Keselowski adjusts to new role outside of the racecar
Earlier this year, the Rochester Hills native said that if it would help his race team, he would step out of the driver’s seat.
Now, #26 team owner Keselowski has done just that, putting Michael McDowell in the K Automotive car for the past few weeks, with solid results.
This week is a homecoming for the older brother of Brad Keselowski, and his small, underfunded team has come to MIS with three cars attempting to qualify. McDowell will drive the #26, Dennis Setzer will drive the #96, and Willie Allen will drive the #92, though the #92 and #96 will likely fall in the start-and-park category, as they help pay the bills for the #26 car.
“We’re definitely a small team, but we’re really busy,” Brian said Friday at MIS.
He said that at Michigan, his home track, he has no shortage of help.
“I have a lot of people come and volunteer, especially in the Michigan area. I’m going to end up having a hundred people here,” he half-joked.
He said he’d love to be in the #26 car, but is content to serve as crew chief for the time being. The goal, he said is a better race team.
“I wish I could be in the car right now, it just wasn’t in the cards to do it. I’m trying to get our stuff better before I get back in the race car. We found some things we like and Michael has been a great help,” he said.
There are much bigger concerns than a bruised ego for a small team like K Automotive, where every penny counts.
“If you wreck the car this week, you may not race next week,” Brian said.
That’s why the move to put McDowell in the car came.
“Why don’t we try something different?” Brian said, explaining his thought process. “Let me get out and put someone of Michael’s caliber in the car and maybe we can find something we’re missing. It was really, really tough putting myself out of the racecar. But I need the car in thes hwo or it doesn’t matter at all.”
The goals of making all the races and staying in the top-30 all year have not been fully met, but Keselowski said the team is “75 percent” there.
“It’s a tough situation. You have to worry about money, equpment, driving. I think if we continue on the way we’ve been running, we’ll be fine. Then all I’ve got to really worry about is racing one car and qualifying another.