Kes Looks for First Win in Wine Country

Brad Keselowski plans to shift gears in his road racing career, and claim his first left-and-right-hand turn win amongst the Monster Energy Cup Series schedule. Noting Sonoma Raceway as his most difficult track, Brad wants nothing more than to turn it around and bring the No. 2 Freightliner Elite Support Ford Fusion to Victory Lane in the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

“Sonoma is probably the biggest challenge on the schedule for me each year. I am not sure exactly what it is about this track. I am pretty good at the other road course, but Sonoma has been tough,” he says.

The 2.52-mile, 11-turn road course hasn’t been kind to Brad, as the statistics show that it’s his least successful track—he has just one Top 10 finish in seven starts. Sonoma is joined by Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the only two tracks where BK doesn’t have a Top 5.

“It is a technical track that requires a lot of finesse and my driving style is probably too aggressive here,” BK says of Sonoma.

However, BK has proven before that luck can be flipped around in The Golden State. Kes entered the other California racetrack, Auto Club Speedway, in 2015 race with some less than stellar numbers. He had never finished better than 18th before he won that 2015 race, and he’s finished in the Top 10 in every Fontana start since including a runner-up finish earlier this season. With that experience to his credit, he knows that a trip to Victory Lane has the ability to build confidence like no other.

Straying from the familiar Miller Lite scheme, Kes & Crew will switch back to Freightliner Elite Support colors. The 2 Crew last ran the scheme in May as they scored a runner-up result at Kansas Speedway.

In his seven career central Californian starts, BK has led just as many laps. While his time at the front has been short, his race experience is fairly high as the Michigan driver has completed all but eight of 772 possible circuits.

While Kes hasn’t found his groove at Sonoma, he certainly has at the Cup circuit’s other road course, Watkins Glen, which is considered by some drivers to be a ‘superspeedway road course.’The slower speed Sonoma never meshed with the 2012 Cup Champion, but he boasts five Top 10 finishes in seven starts at The Glen, including three runner-up finishes and a third-place result last year.

Kes finished 15th a year ago at Sonoma, his third-best finish at the track. But he was happy with the speed of his Ford Fusion his last trip to Wine Country, but he’s hoping that this time he can drive it to its full potential.

“We had better speed than we’ve ever had before, but I just made too many mistakes,” Brad said on last years race.

If the mistakes can be corrected, raw speed can take any car to the top of an ultra-competitive road race.

The 2 Crew will hit the pavement for MENCS qualifying on Saturday at 2:30p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. The main attraction, the Toyota/Save Mart 350, airs on Sunday, June 25 at 3 p.m. ET, also live on FS1.

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