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Keselowski set to be Special K


'Special K' is right up there near the top of the list of over-used sports nicknames, but it's a tag that probably will stick, sooner than later, to Brad Keselowski.

A handful of sports and entertainment figures already carry that soubriquet: Greg Kelser, Magic Johnson's team-mate on the 1979 Michigan State national champion basketball team; Kevin Daley of the Harlem Globetrotters; rapper Special K of the Treacherous Three; the Anaheim Mighty Ducks' Special K line that included Paul Kariya, Chad Kilger and Todd Krieger; and, most recent, Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno.

Keselowski will be the second stock car driver known as Special K. The first was the late Alan Kulwicki, the last independent owner/driver to win a Cup championship.

Whether or not the nickname is worn out, Keselowski is special, and Roger Penske made the deal of the decade when he signed the 25-year old to a full-time Sprint Cup contract that starts next season.

Sunday's Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway was Keselowski's twelfth start in the Cup series, but he is no novice to NASCAR, having joined JR Motorsports as a full-time Nationwide Series driver midway through the 2007 season, and picked up his first Cup win in spectacular fashion earlier this year. In only his fifth Cup race, at Talladega in April, Keselowski drove to victory lane after holding his line approaching the chequered flag and sending Carl Edwards flying into the catch fence.

Whether on the racetrack or in the media centre, Keselowski sticks to his guns, in a manner that's more than vaguely reminiscent of the late Dale Earnhardt. Decisively and unapologetically, he will stick the nose of his car underneath a competitor's left rear quarter and, if contact results, so be it.

That kind of take-no-prisoners attitude is designed to win races, not necessarily to win friends. Just ask Denny Hamlin, who spun into the wall in the 26 September Nationwide race at Dover after the right front of Keselowski's Chevy and the left rear of Hamlin's Toyota tried to defy the laws of physics and occupy the same space at the same time.

“He has no idea how to race,” an irate Hamlin said after the race, “He'll get a ride and he'll hang around for a couple years, and people will realise that he's not really that good. He needs some guidance on what it takes to make it. Once he starts to get out there on Sunday, he'll realise that, in his younger years, he didn't do it the right way.”

Hamlin, however, is no Jack Roush - or Dale Earnhardt Jr, for that matter - when it comes to evaluating talent.

It was precisely Keselowski's aggressive style that convinced Earnhardt Jr to put him in his #88 JRM car when he was looking for a replacement for Shane Huffman in 2007. Keselowski was driving Keith Coleman's #23 Chevrolet in a Nationwide race at Atlanta while Earnhardt watched the race from a hospitality suite.



Tagged as: Brad Keselowski

Related Pictures

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Brad Keselowski on pit road   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field past the green flag after the initial caution ended during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, pits his car damaged by a jet dryer early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field past the green flag after the initial caution ended during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, races Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, is hit by Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, as he pulls into his pit box during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, lead the field to turn one during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, take the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The #2 Wurth Ford, driven by Brad Keselowski (not pictured), goes through technical inspection during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, hits the wall during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, were also involved in the incident. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 15, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Mountain Dew Kickstart Chevrolet, leads Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)

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