Touring Series News
Keselowski Enters TD Bank 250 With Vermont Team
OXFORD, Me. -- NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski will continue a recent trend of high-profile stock car drivers to enter one of the most famous short track races in North America, as he has announced plans to compete in the Late Model open-competition TD Bank 250 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on July 18.
Keselowski, who drives for Penske Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, will be driving a National Guard Ford owned by Barre’s Kendall Roberts as a teammate to Graniteville driver John Donahue. Roberts fields cars for Donahue on the American-Canadian Tour and at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, and fielded a TD Bank 250 entry for Nationwide Series driver Steven Wallace last year.
“We’re looking forward to Brad coming up and driving the new Ford for us,” Roberts said. “He’s scheduled to test the car this week at Oxford, but we’re waiting on the weather to see if it will be on Wednesday or Friday. Steven’s test was rained out last year and he didn’t have much time in the car before the race, but he still did pretty well; if Brad can get the extra time in the car before the race, it’ll be that much better.”
Roberts said that having a driver with Keselowski’s background � which began in Late Model-type cars on the short tracks of Michigan -- will help come race day. “Brad may be bringing some of his own crew guys to help with setups and stuff like that, but I’m told he’s excellent at giving feedback about the chassis and that will make things easier,” said Roberts.
Donahue finished third in the TD Bank 250 last year, and Roberts feels that the car Keselowski will drive is very similar to Donahue’s primary car, built by noted chassis man Dale Shaw. “The cars are very close,” Roberts said. “You can pretty much take the setup out of one and put it into the other and it’ll be right on.”
Keselowski, a two-time winner of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver award, leads that series' championship standings with two wins, and sits 24th overall in his first full season of Sprint Cup Series racing.
“Throughout the racing world, the TD Bank 250 is well known as one of the premier short track events,” Keselowski said in an Oxford Plains Speedway release. “I am looking forward to seeing if I can come up and pull off a win like Kevin Harvick did in 2008.”
To date, Harvick has been the only superstar guest to win the TD Bank 250, though Matt Kenseth finished third in 2004, and Kyle Busch posted a sixth-place finish in 2005. Other top-level drivers to compete in the event recently have included Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Terry Labonte, Kenny Wallace, Maine native Ricky Craven, and Vermont native Kevin Lepage.
PHOTO: John Donahue (#26) leads the pack in a Kendall Roberts-owned car at Thunder Road in May. He'll be a teammate to NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski at Oxford Plains Speedway next month. (Leif Tillotson photo)