When Brad Keselowski limped into Victory Lane at Pocono
Brad Keselowski will start today’s rain-delayed Axalta We Paint Winners 400 (FS1, noon ET) from the pole at Pocono Raceway, where he’ll be flanked by his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano.
Both Keselowski and Logano have won at Pocono before and they certainly will be among the favorites again today.
But regardless of whether he wins this afternoon or finishes 40th,, Keselowski already has secured a prominent place on the history of th Tricky Triangle.
In August 2011 at Pocono Raceway, when his career was still in its early stages, Keselowski did something that he’d only done twice in 73 prior attempts: Win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
And he did it with one broken ankle, one cut ankle, myriad bruises and bangs, and a right hand that was cut and blistered.
Keselowski’s Penske Racing Dodge had a mechanical failure four days earlier at Road Atlanta, where he hit a concrete wall head on at 100 miles per hour.
The impact broke Keselowski’s left ankle and left it grotesquely swollen and discolored. The crash also left the driver bruised and sore all over his body.
And yet when race day rolled around, Keselowski refused to get out of his car and yield to a replacement driver.
Keselowski somehow went out and won at Pocono, a track where the left foot is busy all race long shifting and braking.
It was a true display of guts.
After the race, Keselowski was in so much pain he could barely life the trophy. But when the race was on the line, the Michigan native came up huge at exactly the right time.
"I came here to win," he said after his improbable victory. "When you let the pain get into your head that far that you don’t believe you can win anymore, you’ll never win. And I woke up this morning feeling like we could win the race. … If you don’t feel that way, you’re never going to win at anything you do."