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Keselowski ends JRM time

Brad Keselowski gets set for his final outing with JRM in the Nationwide Series
Brad Keselowski was far from a controversial figure 2 1/2 years ago when Dale Earnhardt Jr. signed him to drive in three Nationwide Series races for JR Motorsports.

Keselowski's NASCAR career had been nondescript. He didn't have a top-ten finish in 20 Nationwide races, including 13 in 2007 before his team, Keith Coleman Racing, suspended operations. Keselowski also had only one top ten in 42 Camping World Truck Series races from 2004 to 2007.

Earnhardt was looking for a driver for the #88 after releasing Shane Huffman and was impressed by Keselowski's performance in the truck race at Memphis in June 2007. With regular driver Ted Musgrave suspended for one race, Germain Racing hired Keselowski, who put the truck on the pole and was leading with ten laps to go. He was spun out by Travis Kvapil and finished 16th, but Earnhardt decided to give him a try in the #88.

Keselowski's three-race tryout became the rest of the season, followed by a breakthrough season with two victories in 2008 and four in 2009 going into Saturday's Nationwide season-ending Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

It will be Keselowski's final race with JR Motorsports. He'll move to Penske Racing next season, driving the full Nationwide and Sprint Cup schedules.

“It's been an amazing year both for me and this #88 JR Motorsports team,” Keselowski said. “I knew we had the potential and ability to get these four wins and top finishes all season, and it's been awesome to be able to actually do it. I can't thank everyone at JRM enough for all of the countless hours of hard work that's been put into this year.

“You can definitely tell that it's been a team effort all around. Even after I made my (Penske) announcement a few months back that I would be moving on, nothing changed. Everyone continued to step up. We all wanted to get more wins and finish as well as possible at Homestead.”

Keselowski has 22 top-five finishes in the 34 races this season. He had eleven in the previous 69 in his Nationwide career. Keselowski is third in the points standings, the same position he finished last season, trailing second-place Carl Edwards by 60 points.

“While the championship is out of reach at this point, a win to finish out the season isn't,” Keselowski said. “If things are going our way, we could also move up to second in the point standings. And I'd love to be able to do that for this team, our sponsors and fans.”




Related Pictures

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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #88 Delphi Chevrolet addresses the media about Nationwide`s Dash 4 Cash before the Kroger `On Track For Cure` 250 race at the Memphis Motorsports Park. With Saturday`s win, Keselowski won $75,000, claiming all $150,000 available in the title sponsor`s initiative [Pic credit: John Sommers II/Getty Images]
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS advances to the Champion 4 with his second place finish. Harvick is joined with Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field onto pit road due to rain during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrates on pit road after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the crew of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet team celebrate in victory lane after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(L-R) Team owner Rick Hendrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and crew chief Greg Ives celebrate in victory lane after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(L-R) Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and crew chief Greg Ives celebrate in victory lane after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(L-R) Amy Reimann celebrates with Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, in victory lane after Earnhardt won the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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)

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