Brad Keselowski Reveals Why It Was Difficult to Save His Race-Winning Car for the NASCAR Championship Finale at Phoenix

November 9, 2020 3:39 am

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.

Brad Keselowski gives a reason why his race-winning car is lucky

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’.

Oct 11, 2020; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (2) leads Chase Elliott (9) during the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Dhruv George

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino. He has been an ardent follower of motorsports sport since 2001, holding Carlos Sainz Jr. and McLaren in high regard.

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