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Keselowski’s Heart Not Confined To Racing

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, March 15 2014

Brad Keselowski put his heart on display at Bristol on Friday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Gregg Ellman)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

If you haven’t read Brad Keselowski’s March 12 blog on his Website –  – I encourage you to do so. His lawyers and agents told him not to write it, but his heart told him he should. He followed his heart. And it’s an emotional commentary that provides a tremendous amount of insight into Brad Keselowski the man.

Entitled “The Meaning of Winning”, Keselowski talks about a friend who seemed to be on the correct career path, then lost his job and could never recover from the downward spiral.

“I think it’s important to show personal stories,” Keselowski said after qualifying second for Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. “I wasn’t exactly sure how it would go, but it’s been positive.”

Keselowski noted it was a story that fell through the cracks last year and at the time he was glad it did. However, after a little bit of time passed, Keselowski realized it was important to share it and possibly help others with it.

“It took me a while to get to a spot personally where I could make that happen and I was afraid to share it because of the negative ramifications it might have on my team from having to deal with media that might have pointed at that for any lack of success we had last year,” Keselowski said. “I felt that all kind of just go away instantly as soon as we won the

Brad Keswlowski just has to follow his heart sometimes. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Christa L Thomas)

race last weekend on the Cup side. That put me in a really strong position to share it. I hadn’t really planned on it. It’s just one of those things that kind of happened and it felt right to me. I think sometimes you’ve got to follow your heart and my heart said that was the right thing to do.”

If that last statement surprises you, then you don’t really know or understand Brad Keselowski. Yes, he is bluntly honest, and at times that has gotten him in trouble, but thank goodness he is because it certainly is refreshing. You always know where you stand with him and that’s another positive character trait.

A couple of years ago at Bristol I had the opportunity to gain insight into the man who sometimes listens to his heart. I’m sure you’ve heard about Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation, but if you haven’t you need to learn about it. It provides a great service to disabled veterans and when he carries the American flag with him during his victory celebration the patriotic Keselowski is paying homage to all veterans.

That Sunday morning after the August night race two years ago Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe gave rides in Sprint Cup cars prepared for the event to disabled veterans and their families. One of the men had lost both legs and both arms. It wasn’t a media event. Keselowski ate lunch with the veterans, had a question and answer session with them and then provided them with autographed gifts. He devoted at least four hours to those veterans and their families.

Now fast forward to the present. Friday afternoon Keselowski said the positive response he had received from fans and those in the garage over this week’s blog had “really meant a lot to me” and it was something “I’ll cherish forever.”

“There are a lot of people in this garage who have gone through similar struggles that I have and similar struggles to the individual in the story (or) to them or friends or people they know,” Keselowski said. “So I think it’s a touching point for them that doesn’t get covered and doesn’t necessarily receive the attention that sometimes it deserves … I was glad in some small way to play homage to that.”

And that comes from a man who sometimes listens to his heart.

– Deb Williams can be reached at dwilliams@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, March 15 2014
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