Brad Keselowski is going back to his roots.
The reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will make his 2013 debut in the Camping World Truck Series this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, when he competes in Friday night's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at the 1.5-mile track. Keselowski got his start in the Truck Series driving for a team owned by his family.
A victory in the Truck Series is one of the few career accomplishments lacked by Keselowski, who also has a Nationwide Series title. He's made 54 starts on the circuit with best finish of second, recorded three times, most recently last season at Kentucky. He was also the runner-up last year at Charlotte, where he led 32 laps before Justin Lofton won the race.
Keselowski is vying to join his father, Bob, as a winner on the series, which would make them the first father-son combination to win on the Truck tour. A victory would also make Keselowski the 24th driver to win at least one race in each of NASCAR's three national series.
"A chance to win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series would be an incredible feat," said Keselowski, who will drive a No. 2 Ford fielded by Brad Keselowski Racing, and have Penske Racing Nationwide crew chief Jeremy Bullins working atop the pit box. "It would be great to rewind to the beginning of my career and become the only father-son combination to win in the Truck Series."
The Sprint All-Star Race weekend event will be the fifth this season for the Truck Series, and the first since Matt Crafton won April 20 at Kansas Speedway. By virtue of that victory, Crafton took a 13-point lead in the standings over Johnny Sauter, his teammate at ThorSport Racing, and winner of the season's first two events. Three of the first four races this year have been won by ThorSport, which is based in Sandusky, Ohio.
"Everyone said it can't be done," Crafton said, referring to fielding a team so far from the Charlotte area. "And we're making fools out of all the ones who said it can't be done."
Charlotte begins a busy stretch for the Truck Series, which will compete in three of the next four weeks, with upcoming races also scheduled for Dover and Texas. Crafton and Sauter lead a tight points battle that features six drivers within 30 points of the lead, including Jeb Burton (13 behind), Ryan Blaney (21 behind), Ty Dillon (27 behind), and reigning series champion James Buescher (29 back).
"It's been a great season so far, and it's only getting better," said Burton, son of former Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton, and a rookie who has recorded top-10s in three of his four starts thus far. "We're bringing the same truck from Kansas Speedway, so I know we'll have a competitive machine. Hopefully I can claim my first win."
The entry list for Friday night's event also includes Sprint Cup star Kyle Busch, who will pilot the No. 51 truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Charlotte will be the third start this season for Busch, who was runner-up to Sauter at Daytona, and has 30 career victories on the circuit -- his most recent coming at New Hampshire in September of 2011.
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