“Really Cool”- Brad Keselowski Explains the Importance of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and His Racing Team in His Career

Published 12/27/2020, 11:51 AM EST
HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 18: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, poses with the Series Championship Trophy after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


Many drivers recently lauded Brad Keselowski for his contribution towards their careers through the efforts of his former racing team, Brad Keselowski Racing. That included the likes of Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney, and Tyler Reddick.

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However, Keselowski recently looked back on what motivated him to start the team, and he himself thanked Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Years ago, when Keselowski was trying to make it in the top division of the sport, Earnhardt Jr’s JR Motorsports team signed him up and gave him an opportunity to show his skills.

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Speaking about the same, Keselowski said, “One of the things I thought was really cool was when I got my first professionally sponsored ride with JR Motorsports.”

Brad Keselowski lauds the contribution of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

He was the most popular driver and felt it was very ‘cool’. At the same time, he thanked Dale Earnhardt Jr, who was the most popular driver for a record 15 times, for passing the title down to him.

“I was fortunate enough to win most popular driver. That was the coolest thing in the world to me. Of course, part of it came from the fame and popularity Dale Jr. had and handed down to me,” Keselowski said further.

DOVER, DE – SEPTEMBER 30: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

After receiving a life-changing opportunity from Dale Jr., Keselowski wanted to give back to the sport in his own way. “But over the past few seasons of the truck team, I wanted to make sure that our drivers had that same opportunity as well,” he added.

An important member of the organization, apart from Keselowski, was General Manager Jeremy Thompson. Thompson also spoke about what Keselowski learned from Dale Jr., and how he wished to help younger drivers in a similar way.

TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 13: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, stands by his car during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Keselowski’s willingness to help others

He believed in providing young drivers the kind of opportunity Dale Jr. gave him,” said Thompson. “Our goal was to always put them in the best position to race on Saturdays, and then Sundays.

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“The fact that so many of them have went on to have successful careers is a tremendous point of pride,” he added.

The racing team shut down in 2017, but it would be premature to think its end has come. Keselowski also expressed his intention of staying connected with the sport even after he retires as a driver.

That could provide some impetus for Brad Keselowski Racing to kick-start again, as Keselowski would like to help many more young racers in the way Dale Jr. helped him.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Good Eye For Talent” – Briscoe and Blaney Laud Brad Keselowski For Giving Them Racing Opportunities

6 months ago

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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