BROOKLYN, Mich – Brad Keselowski wants three things right now in NASCAR – Daytona 500 victory, another championship of course and to win on his home track the Michigan International Speedway. See, Keselowski grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich. won the pole for Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 (3 p.m. ET/NBCSN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) on Friday afternoon and has secured a giant feat in attempting to accomplish the latter goal.
This past June, Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate of Joey Logano led 163 of 203 laps en route to a dominating victory that day. With drivers flat out now around the 2-mile, D-shaped oval tucked away in the Irish Hills, track position is going to be key to success once again this weekend.
Brad Keselowski earns the pole for Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 at the Michigan International Speedway
That’s why Keselowski hopes his No. 2 Ford can remain up front all afternoon on Sunday and notch his first career victory in front of his home fans.
“The Discount Tire Ford Mustang has been incredible since we unloaded,” Keselowski said during his media availability on Friday. “We were really fast in practice, and then everybody started picking up a bunch toward the end of qualifying, and I got a little nervous.
“But (crew chief) Paul Wolfe and the team did a great job. We picked up just enough to get our second pole here. Hopefully, we can convert it into a win.”
Despite the pole though, Keselowski knows that Friday’s pace means nothing towards Sunday. See, with Friday only having one practice session and just qualifying later, everyone is on qualifying sims. Saturday’s practice sessions will be indicative on how Sunday will look instead.
“There’s a lot you can do to optimize the car for today (in qualifying) that maybe won’t carry over to Sunday,” Keselowski said. “But still, it’s good to be starting first, and I think we’ve got a lot of knobs to get her tuned in for the race.”
Keselowski, was only 18th and 13th respectively in practice on Saturday and just eighth and 11th on the 10 lap averages too.
Keselowski, finished runner-up twice in this race and has 11 top 10 finishes in 20 tries. He’s finished sixth or better in his last three starts on the track and enters this weekend with three consecutive top 10 finishes on the season as well.
His best shot of victory came in 2017 when he led 105 laps from the pole but finish just 17th in the end. But, with how good his teammates did in June mixed with a good race car himself, Keselowski has high hopes they’ll dial in a good race setup on Saturday.
“We had a great run here in the spring,” Keselowski said. “I thought we were more than capable of winning. We had a pit road issue very close to the end when we were in a position to grab the lead and take control of the race. That was really frustrating.
“I felt like we had the speed last spring to be in contention at the end. Everything has to fall your way and you have to execute as well, but that didn’t happen for us here and it hasn’t happened for us.”
Keselowski, notes that a win would be huge for playoff points for him as he eyes the points a lot between races.
“I look at the points every two or three days,” Keselowski said. “Everybody is a little different. It is the clearest measurement of your success in the sport. It is one of the great things about NASCAR or being in this sport in general.
“You think about most careers, most lives and it is always hard to have a measuring stick. In sports, the scoreboard is up there all the time. You constantly get a reference on it. It is one of the things I appreciate about the sport so much.
“You really know if you are doing well or not. There is no ambiguity to it. I look at it a lot and I think it is interesting.”unday