News & Media

Behind the Wheel: Keselowski on Indy, racing for his country

July 26, 2012, Brad Keselowski, Special to NASCAR.COM,

With the 2012 Summer Olympics just around the corner I started thinking: Would racing -- stock-car or open-wheel -- make for a good Olympic sport? There would be no shortage of countries represented. There are outstanding drivers from the USA, Canada, Brazil, Great Britain and Italy, to name a few. Near London, the site of this year's Games, there are two beautiful road courses at Silverstone and Donington Park, just as there are world-class facilities all around the world. Race car drivers are proud of where they are from, whether that is their home state or their home country. That's why many of us put our flags beside the name above the driver-side window. We would be fiercely competitive to represent our country in a true, international race for an Olympic gold medal.

What do you guys think?

Swim fan

While Brad Keselowski might dream of driving for his country, one Olympic swimmer dreams of joining the NASCAR ranks once he climbs out of the competitive pool.

This weekend we head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Brickyard. It's going to be a huge weekend for fans of NASCAR. Not only is the Brickyard 400 one of our crown-jewel races, we are also debuting the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the "big track" for the first time in history. For the entire existence of the Nationwide Series, we have competed at the "little track," Lucas Oil Raceway Park. I was fortunate enough to win the last race there last season. Hopefully we can take the Discount Tire Dodge Challenger to Victory Lane in the first event at the Brickyard.

Any win at Indianapolis is big for Mr. Penske and all of Penske Racing. The Miller Lite Dodge Charger, I really believe, is going to be good enough to get this big prize this weekend. I only have two starts at the track, but being from the Midwest I know how important that track is to this part of the country. It's funny because my dad never dreamed of being able to run stock cars on the same surface as A.J. Foyt and Johnny Rutherford when he was growing up. But thanks to the efforts of IMS and NASCAR to take the Cup Series there in 1994, I grew up dreaming of exactly that.

As I'm sure many of you have noticed the points are pretty tight toward the back half of the top 10. I mean, I finished fifth at New Hampshire and lost a spot! These next few weeks are critical, for sure. We're in good shape with our three wins, but we want to get a couple more before the Chase starts and we're confident we can do that. We hit a serious stride right about this time last year and a lot of hard work by everyone here at Penske Racing has worked to make our cars even better.

Another difference from last year, hopefully, will be the health of my ankle. Yes, it has been almost one year since my wreck at Road Atlanta. I don't get asked as much as I used to, but people still want to know how the ankle is doing. I can honestly say that my ankle is stronger now than before the accident so I don't plan on getting nostalgic and breaking it again.

Unfortunately we are on the backside of the summer months, but I promise you the racing on the track is just starting to heat up. The wild-card fight will definitely be exciting, possibly going right down to the wire at Richmond. We're only seven races from the Chase. A lot can still happen.

Behind the Wheel with Brad Keselowski runs once a month on NASCAR.COM as he shares his experiences throughout the season, both at and away from the track. Follow him on Twitter at @keselowski. The opinions expressed are solely those of Keselowski.