K Automotive Hopes To Be The Little Team That Could

By Brody Jones

Let’s face it, here in the United States of America, we all love a good underdog story in the making. For example, the 1980 U.S. hockey team, the movie “Rudy”, and even in terms of racing examples, the sudden rise to fame of the Keselowski family. First, Brad burst onto the scene out of relative obscurity into a full-time Sprint Cup Series ride with Roger Penske. Now, there is a chapter two to the story soon to be unfolding, with perhaps even longer odds of success than Brad had as older brother Brian Keselowski is planning to go for the 2011 Sprint Cup Series Rookie Of The Year honors in the family-owned K Automotive car.
Brian’s odds admittedly might be stacked pretty high against him without any corproate backing to speak of or any known factory support, plus a fleet of old Penske and Gillett-Evernham cars at his disposal, but the Keselowski family wouldn’t have it any other way. They represent something of an old throwback to the family-run operations of yester-year, going up against these huge conglomerations such as Roush-Fenway, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and others. K Automotive is, perhaps, the last bastion of the days of a relative neophyte trying to break into NASCAR out of basically his own family’s garage. But Brian Keselowski and his family are bound and determined to keep plugging away as Brian strives to carve his own niche in the world of NASCAR.
Judging by comparison of last year’s Sprint Cup Rookie Of The Year Kevin Conway, Brian faces a more uphill climb as, for one thing, he doesn’t have any kind of corporate backing from any major companies like Conway had, and for a second thing, he’s, as of the time this article was written, not locked into the field with a guaranteed spot. He doesn’t have the safety nets that Conway had so Keselowski has more to lose by this bold gamble, but the Keselowskis are used to making gambles like this. Brother Brad made the most of his opportunities in the Keith Coleman Racing car & in a one-shot deal with Germain Racing to land a ride with Jr. Motorsports and launch himself into the stratosphere. And Brian, in 60 Nationwide starts in less-than-ideal equipment compared to the factory teams, has one lone top 10 in 2007 at Memphis, but he has made a reputation of getting the most out of having the least.
The K Automotive organization attempted a handful of Cup races in 2010, but didn’t make any races. But with the prospect of the economy taking a toll on the series, with five teams that were in last year’s top 35 (Robby Gordon Motorsports, the #19 & #98 at Richard Petty Motorsports, and the #12 & #77 at Penske Racing) having either closed up shop or greatly scaled back their plans, this could be the best opportunity for Brian Keselowski to make an impact in the Sprint Cup Series.  There is a very good chance that the entry lists at some tracks, at least early in the 2011 season, could be running dangerously low on entries, so Brian could very well make these races and carve his name into the annals as the 2011 Sprint Cup Series Rookie Of The Year.
In closing, one cannot mock a Brian Keselowski for shooting for the moon. The current racing climate represents his best opportunity to do so and in the United States of America, you are encouraged to dream big, so why begrudge Keselowski for simply trying to pursue a child-hood dream? The fact is Brian Keselowski has an opportunity to do what many race fans would sell their soul to do and that is get behind the wheel of a race car at the highest level of NASCAR and against all odds, make the impossible actually possible. To ridicule anyone for following their dreams is simply un-American. If you’re reading and have a child who wants to pursue a career in NASCAR, look at the saga of the Keselowski brothers coming from almost racing obscurity to get to NASCAR’s highest level and use this to encourage them to follow their dreams and never give up.