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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]
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, poses with the trophy in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #12 Snap-On Ford, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burn out after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, wins the Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field out of the pits during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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