel that way at all.
“So I get a lot of strange looks when I tell them, ‘Hey, this car is good.’ And they’ll look at me like ‘Oh, no, all of our cars are the same. We have this laser system. And the laser grid has all these cars exactly the same.’
“I’m looking at them going, ‘Mmm-hmm. You’re over-engineering this,” he added.
Keselowski knows that this race will not be easy for him. He has to contend with Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, and Joey Logano. Additionally, even though he and Logano are teammates, this championship means that it is every man for himself.
The Penske driver also spoke about one race that sticks out in his memory. Back in 2014, Keselowski found himself on pole position at Kentucky. He practically dominated that race weekend and described it as ‘perfect’.
However, on the following Monday, he found out that the car was stripped down in its entirety. The team’s plan was to build a brand new car for the coming race in Kentucky, as per normal protocol.
However, Brad Keselowski was visibly upset, though the team likely waved it off as him being a little dramatic.
“Probably one of the biggest heartbreaks in my entire life…I was just like how could you do that? And the whole group was, ‘Oh, we’ll build another one. This car had two races on it.’
I didn’t win another mile-and-a-half race that entire year. I sat through that experience and went please don’t ever do that again,” Keselowski said.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Keselowski’s idiosyncrasy was proven right, as he never won another 1.5-mile race that year. He remembered begging the team to never strip down a race-winning car again, although some members still found it odd.
According to Keselowski, there are certain cars that somehow ticks all the right boxes. Even though some may insist that the rebuilt cars are the same, he refuses to believe that. So when he won at Richmond, he made sure that that car remained untouched ahead of the Phoenix race.