Brad Keselowski entered the playoff media availability with his trademark calm demeanor and a smile. His face was low, and he was sitting back comfortably in his chair with Apple Airpods in his ears as members of NASCAR's media interviewed him about his playoff chances.
He was confident in his season and remained loyal to Team Penske. Despite having only one win combined between himself and previous cup champion and teammate Joey Logano in 2021, their younger teammate Ryan Blaney has been a three time winner this season. Brad emphasized his support of Blaney, stating ''He is on a wave of momentum and I am happy for him."
He continued. “No, it doesn’t particularly stand out to me. I’m happy for him. I think Ryan has done an excellent job of putting himself in good positions and then executing around that. He’s certainly riding a wave of momentum that I think everyone should be proud of. I’m happy for him, so I don’t know if it particularly impacts me at all.” While many may have felt that Brad's largest playoff concern was his transition to Roush Racing in 2022, he stated that it was the lack of success for Ford at the 550HP race tracks. "[The] Combination of off-season rules enforcement changes and part freezes completely neutered us." This led to another compliment of his teammate Blaney and the #12 team, who Keselowski states is the only team currently competing for wins on those tracks.
Off-topic to the playoffs, Brad who is known as one of the most patriotic members of the sport was asked about the upcoming 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Initially, and nearly emotionally, Brad questioned if it has already been 20 years. “I was 17. I was a high school senior and it was a very interesting day to say the least, a sad day in a lot of ways. It was one I’ll never forget, that’s for sure. It’s hard to believe that was 20 years ago. When you first said that I said, ‘No, that’s wrong,’ but you’re right, it’s 20 years ago. It’s been a whirlwind for sure since then with all the different things that are going on worldwide, but it was a tough day for sure.”
Brad was asked unable to comment on if #2 team is prepared to win the 2021 title. “I think there are aspects of the team that have historically shown some strengths, but it’s really irrelevant to what actually happens in the future in my mind, so I have no idea. I know that I’m gonna do all that I can to execute it and to put ourselves in a position to make the most of whatever we have at the racetrack on any given day, but I can’t quantify that to say that we’re here or we’re there. There’s just too many pieces outside of my control.”
To sum up his season in one interview would be a challenge, but he was more than happy to finish his presser with a laugh, joking that he would stay for the day instead of the other driver's usual appearances.