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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]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, leads Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 8, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 8, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 8, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 8, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR XFINITY Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position during Service King qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski drives the #2 Miller Lite Ford through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 23, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Crew members push the car of Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 17, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 16, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz and the Coors Light Pole award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 16, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by 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 Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 16, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, practices for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 8, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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