Keselowski hits Detroit events to promote Quicken Loans 400

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski returned home to Michigan on Thursday, attending several events throughout Detroit to promote the June 14 Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

The day began at Detroit Lions’ OTA workout. Keselowski is a long-time Lions fan, having grown up in Rochester Hills, about 25 miles north of Detroit.

While speaking with head coach Jim Caldwell and wide receiver Golden Tate at the Lions’ practice facility in Allen Park, Tate pointed to the 2015 red Ford Mustang GT pace car parked near the practice field for Keselowski’s visit.

“If you don’t want that car, I’ll take it,” Tate, a NASCAR fan, told Keselowski.

So Keselowski offered Tate an incentive to win the Super Bowl.

“Just go out and win the Super Bowl, and I’ll tell Mr. Ford (William Clay Ford Jr., vice-chairman of the Lions and vice-chairman of Ford Motor Co.) to give it to you,” Keselowski challenged.

The former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Keselowski has connections that could help him make good on his offer to Tate. Keselowski drives the storied No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion for Team Penske, and owns Brad Keselowski Racing, which fields two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams, both Fords.

During practice, Keselowski met with several players, including tight end Jordan Thompson, who reminded him that his Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano visited Lions OTA last year – and then went on to win the Daytona 500.

“We must bring good luck,” Thompson said.

“I’ll take it,” Keselowski replied.

Following the Lions workout, Keselowski attended a Detroit Tigers pre-game for some media. The Tigers played host to the Oakland A’s.

Afterward, Keselowski traveled downtown and challenged Quicken Loans grand marshal Mark Dantonio, head coach for Michigan State University, and several Quicken Loans employees to race him in an iRacing simulator. Quicken Loans headquarters is in downtown Detroit.

Keselowski had the best time on the racing simulator. But Dantonio hung in there – sorta. He crashed.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like that,” Dantonio said. “The concentration you need to have just to go three laps, let alone 200, is amazing.

“You get a unique appreciation for what NASCAR drivers are doing because it’s an unbelievable experience to do that real-time, real-place. It’s special time, special place, special people doing it.”