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Keselowski Exchanges Crew Chief Hat For Racing Helmet At Lucas Oil Raceway; Enters Sioux Chief Powerpex ARCA 200 Friday With New Composite Car
Posted by: newsla on Jul 21, 2015 - 12:19 PM
Keselowski Exchanges Crew Chief Hat For Racing Helmet At Lucas Oil Raceway; Enters Sioux Chief Powerpex ARCA 200 Friday With New Composite Car

Brian Keselowski is exchanging his crew chief hat in favor of his racing helmet Friday at Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR) where the Rochester Hills, Michigan racer has filed an entry for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX® ARCA 200.

Keselowski, the older brother of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski and son of 1989 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national champion Bob Keselowski, has entered his own No. 29 Keselowski Racing Ford, one with a new Composite Body.

"At the start of the year, we had been talking about the new body and it piqued our interest," said Keselowski.

"I've never built a new car for myself so we decided to go ahead with it. Me and my dad put the body on the car. We thought the process was easier than getting the steel bodies on the cars. We worked on it a month, month and a half, then we went to work on Matt's deal."

Keselowski's reference to "Matt's deal" is indeed an important deal, and helps pay the bills. Keselowski has been serving Matt Kurzejewski as crew chief, and with great success. The SCOTT rookie driver from Mansfield, Pennsylvania has five top-10 finishes (including two top-fives) in six starts and is currently second in ARCA's Hoosier Tire Superspeedway Challenge standings, just 10 points away from the Venturini Motorsports 25 car.

"We didn't know what to expect with Matt...we never ran any intermediates (tracks) with him; but he's really surprised me. He's done a really good job. We want to look like we belong here. When we show up now, I definitely feel like the rest of these guys know that they have to beat us."

In between fielding cars for Kurzejewski, Keselowski kept coming back to his new Composite Body car with Lucas Oil Raceway as his 2015 target debut.

"We tested at Southern National (Motorsports Park) over by Raleigh (N.C.), and it went really well...I mean really, really well. I know there's going to be some really tough competition at Lucas Oil (Raceway). We don't think we're going to go up there and stomp the field, but we have a good shot. I never underestimate the competition here. My dad's going to come help."

Although Keselowski's ARCA starts have been sporadic over the years, he has often been a part of the "tough competition." In 36 career starts since 2004, he's won three times - two at Berlin Raceway and one at Salem Speedway. He's got nine top-five finishes overall, 21 top-10s and two Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell. He's also led 510 laps in eight races. Not too shabby.

Keselowski will be sporting the No. 29 at Lucas Oil Raceway, the same number his father wore throughout his super late model and ARCA career. The tables will also turn when Keselowski gets some help from Kurzejewski at LOR, borrowing one of Kurzejewski's ARCA Ilmor 396 engines for the 200-lap race.

Both Brian and Bob earned super late model track championships at Toledo Speedway - 20 years apart - prior to each moving onto ARCA's national tour. Bob made 168 career ARCA starts from 1980 through 1995 with 24 wins, 66 top-fives, 88 top-10s and 26 poles. Bob also led 2,946 laps in 72 races.

Brian and Bob are also the only father and son ARCA winners at Berlin Raceway, their victories also 20 years apart.

"If everything goes well (at LOR), we may run Berlin, but I'm making no promises now."

With Berlin still two weeks away, Keselowski's complete focus is on Lucas Oil Raceway.

"I raced at Lucas Oil in the Xfinity Series in 2007, 2008 and 2010, so at least I'm familiar with the track. You have to drive the car a little different there...make it turn first...that's the biggest thing...then make it work after that. And don't overdrive the car...you do that, then you're done."

When asked if his brother Brad would be attending, he answered, "You never know with him. When you least expect him, he'll show up out of the blue, but I really have no idea."

The 100-lap ARCA/CRA Super Series race will kick off the big night of stock car racing, culminating with the Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200 under the lights.

Discount tickets for the double-header are on sale now at 20 Menards stores in Indiana. The tickets are being offered for $10 off the gate price. Indiana stores selling discount tickets include locations in Anderson, Avon, Bloomington, Camby, Carmel, Columbus, Greenwood, Kokomo, Lafayette, Lebanon, Muncie, Richmond, Terre Haute, West Lafayette, three in Indianapolis and three in Fort Wayne.

The Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200 is scheduled to get the green flag shortly after 9 p.m. Friday night. Gates will open at 12:45 p.m. on July 24 with Menards Pole Qualifying at 5:30, driver introductions at 8:30 with the Sioux Chief PowerPEX® 200 following.

Allison, Stott, Schacht, Dillon, Kimmel, Jones former ARCA winners at LOR Two-time ARCA Racing Series champion Ramo Stott won the inaugural ARCA race at Lucas Oil Raceway in 1971. Ralph Latham followed as victor in 1972, and Bruce Gould was the winner in 1974. Nearly 10 years would go by before ARCA would return in 1983 when two-time series champ Marvin Smith was the race winner. Bob Schacht won in 1984. In 1985, two ARCA races were on the schedule with Schacht and Davey Allison claiming victories. It would be 26 years before the ARCA tour would return to Lucas Oil Raceway in 2011 when Ty Dillon, driving for Richard Childress Racing, won the 200-lap event. Frank Kimmel won in 2012. Brandon Jones is the most recent winner at Lucas Oil Raceway, taking the victory last year.

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