Brad Keselowski Named to NASCAR's '75 Greatest Drivers' List
In addition to winning 35 races in Cup, 39 in Xfinity, and one in the Truck Series, Brad Keselowski has been a Truck Series owner and is now a driver/owner at Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Racing.
His 75 combined victories across three series and two championships will certainly be enough to get him in the NASCAR Hall of Fame within the next few years.
He won at least one Cup Series race a year for 10 years with Penske, in Dodges and Fords.
NASCAR is in the process of adding 25 names to its “all-time” list as part of its 75th anniversary celebration. It is expected to name five drivers per week—most likely one per weekday—in the five weeks ending with the May 14th Goodyear 400 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on May 14.
The newest group among the sport’s greatest drivers is being selected by a committee comprised of former drivers, team owners, industry personnel, NASCAR executives, and current and former media members. All 75—the original 50 class named 25 years ago and the new 25—will be recognized during Goodyear 400 pre-race ceremonies.
In 1998, during its 50th anniversary season, NASCAR unveiled what it considered its 50 greatest drivers. The list included most of the stars from the organization’s earliest years, many of whom eventually would find their way into the NASCAR Hall of Fame when it opened in 2010.
As NASCAR celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1998, company president Bill France called that group “the men who define the competition of our sport.” He added, “Their accomplishments are the benchmark that much of our history is identified by. Honoring them in this way, at the beginning of the NASCAR 50th anniversary celebration, is one way of showing our true appreciation for them and the invaluable contribution they have given over the past 50 years. These are the drivers who made and make NASCAR fans stand on their feet and cheer. These are the drivers who are NASCAR history.”
The original “50 Greatest Drivers” were from the Modified, Xfinity Series, and Cup Series. The Craftsman Truck Series was too young to have had any “greatest drivers,” but that’s expected to change with this new group.
Today's Addition: Brad Keselowski
Like grandfather and father, like son. In this case, NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski became a stock car star after growing up around his grandfather, motorcycle racer and stock car team owner John Keselowski, and his father, the late Bob Keselowski, a 24-time ARCA winner and 1989 Menard Series champion. The younger “Kes” learned well as evidenced by his Wednesday recognition as one of NASCAR’s “75 Greatest Drivers” during the organization’s 75th anniversary celebration.
“Bad Brad” came up through the ranks, advancing from ARCA through NASCAR’s lower series en route Cup, where he made a few starts for Hendrick Motorsports in 2009. He also raced briefly for James Finch, team owner for his 2009 breakthrough victory at Talladega. Brad then spent parts of 13 consecutive seasons with Hall of Fame owner Roger Penske, getting his other 34 victories and the 2012 Cup title with The Captain.
In addition to winning 35 races in Cup, 39 in Xfinity, and one in the Truck Series, Brad has been a Truck Series owner and is now a driver/owner at Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Racing. His 75 combined victories across three series and two championships will certainly be enough to get him in the NASCAR Hall of Fame within the next few years.
His early NASCAR success came with JR Motorsports in Xfinity beginning in 2008. He got six of his 39 Xfinity victories with owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the other 33 (and the 2010 title) with Team Penske. Overall, his Cup record shows six Talladega victories, three each at Bristol, Las Vegas, Kentucky, two each at Kansas City, Chicago, Charlotte, Loudon, Richmond, Atlanta, and Martinsville. He’s also won at Pocono, Dover, Fontana, Daytona Beach, Darlington, and Indianapolis.
He won at least one Cup Series race a year for 10 years with Penske, in Dodges and Fords. With an eye toward someday being a Cup team owner, he left Penske after 2021 to partner with Jack Roush and John Henry of the Fenway Group to form RFK Racing. The two-car organization fields Fords for Keselowski and Chris Buescher, winner of last fall’s Bristol night race. Keselowski’s last Cup victory was with Team Penske at Talladega in the spring of 2021.
NASCAR'S 50 Greatest Drivers
Selected in 1998
The Next 25
Selected in 2023
(To be released one per weekday by NASCAR, in no particular order.)
51, Tony Stewart
52, Kasey Kahne
53, Mike Stefanik
54, Randy Lajoie
55, Kyle Larson
56, Greg Biffle
57, Sterling Marlin
58, Ryan Newman
59, Chase Elliott
60, Ron Hornaday
61, Jeff Burton
62, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
63, Bobby Labonte
64, Martin Truex Jr.
65, Brad Keselowski
66, Expected to be announced May 4