Brad Keselowski Overshadows Rick Hendrick’s Superstar As He Joins NASCAR’s Elite 500 Club at Kansas

Published 09/11/2023, 1:04 AM EDT

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Brad Keselowski is making headlines once again. After a tumultuous 2022 season that saw him step into the co-owner and driver role at RFK Racing. Bidding farewell to his long-standing partnership with Team Penske, Keselowski’s career took an exciting turn as the 2023 season has been nothing short of spectacular for Keselowski and RFK Racing.

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Brad’s team has celebrated victory three times, with a regular season finale that ended in a stunning RFK 1-2 finish—a feat not seen since 2014. This resurgence is even more impressive considering Keselowski missed the playoffs in 2022. Keselowski’s trajectory is undoubtedly on the upswing, as he recently added yet another significant milestone to his resume, overshadowing even the accomplishments of Rick Hendrick‘s ace.

Brad Keselowski steals the spotlight from HMS’s rising star

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2023 is witnessing Brad Keselowski riding a wave of success that’s nothing short of remarkable. After a commendable P6 finish at the playoff opener in Darlington, Keselowski finds himself seated with an 18-point cushion above the cutoff for the playoffs Round of 12. Following this, the NASCAR flock shifted its focus to Kansas City for another thrilling playoff showdown.

Amid the excitement of the Kansas race weekend, an extraordinary moment of celebration unfolded as Keselowski officially joined NASCAR’s elite 500 Club. This achievement cements Keselowski’s place in the sport’s history books as one of the select few drivers who have notched 500 consecutive race starts. Remarkably, this streak has endured since 2009, when it began at Talladega, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

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Keselowski’s current form on the track suggests he’s poised to extend this extraordinary streak even further, solidifying his legacy as one of NASCAR’s true ironmen. This feat also catapults him into the ranks of the 22nd driver with the most consecutive race starts, a number that is likely to continue rising in the seasons to come. Adding to the significance of this milestone, Keselowski also becomes the seventh driver from RFK Racing to join the prestigious 500 Club.

Read more: “The Roots Are All There” – Owner Brad Keselowski Proves His Admiration for the Only RFK Winner

As the celebrations for Keselowski reverberate through the NASCAR community, there’s also cause for joy in the Hendrick Motorsports garage. The Southern 500 winner and Hendrick’s rising star driver achieved a remarkable milestone of 100 race starts in just three years of driving under the HMS banner.

Kyle Larson‘s 100 race starts include an impressive championship win, 16 victories, and an astounding 44 top-5 finishes. While the road ahead seems promising for Larson, it’s undeniable that his incredible achievements were somewhat overshadowed by Keselowski’s monumental 500 consecutive starts.

Keselowski’s rollercoaster day and the thrills and spills of the Darlington showdown

After the intense playoff opener race, Keselowski exuded optimism as he narrowly missed clinching a top-5 finish. His teammate, Chris Buescher, stole the spotlight by securing an impressive P3 position and leading the charge for RFK Racing.

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Following an eventful race day, Keselowski shared his thoughts as he described the day as a rollercoaster ride, with their fortunes fluctuating throughout the race. “Up and down day all the way across the board, and at the end there, we were pitted, I think, and came out 17th. We got back up to sixth; needed a few more laps and a few more cars to pit with us to help us get through the traffic.”

Keselowski expressed the need for a few more laps and some strategic pit stops from other competitors to help them move through the traffic and potentially secure an even higher finish. Despite the challenges faced during the race, he emphasized the overall strength of their performance, describing it as “really, really, really solid.”

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Keselowski’s closing words, “Good momentum, a lot to be proud of. Long ways to go,” set the stage for what promises to be an exciting journey ahead. As we look toward the Kansas race, the question arises on whether Brad can not only continue his remarkable streak of race starts but also break his winless streak and add race wins to his impressive record.

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Written by:

Rashi Shetty

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Rashi Shetty is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. Her passion for the sport extends beyond the thrill of on-track racing, as she finds the behind-the-scenes aspects of car development and sportsmanship equally captivating. Her favorite motorsports moment of 2023 is the NASCAR Garage 56 entry at Le Mans.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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