Brad Keselowski’s winning ways, overcoming a broken ankle and other injuries, helped him win the voting as the third quarter DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2011.
In the last seven NASCAR Sprint Cup races, in the quarter ending at Richmond International Raceway, he recorded two wins, four top-fives and seven top-12 finishes. And those two wins were earned within days of recovering from a broken ankle at a test session.
Adding those victories to a previous one and an 11th place overall finish in NASCAR’s regular season Keselowski earned a wild card spot for his first Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“It's nice to be recognized when you have put in a lot of hard work, and this No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team has worked as hard as any team that I've been around. The driver puts in 5 percent of the effort, but they get 95 percent of the credit. The credit should go to Paul Wolfe and everyone on this team that didn't settle for how we ran
earlier in the year. As a result we now have three wins, a spot in the Chase for the Championship and the third quarter DRIVER OF THE YEAR award.”
Barry Schmoyer, President of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR Foundation, said “I have seen many talented drivers and drivers who have driven in pain or illness. Brad’s third quarter results, after his injury, show what a winner he is - in attitude as well as - on the track.”
In the voting Keselowski took ten first-place ballots and totaled 117 points according to the DRIVER OF THE YEAR points system. Will Power, a Penske Racing teammate in the IndyCar series, had five first place votes and garnered 108 points.
This was the first time that the same team owner (Roger Penske) had two drivers from different series finishing one-two.
"Wow, to have Penske Racing finish one-two in the third quarter DRIVER OF THE YEAR award voting is a pretty special feat for everyone back at the shop,” Keselowski added. Penske Racing prepares both its NASCAR and IndyCar teams in the same facilities.
Kyle Busch the first quarter 2011 DRIVER OF THE YEAR took two first place votes and was third with a total of 67 points.
Greg Anderson, the 2003 DRIVER OF THE YEAR from the NHRA, and Kevin Harvick, from NASCAR, also received first-place votes.
A total of 18 drivers scored points in the third quarter voting.
In its’ 45th year, the DRIVER OF THE YEAR title is unique. A panel of 21 leading journalists from across the U.S. determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Keselowski will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at the Sylvania 300 weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Keselowski said the big job is still to be done “It's an honor to accept this award on behalf of Penske Racing and everyone on this team. We're not finished here. We want to be the team holding the trophy after Homestead."
President of the DRIVER OF THE YEAR Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.
Further information on the award may be obtained from DRIVER OF THE YEAR Foundation, PO Box 49827, Sarasota, Florida 34230 or from (941) 379-2318 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org