When Brad Keselowski won his sixth NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega in late April, he tied Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon for the second-most wins at six and inched closer to Dale Sr.’s record 10 wins at the superspeedway. Days after the win, Junior revealed on his podcast the message he delivered to Keselowski about threatening his father’s record. Keselowski has now acknowledged he heard the message loud and clear.
Brad Keselowski captures 6th win at Talladega
Brad Keselowski is a big fan of Talladega. He impressively won his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race there back in 2008 with a part-time ride. Over the next decade, he made it to victory lane four more times.
After capturing his last victory in 2017, the Penske Racing driver encountered what, by his standards, is a drought. He didn’t win another race for three seasons. His best finish was 13th place in 2019.
This year, Keselowski didn’t lead a single lap the entire race until the most important one — the last one. The victory at Talladega propelled him into elite company in terms of wins at the track, tying him at six with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon for second all-time but still leaving him four behind Dale Sr.’s mark of 10.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t hide feelings with Keselowski about threatening his dad’s record
When Keselowski crossed the finish line and won his sixth Talladega trophy, Dale Earnhardt Jr. watched with great interest. On a recent “Ask Jr.” segment of the Dale Jr. Download, he admitted he contacted Keselowski after the win and delivered a special message.
“I text Brad after the race, and I said you can tie my victories at Talladega and you can even beat them by going and winning next year. But do not tie or beat my dad’s 10 victories. Right now, not too much of a threat. But Brad’s got some years left, so he could definitely get up there and get within reach of Dad. I want Dad, any of his records to stand, so I’m always pulling for that.”
Brad Keselowski heard Earnhardt’s message loud and clear
A week later, Keselowski admitted he heard from Earnhardt and it was a one-sided discussion.
“It wasn’t much of a conversation,” Keselowski said in a call with reporters. “I think it was a text with a half-smiling emoji on it. Which, I’m sure, means that he thought it was funny but also meant it.”
The 2012 Cup Series champion said he is honored to be in the same conversation with both Earnhardts and Gordon, but he’s not concerned about topping Senior’s mark anytime soon:
“With respect to that, I never kind of dreamed of being on a list with those guys. It’s become a reality that I’m really proud of. Long ways to go to ever catch Dale. Still to be second on a list behind him, it’s cool. I’m going to keep pushing to win more races there, but a long, long way from Dale’s record.”
Keselowski heard Earnhardt’s message loud and clear. But he’s a competitor. As much respect as he has for both Earnhardts, nothing will deter him from winning any Cup Series race.
If anything, Junior’s comments might have motivated him even more to win in the future.