Some heavy hitters' knocking on Brad Keselowski';s door

Oct 17 2009 - 10:02pm

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(The Associated Press) Brad Keselowski (right) talks to team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left) duringa  news conference at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Friday.
(The Associated Press) Brad Keselowski (right) talks to team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left) duringa  news conference at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Friday.

CONCORD, N.C. -- Brad Keselowski is attracting the kind of attention he needs.

Keselowski, who will drive full-time in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series next season for Penske Racing, said he does not have a crew chief for either series but both of his teams are generating a lot of interest.

"We have a large influx of interest from the whole (Richard Petty Motorsports) group," Keselowski said.

". . . The moment I signed to do this deal, one of gauges of success for me and for the team was who wanted to come with us. And although no one from Hendrick will be following me, nobody from JR Motorsports can follow me--that's part of my deal--it's interesting to see what people have come to us.

"It's been some real heavy hitters. It's an awesome feeling. It's cool to see that."

RPM is attempting to merge with Yates Raving that could result in the loss of upwards of 75 employees.

Keselowski has done some work with Penske, participating in a tire test at Daytona Beach, Fla.

"It was very, very preliminary. We had three or four people from the shop who work on the interior of the car," he said. "We really spent two days ... getting comfortable in the car.

"Everything is different. It's like going to a European car after driving Chevrolets. I couldn't believe they were this different, but they are."

Toyota proud of 'freshman class'

Lee White, president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development, said the manufacturer is extremely proud of the improvement in the teams of Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull Racing.

Red Bull placed its first driver in the Chase for the Sprint Cup this season as Brian Vickers was the 12th and final driver to make the field. MWR won its first Cup race with David Reutimann, who also came close to making the Chase.

"Last year the most improved group was the Red Bull group. The Waltrip guys, starting from absolute scratch without a marquee driver like a Tony Stewart, are now attracting the better and better people," said White.

"We are also learning as well. We weren't the best guys by any stretch of the imagination when we started three years ago. We've evolved and learned."

California rating best yet

ABC's live coverage of Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., earned a national rating of 3.6, the highest this season in four Chase races. The telecast averaged 5,952,978 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

There are no direct comparisons to 2008 as the California race had been run Labor Day weekend and aired on ESPN. ESPN2's live telecast of the Nationwide race at Fontana earned a 1.1 rating.

Foyt, Evernham lead another induction

The N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville inducted legendary driver and seven-time Indy car champion A.J. Foyt during a ceremony this week. Former championship crew chief and team owner Ray Evernham was named the winner of the Snap-On Golden Wrench Award.

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