When Badgroove.com was presented with an opportunity to meet with one of NASCAR’s most controversial drivers and talk to him about the sport that he is so passionate about, we welcomed the opportunity. Little did we know that we would get to take part in one of the coolest sponsor promotions for fans that I have heard of in quite some time. Early Friday, Miller Lite sent some reps out to talk to fans in the campground and gauge their interest in Miller and Coors. The reps promised they would return with some free beer later that evening, but what they didn’t know was that the beer would be delivered by the driver of the Miller Lite Dodge, Brad Keselowski. Badgroove got to ride along for the surprise deliveries and it was a blast.
In total we surprised three lucky camp sites and Brad met with numerous fans, some stunned, some amorous, but most impressed and excited to get a chance to talk to the driver, get some free beer and a memory that will surely, last a lifetime.
At the first site, as Brad held court in the center of the make-shift camper quad, one older man, approached and whispered with what can only be described as both awe and disbelief, “Is that Brad Keselowski?” Yes, sir, it is. Things heated up at the second site, when an amorous and adoring lady took a liking to Mr. Keselowski and wanted to show him that “rubbing is racing”, but the last site was the ultimate, as fans from other camp sites poured in to see what was going on and get a chance to talk to Brad and take part in this unique experience. The excitement level was off the charts and even as the cart pulled away, fans continued to run over asking for a picture. Brad was more than accommodating to everyone and impressed me with just how personable and open he truly is with the fans.
On the way back from the event, we did indeed get more than a few minutes to talk with Brad and what I learned is that this young man is in the right profession. His love of the sport comes through in every answer he gives, and even more impressive to me was how he described his competitors. Read for yourself and I think you, too, will be impressed by a driver that is sure to make a lasting mark in NASCAR.
Misty: Tell us a little bit about what you thought about doing this [the Miller Lite promotion for the fans]?
Brad: Well, it’s fun you know. This is like the grass roots of the sport. People that come out to races and camp out, just hang out and enjoy it as a weekend. Have some fun with the guys, or girls, the family and watch a great race, ya know? Racing has a huge allure to it because of just the campground lifestyle, so it’s great to kinda rejoin it and have some fun with it.
Misty: You get to see some fans and be a part of it?
Brad: Absolutely! The fans are the life blood of our sport, without them we are nothing.
Misty: You have the new sponsor, new number this year. We heard Kurt say earlier that for him it’s a whole new vibe this season. Do you feel the same way?
Brad: Oh yeah, absolutely! Lots of changes, and I think they are mostly good (chuckle). So hopefully we will continue to pick up on the performance side. I think that is the heart of the sport and uh, from there we will see where it goes, but I feel good about everything and the way we are going, and we will just kinda play it one day at a time.
Misty: Absolutely, and we heard a lot today in the media center about how drivers are surprised at how aggressive it has gotten in just the early part of the season, and early on in the races. What do you attribute that to?
Brad: We are all just ready to race. No testing, no off season, we are all just hungry. The competition level is unprecedented. You know, there are so many drivers, the same age, the same talent level, that the only way you are really going to make a mark in this sport is by being extremely aggressive, because you are not going to out talent anyone. Ya know, you are not going to out work them. You just have to be more aggressive, and make smarter decisions. So that is really, really tough and when people get really aggressive that is when accidents happen.
Misty: We have seen the slogan on the back of the car, “Have At It Brad”…
Brad: Yeah, yeah (laughs) that was cool, wasn’t it?
Misty: Yeah, definitely. So it sounds like that is a characteristic you are willing to embrace and run with?
Brad: It’s a core, uh, it’s part of the core of the sport…the whole boys have it and basically we kinda got away from it the last few years and now we are kinda coming back to it, and I think it is starting to pay dividends and I think the fans are starting to recognize just how fun racing is.
Misty: Yeah, that was my next question; do you think the fans like this a lot more?
Brad: I think so; I like it a lot more. Hell, a couple years ago I wouldn’t even watch one of our races and now I watch ‘em all. So, that’s cool.
Misty: Alright, and last question is what would you want our readers, or NASCAR fans in general, to know about you?
Brad: Oooh… what would I want them to know about me…uh, well…you know basically that the biggest thing and the message that I try to get across whether verbally or non verbally is that I am all in to the sport, I eat it, drink it, sleep it, and leave everything there is on the table on the race track, and uh, that is what I am all about. That’s why I love this sport; it has that ability to get that out in me. And sometimes different people might disagree with different things I have done, but they are all done in the name of the sport and trying to honor it and the opportunity that was given to me.
Misty: Alright, I actually lied ’cause I have one more question for you, what’s your primary goal this season?
Brad: Just continue to get better, and everything I do, everything we do as a team affects the racing.
Misty: Alright, well thank you very much.
Brad: You got it!