By Michael Guzman
Homestead, FL – After a decade of competition and over 300 total starts, Brad Keselowski Racing closed its doors in victory lane as Chase Briscoe collected the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway to close the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.
As Christopher Bell collected his championship trophy over Austin Cindric, BKR’s bittersweet finale came to a close with Briscoe posting his first career victory and being named Rookie of the Year.
“To finish out that era on a win is massive, and I’m so excited, excited to get third in the championship after the climb we’ve had,” Cindric said after the race. “We’ve scratched and clawed and fought our way up and did the same thing tonight…Obviously I’m racing the best in the business, and I’ve still got a lot to learn. Had a lot of fun tonight. First time I’ve had to pedal a car in a mile-and-a-half. I’ve got a few more things to put in the memory bank, and hopefully this performance will help me solidify some stuff for next year.”
While Cindric remained coy about his 2018 plans (Cindric is the son of Team Penske president Tim Cindric and made his Xfinity Series debut for Penske earlier this year), Briscoe opened up and teased that his 2018 affiliation may not be a secret for much longer.
“I think I’m going to be okay for next year,” Briscoe said confidently after the season finale. “I think we’re going to have announcements maybe even this weekend, so looking forward to obviously going there next year and seeing what we can do.”
For over 15 minutes following the race, Keselowski reminisced on not only past drivers such as Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, and Daniel Hemric, but former crew members who had used his team as a stepping stone. Using the metaphor of an elevator – sending it back down now that he felt he had made it to the top – Keselowski took solace in what he had built, the people he brought in, and how the success of his inexperienced drivers had not only culminated in a championship chance, but a trip to victory lane.
It may not have been quite a storybook ending for this era of Brad Keselowski Racing; but it also may not be the final chapter.
“I don’t think my days of being a team owner are over,” Keselowski added. “They’re just maybe taking a little break until the right situation finds me. The right situation didn’t exist for 2018, but it might come back around the corner sometime soon, and when that day happens, this will be the last race that we ran, and it’ll be tough to beat it, I can tell you that… I can tell you if the right scenario unfolds that I would do just that, I would come back.”