Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) announced today that the team owned by the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion will field two full-time entries in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) for the 2013 season.
The move to two full-time teams comes in the organization's sixth season in the Series. Similar to the Penske Racing team for which Keselowski drives in the NSCS and NASCAR Nationwide Series, 2013 will see BKR take to the track in the Ford camp. 2012 was a banner year for BKR, which claimed its first victory behind the skillful driving of Penske Racing development driver Ryan Blaney, who became the youngest winner in NCWTS history at Iowa Speedway in September.
Michigan-based Cooper Standard, a leading global supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry, has enhanced its 2011 and 2012 involvement with BKR and will serve as the primary partner on the No. 29 Ford for the entire 2013 season.
Blaney will be behind the wheel for the full schedule with the team competing for both the NCWTS drivers' and owners' championships. The No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford team will be led once again by veteran crew chief, Doug Randolph.
"We are excited to partner with Brad Keselowski and the BKR team again for the 2013 season," said Keith Stephenson, Chief Operating Officer, Cooper Standard. "Racing has proven to be a useful business tool for our company with both customers and employees and continues to help build the Cooper Standard Brand."
Cequent Consumer Products and Cequent Performance Products (Cequent Group), leading designers, manufacturers, and marketers of a broad range of vehicle and trailer products among other automotive products, have also increased their 2013 BKR program and will be the primary partner on the No. 19 BKR Ford for 15 races split between the two companies.
The No. 19 entry will feature various Cequent Group brands and products throughout the season including Draw-Tite, Reese Towpower, Reese Towpower Carbon Forged, Bulldog, and Harper. The No. 19 BKR Ford, led by new crew chief Chad Kendrick, will have multiple drivers as it competes for the 2013 NCWTS owners' championship.
Keselowski and his NSCS Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, are scheduled to run multiple races. Blaney's father, NSCS veteran and World of Outlaws champion Dave Blaney, will race the No. 19 in the NCWTS' first ever dirt race at Eldora Speedway on July 24th.
"The Cequent Performance team and its Draw-Tite®, Reese®, and Bulldog® brands are proud to be a part of the 2013 BKR racing season and their move to Ford trucks," said Tom Benson, President, Cequent Performance Products. "It is great to be able to share in the excitement that professional motorsports brings our customers. We are looking forward to being trackside to witness the determination and positive attitude that Brad and his team show their fans in the year ahead."
"Cequent Consumer is excited to show race fans a few different logos on our trucks this year including Carbon Forged from Reese Towpower, which is a new weld-free ball mount with increased towing capacity, in addition our new cleaning tool brand, Harper and of course the Reese Towpower truck," said John Aleva, President Cequent Consumer Products. "Kicking off race season with a winner like Brad Keselowski is good for all of our brands as race fans get to know our products through this incredible sport."
BKR also welcomes Florida native Ross Chastain to its stable of drivers for 15 races in the No. 19 Ford. Chastain will fly the Melon 1 primary partnership colors to the No. 19 Truck for five (5) of his 15 races with BKR. The specific races for Keselowski, Logano, and Chastain will be announced at a later date.
"Melon 1 is proud to continue our support of Ross Chastain with his new team at Brad Keselowski Racing," said John Lapide, President, Melon 1. "Ross has generated great awareness of the healthy benefits and great taste of watermelons, while promoting the whole watermelon industry. We look forward to watching the number 19 truck run for the owners' championship."
"I couldn't be more pleased with the way 2013 is shaping up for BKR," said Keselowski. "With enhanced support from our long time returning partners, Cooper Standard and Cequent Group, we are poised for a successful season. We have been able to retain and attract top notch personnel. The crew chiefs, drivers, and team members all put their hearts into this organization. Hard work equals results, and I am proud of each and every teammate's passion for excellence. Last season was a huge stepping stone for the organization as we claimed our first victory. We are looking forward to building on last year's success this season."
Blaney and Chastain will represent BKR on the track for the 2013 season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 22nd.