MotorCities National Heritage Area
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2021

by Bob Sadler, MotorCities Communications Manager
Images Courtesy of BradRacing.com and the Associated Press
Published 10.20.2021

Brad Keselowski AP Photo RESIZED 1Brad Keselowski (AP Photo)
EDITOR'S NOTE: As part of Polish American Heritage Month, we present the story of Brad Keselowski, a NASCAR champion driver who hails from our National Heritage Area.

Currently ranked sixth in the NASCAR Cup standings, Brad Keselowski is enjoying another season of success as a race car driver for Team Penske in the popular number two car.

BK MIS August 2021 BradRacing.com 2Brad Keselowski at Michigan International Speedway, August 2021 (BradRacing.com)

Born in 1984 in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Keselowski grew up in a racing family. His father, Bob, was a successful driver, winning a race in 1997 while competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). His uncle, Ron, also competed in the early 1970s. His family also owned a racing team called K Automotive Motorsports.

Brad as a kid with his Dad Mom and older brother Brian BradRacing.com RESIZED 4Brad as a kid with his Dad, Mom and older brother Brian (BradRacing.com)

Brad continued his family’s racing tradition, starting to compete in the midget division at the age of 14. By 2000, he moved up to the stock car level, winning nine races and collecting Rookie of the Year honors at two Michigan tracks.

His rise through the ranks continued in 2004, when Keselowski began racing in the NCWTS series. By 2006, his racing schedule included both the NCWTS and the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Brad and Father BradRacing.com RESIZED 5Brad and his father (BradRacing.com)

It was while competing in the Xfinity Series that Keselowski’s career experienced a key breakthrough moment. While competing for Germain Racing in June 2007 in Memphis, Keselowski’s talent and determination caught the attention of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who signed him to join his JR Motorsports team and drive their number 88 car in the Xfinity Series. In 2008, he finished third overall in the Xfinity Series, winning twice and earning one pole position, 11 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes.

In November 2008, Keselowski made his first two starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS), driving the number 25 car for Hendrick Motorsports, finishing 19th (after starting in the 37th position) and 23rd. His progress up the NASCAR ladder was poised to continue in 2009.

2011 Xfinity Series Champion with Team Owner Roger Penske BradRacing.com RESIZED 62011 Xfinity Series Champion with Team Owner Roger Penske (BradRacing.com)

While Keselowski won four races and captured two poles in the Xfinity Series in 2009, his biggest win to date came in April when he captured the checkered flag at Talladega for his first-ever MENCS victory. He went to finish third again overall in the Xfinity Series for the second consecutive year and make 15 starts in the MENCS as well. His final three starts in the MENCS in 2009 were in the number 12 car for Team Penske, the Michigan-based team operated by racing legend Roger Penske.

In his first full season with Team Penske, Keselowski brought home the 2010 Xfinity Series championship, the team’s first NASCAR title. He also captured his first pole in the MENCS and earned a promotion to Penske’s number two car, known on the circuit as the “Blue Deuce.”

In 2011, the upward spiral of Keselowski’s career continued with his first MENCS victory for Team Penske at Kansas Speedway in June. He qualified for The Chase for the first time and wrapped up the season in the top five of the championship standings.

2012 Sprint Cup Championship BradRacing.com RESIZED 7Keselowski wins the 2012 Sprint Cup Championship (BradRacing.com)

2012 proved to be the year that everything came together, as Keselowski and the Blue Deuce captured the MENCS championship, the first in Team Penske history. His magic season included five wins, 13 top-fives, 23 top-10s and 735 laps led.

For his career, Keselowski has a total of 35 MENCS wins and 39 total Xfinity Series wins. His 2021 MENCS win at Talladega marked his sixth victory at the track, tying him with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnardt Jr. for second most all time.

Brad wins at Martinsville 2017 BradRacing.com RESIZED 3Brad wins at Martinsville in 2017 (BradRacing.com)

In addition to his racing accomplishments, Keselowski and his wife Paige are also active with his Checkered Flag Foundation, which was founded in 2010 and has supported more than 50 organizations and individuals helping veterans and first responders on their road to recovery.

Finally, Keselowski plans to start a new chapter in his career in 2022, announcing in July that he is joining Roush Fenway Racing as a driver and co-owner.

Bibiography

NASCAR.com. Brad Keselowski driver page.

TeamPenske.com. Brad Keselowski biography.

BradRacing.com. Biography.

Fryer, Jenna. “NASCAR star, Michigan native Brad Keselowski leaving Team Penske after this season.” Associated Press. July 15, 2021.

by Bob Sadler, MotorCities Communications Manager
Images Courtesy of the Automotive Hall of Fame and Detroit Free Press
Published 10.13.2021

EDITOR'S NOTE: As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, which continues through October 15, our Brian Yopp recently had a conversation with Mike Huerta, President of UAW Local 602 in Lansing. Huerta began working at the Fisher Body plant in 1997, when he first joined the UAW. Their conversation covers his career at General Motors, his interest in union leadership and the importance of his Mexican heritage.

by A. Wayne Ferens
Images Courtesy of the Wayne Ferens Collection
Published 9.29.2021

by A. Wayne Ferens
Images Courtesy of the Wayne Ferens Collection
Published 9.22.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the General Motors Media Archives
Published 9.15.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of BriggsCunningham.com
Published 9.8.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the GM Media Archives
Published 9.1.2021

by A. Wayne Ferens
Photos Courtesy of the Wayne Ferens Collection, GM Media Archives and Ford Motor Company
Published 8.25.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Chrysler Archives, Barrett-Jackson Auto Auctions and the Robert Tate Collection
Published 8.17.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 8.11.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 8.4.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the General Motors Media Archives and Motor Trend magazine
Published 7.28.2021

by Louise-Helene Filion
Image from YouTube/MotorCities
Published 7.21.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Automotive Sculptor and Historian Ron Konopka, Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 7.14.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the National Automobile Museum
Published 7.7.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Hot Rod Network, Jordan Lewis, Stangbumpers.com
Published 6.30.2021

By Maggy Corkery
Photos courtesy of Ralph Gilles
Published 6.23.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images courtesy of the Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 6.16.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian & Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Sinclair Oil Archives
Published 6.9.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images from various sources
Published 6.2.2021

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are presenting the following except showcasing the story of some of the trailblazing Asian Americans in the auto industry.
Published 5.31.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Getty Images, Barrett Jackson and the General Motors Media Archives
Published 5.26.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of General Motors Media Archives
Published 5.19.2021

by Robert Tate, Automotive Historian & Researcher
Images courtesy of the Reggie Jackson Collection
Published 5.12.2021

by Bob Sadler, MotorCities Communications Manager
Photos Courtesy of Bob Sadler/MotorCities
Published 5.5.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Chrysler Archives
Published 4.28.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Ford Motor Company Archives, Shelby.com, Barrett Jackson and the Robert Tate Collection
Published 4.21.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Detroit News, Classic Car News and Classic Autos
Published 4.14.2021

by Bob Sadler, MotorCities Communications Manager
Published 4.7.2021

by Bob Sadler, MotorCities Communications Manager
Images Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection, the Automotive Hall of Fame and the Library of Congress
Published 3.24.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Lyn St. James, RacingNation.com, and the Women’s Sports Foundation
Published 3.17.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the GM Media Archives and the REO Truck Archives
Published 3.10.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Robert Tate Collection
Published: 3.3.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of GM Media Archives, Travis Lipinski, Tom Sturm
Published 2.24.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection
Posted: 02.17.2021

EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of MotorCities’ observance of Black History Month, we are revisiting this Story of the Week from August 10, 2016.

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of RoadTrack.com, Mrs. Mildred Overton, Todd Gould, Lafayette (Indiana) Journal and Courier
Published 2.10.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Published 2.3.2021

EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of MotorCities’ observance of Black History Month, we are revisiting this Story of the Week from February 13, 2017. 

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Studebaker National Museum/Studebaker Archives
Published 1.27.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of General Motors Media Archives/Jill Reger - 1950 Oldsmobile emblem
Published 1.20.2021

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 1.13.2021

By Bob Sadler, MotorCities Communications Manager
Photos Courtesy of the Ypsilanti Auto Heritage Museum
Published 1.6.2021