BK Ready to Race Under Thunder Valley Lights

Right before a rare off-weekend for the Monster Energy Cup Series, Brad Keselowski plans on providing his team with a momentum boost through the final 12 races.

Bristol Motor Speedway, and it’s famed Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

“Bristol represents a physical and mental challenge unlike any other track in the sport, but I like that challenge and suspense,” says the two time Bristol winner.

It’s expected that the No. 2 Autotrader Ford Fusion will unload off the hauler with some speed, as the iconic Deuce has built quite the reputation at the legendary Tennessee short track. Originally piloted by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, he took the familiar Blue Deuce paint scheme to the hallowed grounds of victory lane a total of seven times. Former teammate Kurt Busch then took the reins and lead the Deuce to one more victory.

“The No. 2 car has been a marquee car for a while. It’s well beyond my time and all those pieces together make it a thrill and an honor to drive that car,” Brad says on having his time behind the wheel of Roger Penske’s car.

While the new 2017 point system has created some incredible racing all season long, Kes isn’t sure if the package is necessary at Thunder Valley, which always presents a challenge to man and machine.

“I not really sure the new format is going to impact Bristol Motor Speedway,” he said. “We’re going to learn real quick that track has been one that’s so dynamic the bottom, the top of the race track, and the middle of the race track. You seemed like you run every lane and it’s like you have to be so adaptive as drivers which makes it a fun challenge but we’ve had a lot of success through the years, and hopefully we can do it again and win another race here.”

For the second and final time this season, Kes will be representing Autotrader’s colors. The last time he wheeled their scheme, it went straight to Victory Lane at Atlanta early in the year.

A two-time Bristol winner, Brad also has four Top 5s, and five Top 10s to his credit at the concrete track. Ironically, as the Night Race laps the half-mile oval 500 times, BK has led 499 around the track—just one short of an entire race. The first of his triumphs came less than a month after hurting his ankle in a violent 2011 testing crash, while the second was en route to his 2012 Championship.

During a trip to another half-mile short track in Martinsville Speedway earlier this year, Brad took the dominant car and piloted it straight to Victory Lane. Overcoming penalties, and less-than-preferred restarts, the 2 Crew was on its game making Keselowski’s work look easy. It will take another full team effort to pull off similar results on Saturday night.

Racing on BMS’s concrete surface adds an additional challenge that the 2011 Night Race champion welcomes. His first three NASCAR national touring series wins came on the three different concrete tracks in Nashville, Bristol, and Dover.

Currently with two wins to his name in 2017, Brad wants to add a third, as well as putting five more Playoff points on the board. Tune into the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday, August 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

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