Brad Looks for First Top 5 Finish at The Brickyard

Roger Penske has been one of the most successful owners at the hallowed grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with 16 Indy 500 victories to his credit. But The Captain is yet to win at the famed Brickyard in Monster Energy Cup Series racing—something Brad Keselowski hopes to change this weekend.

“Winning at Indianapolis would make me so proud for Roger,” Brad said. “It definitely gives you a sense of pride when you go to Indy as a member of Team Penske. You look at everything Mr. Penske has been able to accomplish there in open-wheel racing.”

The 2.5-mile track is one of the few where Kes has raced exclusively under the Penske banner, never finishing outside of the Top 25. In his seven starts, Brad has managed to avoid calamity and not only be there at the finish of the race, but complete every one of the 1134 possible laps.

First meeting IMS in 2010, BK started the race from 11th and even found trouble towards the front of the pack. In the opening laps, a competitor took a slight trip through the grass and kicked some soil up – with a chunk landing in Brad’s grille opening. An early pit stop put the team behind a step, but they stayed resilient and rebounded to 19th at the end.

In both 2011 & 2012, crew chief Paul Wolfe put the No. 2 team in a position to win, but late-race restarts didn’t work in their favor, resulting in ninth-place finishes each year. As a shot caller, Wolfe is confident in the package he’s bringing to the track.

“Indy is a unique circuit, but we think we have something for it. Our set-up for this track has similarities with the Pocono package, and we were pretty good there. Strategy and track position are going to be key come race day, but we feel good about our chances.”

Those ninth-place finishes stand as BK’s career best on the Cup circuit at Indy, making it the only track were he hasn’t logged a Top 5.

But while he hasn’t kissed the bricks at the Cup level, he is one of few to have done so at the XFINITY Series level. In 2012, Kes took the chance to hone his skills on the relatively flat Indiana track, and he claimed the inaugural NXS victory at the historic racing venue.

On the MENCS side, he’s kept the Deuce out front for a collective 76 laps, but there’s no doubt that the midwestern driver wants to lead one more lap, and emerge victorious at the most prestigious track from the region.

“It would be one of the coolest things I could ever do in a racecar if I could get him [Roger Penske] his first win in the Brickyard 400. We’re going to give it our best shot this weekend.”

BK entered the season with two tracks where he hadn’t recorded a Top 5 finish: Indy and Sonoma Raceway. He checked the tricky California road course off that list with a P3 finish a month ago. See if he can check the second box when the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 goes green on Sunday, July 23 at 3 p.m. ET, live on NBC.

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