Friday, April 7, 2017

Brad Keselowski winning his way into the Fans hearts.

When it comes to winning, Brad Keselowski knows vitory Lane well. When it comes to fans, they either love him or hate him! He as a very large fan base though and I ventured out to talk to a few so that we could crown one fan his number one! I had a lot of replies to my request to talk to Keselowski fans, so we will do this Q&A style to shorten the article a bit. I hope you enjoy reading the fan stories as much as I enjoy writing them for you! 

Tell me a little about yourself. Age State you live in, Nascar races you attend. How long you have been a Nascar fan and also how long and why you have cheered for Brad Keselowski.
Michael Clapps:  I’m a 20 year old college student majoring in Physics from Pennsylvania. I live about half an hour from Pocono so I go there for both NASCAR weekends (and IndyCar) every year.


Thomas Harris: My name is Thomas. I am 18 years old from Baltimore, Maryland and I have attended races at Charlotte, Dover, Richmond and Pocono. I have been a NASCAR fan since 2007 and a Brad Keselowski fan since 2008. I'm a Brad fan because He has respect for others. Whenever he is interviewed on television, he always takes his sunglasses off and calls the reporter by name. Even when he loses a race, he congratulates his competitors and even shakes their hands, such as when he lost to Marcos Ambrose at Watkins Glen a few years ago. Brad is very courteous to other people. I mailed Brad a Christmas card and he took a picture of it and tweeted his appreciation! That absolutely made my day. To be acknowledged as a fan always means a lot.


Tim Cantwell 27 Indianapolis, Indiana Nascar fan 22 years and counting. I attend the Brickyard every year. Brad fan since 08. Brad made me a fan when he showed he was something special when he was driving for Jr motorsports.


Steven Loren Taylor Harris:I am 24 years old. I live in the state of Kentucky. I have never been to a race. Although I want to so bad. I've been fan since 2002. I've cheered for Brad since 2008. How that came around. I was watching the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide series at Memphis. I didn't know any drivers. I saw a white 88 Chevy. Didn't knew who he was or what team. I said that is my guy. He finished 17th that day. At the time I was a Jimmie Johnson fan. I said when Brad whatever his last name is moves up to Sprint cup I will drop Jimmie and go to him.

Jamie Jones: My name is Jamie Jones. I am 54 years young. I live in Fenwick, Michigan. I live about an hour and a half from MIS. Unfortunately I have not been able to attend a NASCAR race but I am hoping someday. I have 8 children, 17 grandchildren with one more due later this year and a great grandson due in May. I became a NASCAR fan on March 30,2014. That is also the day that Brad became my driver.


Have you ever met Brad? What did you talk to him about and what was your impression of him?
Michael Clapps: I’ve met Brad about 15 times now - honestly lost count. My first time in June 2012 I was completely starstruck. I remember telling him how I was supposed to meet him in June 2011 at his weekly appearance, but we were having car issues and couldn’t make it. Then in August 2011 Brad had to cancel from his Road Atlanta testing crash just a couple days before, so I had to wait until the following June. I’ve been to all of his weekly appearances since, but also got to hang out with him in the Eldora infield during the 2014 Truck race. I didn’t want to bother him during the race, so I just stood a couple feet from him and watched it, then asked for a picture after. He was back at Pocono the next week, so I went to his appearance and he knew my name! Completely blew me away when he picked up a hero card and just wrote ‘To Michael:..” on it. Of all, my favorite moment had to be in February 2015 when I won a Daytona contest from his team - that gave garage credentials and a private meet & greet with Brad. The meet was scheduled for right before the XFINITY drivers meeting, but Brad decided to bring me into the meeting! He asked me to pick a seat, so I took one about 3-4 chairs over from him, just to give him some space - but then he slid over and sat right next to me until the meeting was over.

Thomas Harris: Yes. In 2014 at Charlotte. He was super kind and took a photo with me. He thanked me for coming and was extremely friendly.

Tim Cantwell: I have never met him but wish to.

Steven Loren Taylor Harris:  No, I never met Brad. I tweeted him on twitter. He even answered a question a few years ago that @RaceSonoma was doing. you can see it HERE.

Jamie Jones:    I have met him twice, I met him both times at a meet and greet so there wasn't time to talk to much but I told him about my fan page I run for him and he asked me what it was called. I told him Keselowski's Korner and he said that is really cool and he would have to check it out.I told him about him racing against my nephew when he raced at Auto City Speedway in Flint, Michigan. He asked me what his name was and I told him Bob Egan. He remembered. He thanked me for being a fan and for supporting him. My sister bought me a diecast car of his Talladega win in 2015. Brad commented on my shirt I was wearing. "Cool shirt" he said. He even signed the back of it

The second time I met him was also a meet and greet and they weren't allowing us anytime to talk to Brad but he could sign two items for us. I got a hat and a cooler bag signed. He did shake my hand and thank me for being a loyal fan. He is such a nice guy and so easy to talk to. I was so nervous. Brad is a super nice guy. He really cares about his fans. He takes time to give autographs and even just a small conversation. I think it is great that he drives around the camping area at the tracks and seeks his fans out. He has a great personality. Brad has alot of drive and ambition and I am honored to be his fan.
Do you have any memorabilia or Brad related tattoos that help you stand out from other fans? 
Michael Clapps: No tattoos here, but lots of memorabilia. I collect Brad’s trading cards, hero cards, and diecast - all of it can be seen on my personal site here: mdclappsracing.com
What is special about Brad that made you into a fan?
Michael Clapps: I’ll answer how I became a NASCAR fan and a Brad fan here, since it’s the same thing. I never disliked racing, but I definitely wasn’t interested in it by any stretch. I was flipping through the channels on a evening in late 2007 when I came across the XFINITY race at Fontana…the one where Brad had the terrible crash and had to be airlifted out of the track. I was 10 years old then, and really didn’t know what was happening, or why it was happening. But I felt bad for the guy. I had no clue who he was, but I just felt bad for him. At that point I had no idea if this guy was any good or not, but I called him as my driver way back then.

Thomas Harris:  Yes. I have a diecast collection with every 1/64 scale Brad Keselowski diecast car from his whole career. The collection is getting quite big!
Tim Cantwell. I have his Championship 2012 hat from the then known as Sprint Cup. Also have a Brad flag.

Steven Loren TaylorHarris: Yes, I have a few memorabilia. No tattoos   

Jamie Jones: I have hats, shirts, cars and ect... Some things are signed by Brad.
Why should newcomers to the sport become Brad fans?
Michael Clapps:  It’s hard to convince new fans on a driver, the best thing to do it have someone watch a race or two on TV and just take a liking to someone on their own. A couple reasons why anyone should pick Brad:
1) He makes time for all fans by signing every week, and actually tries to talk to everyone he can. I’ve never seen him push through the line to get it over with.
2) Brad is active through social media and frequently Tweets with fans.
3) He’s a hard racer that loves good competition (see Watkins Glen 2012). He’ll never settle for second, and always tries to go out and do his best.

Thomas Harris: Because Brad can win at any style track. Between the Cup and Xfinity series, he has wins at Bristol, California, Charlotte, Daytona and Watkins Glen. Brad knows how to win on all styles of tracks! He always appreciates each and every one of his fans. Brad never charges money for his autograph like some drivers do.


Tim Cantwell: Newcomers should become Brad fans cause he tells it like it is and is a very nice and humble person from his interviews.

Steven Loren Taylor Harris: I Brad is a down to earth great racer. And he can drive the wheels off a wrecked race car! (Like in the 2017 Auto Club 400)

Jamie Jones: Newcomers should pick Brad as their driver because he is a cool guy. He has so much respect for our Country. He is the only driver who does a burnout with the American Flag when he wins. Brad also cares about his fans. He has stayed later than his time allotment to make sure every fan got a picture and an autograph.
At most if the races he does live facebook videos and drives around with his lovely wife Paige looking for campers with #2 flags and he suprises them with t shirts, hats, cars and of course a case of Miller Lite. Brad really shows that he cares about his fans.
He cares about our Veterans.
Brad proves he cares about his fans. He has lots of fun doing the videos and giving things out to fans. He is an all around really cool guy and if you are looking for a NASCAR driver to root for... Brad is your guy. He drives that #2 car and gets the job done.

And finally if you could tell Brad one thing what would it be?
Michael Clapps:I’ve always wanted to tell Brad that he’s my hero, and I truly looked up to him growing up. Not that he’s a race car driver - and successful at it, but he started out with next to nothing, capitalized on an opportunity, and made the best of it. It’s an incredible path he took, and one that we should all recognize and think about. Every time I go to meet him, I want to say that somehow, but I just haven’t been able to spit it out.

Additional info: since about this time last year I started working on Brad’s official site by posting relevant race previews and reports. More on that can be seen in here: http://www.mdclappsracing.com/special-pages/my-holy-grail-card

Thomas Harris with Brad Keselowski and his racing collection
Thomas Harris: I would tell Brad that even though it would be great to win another championship, you're already a Champion and nobody can take that away from you. Winning 1 Cup championship is an accomplishment that most drivers will never achieve in their careers.

Tim Cantwell: I would tell Brad to never change himself. He has the perfect balance in life and I'm happy to be a fan of his.

Steven Loren Taylor Harris: Brad, you are a great driver! I've been a fan of your's since 2008 when you drove the 88 Navy Chevy for Dale Jr in the Xfinity series. The first race I seen was the Memphis, where you finished in 13th place. Its funny, how I became a fan. It all started because of your name. Keselowski; I never seen a name like that before. The second I seen it I was like there is my guy! My favorite memory was in 2009 when you won the Aarons 499 at Talladega! Then it would have to be the 2012 Sprint Cup (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) Then the 2010 Nationwide Championship.

Jamie Jones: My message for Brad would be... Keep being you and never change. You have earned alot of respect by fans in just the three years I have been a fan. You have so much compassion. Never lose that. Your compassion for your family and fans is the reason I am proud to be your fan.


Brad Keselowski Trivia Challenge:

Correct answers will have either an X for wrong answers or a * for correct answers 


1. What is Brad's full name and birth date?


Michael Clapps :Bradley Aaron Keselowski (February 12, 1984)*
Middle name Aaron came from his parent’s liking of F1 driver Ayrton Senna
*
Thomas Harris:Bradley Aaron Keselowski was born on February 12th 1984 to Bob and Kay Keselowski.*
Tim Cantwell:Bradley Aaron Keselowski February 12th, 1984*
Steven Loren Taylor Harris: Bradly Aaron Keselowski. Born Feb. 12th 1984.*
Jamie Jones: Bradley Aaron Keselowski February 12,1984 *

2.Brad Keselowski began racing stock cars in the Factory Stock division in what year

Michael Clapps:1999X
Thomas Harris:I do not know the answer because I'm not very familiar with dirt racing. I would guess 1998? Brad decided to be a race car driver when he was 14 so that would be my best guess. X
Tim Cantwell:2000*
Steven Loren Taylor Harris:1999 X
Jamie Jones: In 2000*

3.In 2004, a 20-year-old Keselowski began his NASCAR career as the driver of the No. 29 Ford F-150 for the family-owned K-Automotive Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series. What race track did he debut at.
Bonus points for where he started and finished
Michael Clapps:Martinsville! Without looking, I seem to remember he either started or finished 33rd.*
Thomas Harris:Brad's first career Camping World Truck Series start came at Martinsville*
Tim Cantwell:MartinsvilleBonus: Started 26th and finished 33rd*
Steven Loren Taylor Harris: Martinsville.* I think he started 23rd and finished 32nd.X
Jamie Jones: Martinsville*Start 26.. Finish 33rd *

4.In 2007, Keselowski filled in at Germain Racing for what truck driver that had been suspended for an in-race scuffle with another driver at the Milwaukee Mile?
Michael Clapps:Ted Musgrave*
Thomas Harris:I believe it was Ted Musgrave. Brad wrote about that incident on his blog a few years ago and it was really interesting!*
Tim Cantwell: Ted Musgrave*
Steven Loren Taylor Harris:Ted Musgarve*
Jamie Jones:Tyler WalkerX


5. In 2008, Keselowski was the highest finishing full time Xfnity series driver inthe championship, what team was he driving for and where did he finish
Michael Clapps:Finished third driving the JR Motorsports No.88.*
Thomas Harris:Brad was driving for Jr Motorsports and finished 3rd in points.*
Tim Cantwell: 3rd in points and for Jr Motorsports*
Steven Loren Taylor Harris: JRM (Jr. Motorsports)* 5th X
Jamie Jones:Jr. Motorsports. He finished in 3rd.*

6. Keselowski finished 19th in his Cup debut, At what track did he debut?
Michael Clapps:Texas! Finished 21st at Homestead in his second start (I always remembered this because he had an even 20th place average finish for a few months). Interestingly enough Brad was at the Charlotte Playoff race looking to make his first race, but qualifying was cancelled.*
Thomas Harris:His first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start was at Texas Motor Speedway driving the GoDaddy.com car for Rick Hendrick.*
Tim Cantwell:Texas*
Steven Loren Taylor Harris: The fall race at Texas in 2008*
Jamie Jones:Texas motor speedway*

7.  How many laps had Keseloski led in The Cup series prior to his first win in 2009? Who was his car owner at the time?
Michael Clappslaps before it, first lap led was for a win. Brad drove for James Finch that day, but made a a couple starts for Rick Hendrick before it.*
Thomas Harris: Prior to winning his first race, Brad had led zero laps. His first lap led was the final lap at Talladega in 2009. Brad was driving the #09 Miccosukee Chevy for James Finch. *
Tim Cantwell:1 lap and James Finch*
Steven Loren Taylor Harris:He led no laps prior to his win at Talladega. When he won 'Dega he lead only one lap. And James Finch owned the 09 Chevy powered by Hendrick Motorsports .*
Jamie Jones: James Finch *9 I believeX

8. In 2010, Keselowski replaced what diver in the No. 12 Dodge Charger in the Cup Series for Team Penske?
Michael Clapps:David Stremme. Actually replaced him with three races to go in 2009.*
Thomas Harris:Brad replaced David Stremme 2010.*
Tim Cantwell: David Stremme*
Steven Loren Taylor Harris: David Stremme. (And a bonus fact. Brad took over the 12 car the last 3 races of the 2009 season)*
Jamie Jones:He replaced Ryan Newman.X

9.How many races did Brad Keselowski win on the way to his 2012 championship?
Michael Clapps: 5(Bristol, Talladega, Kentucky, Chicagoland, Dover), in that order.*
Thomas Harris:Brad won 5 races in 2012.*
Tim Cantwell: 5 races*
Steven Loren Taylor Harris: 5 races*
Jamie Jones:5 for 2012*

10.What driver did Brad Keselowski call "an Ass" during introductions at Bristol in 2010?
Michael Clapps: Kyle Busch*
Thomas Harris:Even a casual fan would know the answer to this question! Kyle Busch! *
(Note from the writer What can I say? It's my favorite Brad moment too!)
Tim Cantwell:Kyle Busch*
Steven Loren Taylor Harris: KYLE THOMAS BUSCH!*
Jamie Jones:Kyle Busch*

Michael Clapps: Missed 1
Thomas Harris: Missed 1
Tim Cantwell: PERFECT SCORE!!!!!
Steven Loren Taylor Harris: Missed 1 1/2
Jamie Jones: Missed 2 1/2
Our winner is TIM CANTWELL! Congratulations! You are Brad Keselowski's biggest fan!!


In each fan's heart their driver will always be number one no matter where they finish on the track. Tune in next week as we hunt down some of Austin Dillon's biggest fans and quiz them on their favorite driver!



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Answers
1. Bradly Aaron Keselowski 2/12/1984
2. 2000
3. Martinsville Started 26th finished 33rd
4. Ted Musgrave 
5. JR Motorsports, 3rd
6. Texas Motor Speedway
7. 1 lap James Finch
8. David Stremme
9. 5
10. Kyle Busch

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