Keselowski proves himself a gamer at Atlanta

Keselowski beats the bug, Truex

Brad Keselowski

Sometimes it takes not feeling in tip-top shape to get you to perform at your very best.

Such was the case for Brad Keselowski in last year’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Battling a stomach virus that had him on IV fluids all week, the 36-year-old Michigander managed to pull himself out of bed for the Sunday race on the 1.5-mile oval, where he took the lead with 33 laps to go in the final stage after Penske teammate Joey Logano retired from the race with a loose wheel.

As it turns out it was a lead he would not surrender, though a hard-charging Martin Truex Jr. did make things interesting in the closing laps. In taking the checkered flag ahead of Truex, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer, the 2012 Cup Series champion would ring up his 28th career Cup victory, his 60th overall with Team Penske and his second triumph at Atlanta.

After doing his customary burnout on Victory Lane, Keselowski gave credit where credit was due.

“I have to give a lot of credit … to my wife; she was sick just like I was,” he said, “and she took great care of me along with everybody at the care center. I couldn’t be here today without them.”

A presumably healthy Keselowski will defend his title from a field including the above drivers plus Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson when the 2020 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 fires up at the fanless AMS Sunday, June 7, on Fox.

Full name: Brad Aaron Keselowski

Birth date: Feb. 12, 1984

Birthplace: Rochester Hills, Mich.

Height/Weight: 5 feet 10 inches/177 pounds

Car: Ford Mustang

No.: 2

Owner: Team Penske

Honors and achievements: Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series championship (2010); Cup Series championship (2012); Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver (2008-10); Cup record: 30 wins; 116 top-five finishes; 188 top-10 finishes; 17 poles

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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