Iowa Speedway: Brad’s Off-Week Destination

While many of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rivals are jetsetting during the Father’s Day off week, Brad Keselowski will be sitting in the cockpit of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang.

The Cup series isn’t in action this weekend, but Brad will be back behind the wheel of the Double Deuce for some XFINITY Series action at one of his favorite racetracks: Iowa Speedway for the American Ethanol E15 250.

“Yeah, there were a lot of factors,” he said. “One, I really like the race track at Iowa and I have been fortunate enough to win a handful of races there before. We kind of balance that XFINITY Series schedule between three drivers with myself, Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano.”

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Kes planned to run in the June event one year ago, but the schedule was derailed, as he and Paige were on baby watch.

“Last year I skipped those races to be with my daughter,” BK said. “She ended up being born a week or two before that, and I wanted to be with her. I kind of felt like I had a good opportunity to win the race and I skipped out on them last year and kind of owed it to the team to run it this year.”

This year, the race holds an even higher significance to the Midwestern driver.

“The Father’s Day weekend race will be special now not only as a dad myself, but also as I think back on all the time I spent at the racetrack with my father and what a great bonding experience that was – a lot of terrific memories,” Brad says. “I look forward to seeing a full house and hopefully celebrating in victory lane.”

Hoping to make his sixth XFINITY start of the season worthwhile, the statistics defend his chances in Iowa. In BK’s five starts at the famed 0.875-mile oval, three of them resulted in trips to Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane.

“Iowa Speedway is certainly a track that has been very good to me,” Kes says.

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The other two starts didn’t produce slouch results either, as he recorded a third and fourth place finish to the record books, giving him an average finish of second place in five starts. Padding his stats further with a staggering 332 laps led, Brad will surely be a threat for the win come race time. BK knows that it’ll be a challenge to add to his stellar record in Newton, Iowa, but he’s glad to be making the trip to the unique Rusty Wallace designed short track.

“I don’t expect that to be every year but this year it felt like the right thing to do for those guys and the sponsors,” BK said.

The NXS will practice at 3:30 and 6 p.m. ET on Friday. Qualifying is set for 6:45 p.m. ET on Saturday. Then Brad will aim for his fourth Iowa Speedway gas pump trophy on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET live on FOX Sports 1.

Team BKR Tries for Second Iowa Win

Returning to the site of their Victory Lane breakthrough with Ryan Blaney in 2012, Brad Keselowski Racing remains more confident than ever at Iowa Speedway.

Crew chief Doug Randolph led that triumph in 2012, and he knows exactly what he’ll need out of his No. 29 Cooper Standard F-150 to put Tyler Reddick into Victory Lane.

“The bump between Turns 1 and 2 gets progressively worse and worse every year. At every racetrack we go to, we’re trying to maintain the splitter as close to the track surface as we can. If you run a setup that holds it right down there, then it’s so rough it bounces your truck up the track. We have to back up on our thinking to more of a mechanically-compliant setup,” Randolph explained. “The team that can figure all of that out and get across the bumps and keep his splitter down on the straightaways will have a huge advantage. We have to do a little homework here at the shop to make certain our Cooper Standard Ford F-150 adapts to that.”

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Reddick has taken an affinity to the significant BKR track. In Tyler’s pair of Iowa races, both resulted in Top 10 finishes, with the highlight of them being last year’s running. Starting and finishing third, he led his team to a solid race that kept him atop the point standings. Additionally, in both of his starts he completed all laps run, a rarity for the Truck Series on short tracks.

“Iowa Speedway is a fun place to race because you can move around on the racetrack and find a groove that works for you. I like how worn, bumpy and abrasive the track is, and I just like how that place races. It’s a short track at heart, but at the same time, has the feel of a bigger racetrack.”

Teammate Daniel Hemric thinks the possibility to dominate the event is in the cards with his No. 19 Oakmont Management Group F-150. The 25-year-old has a NCWTS-high six Top 10 finishes this year, and he finished eighth at Iowa Speedway a season ago—a finish he believes he can build on in a Team BKR truck.

“Last year was my first experience at Iowa Speedway, so I’m going to take what I learned there last year and the momentum we are building here at BKR as an organization, and hope to go into this weekend and lock ourselves into the Chase,” he says. “We are really confident in what we’re bringing to the racetrack, and with this only being the second time we’ve raced at a track under a mile this season, we plan to go there and show the strength of our short track program.”

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Tune into the Speediatrics 200 from Iowa Speedway, Saturday June 18th live on FOX Sports 1 at 8:30p.m. ET.

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