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Keselowskis thrilled, can hardly believe it

Brad Keselowski's hair-raising victory in the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday shocked even his father, Bob, his former team owner when Brad drove for K Automotive Motorsports in 2004-06 in the then-Craftsma...

Brad Keselowski's hair-raising victory in the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday shocked even his father, Bob, his former team owner when Brad drove for K Automotive Motorsports in 2004-06 in the then-Craftsman Truck Series.

As for Kay Keselowski, his mother, she couldn't contain herself as she and eldest son Brian watched Brad duke it out on TV with Carl Edwards down the stretch on the fiercely fast, 2.6-mile tri-oval in Alabama from her home in Rochester Hills, Mich.

"I screamed out, 'Oh, my God!' " Kay said Monday. "I saw Carl's car in the fence. Brian turned to me. 'By the way, Mom, Brad just won,' he said. I think I yelled something like 'Holy crap!' "

Keselowski, 25, who cut his teeth racing at Auto City and Dixie Speedways in Michigan, and Edwards had hooked up on the final lap at Talladega in a bold effort to run down the leaders, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

But with 400 yards remaining, all bets were off as Keselowski, driving the No. 09 Chevrolet for James Finch, and Edwards, the Roush Fenway Racing ace, went door-to-door in a battle to the stripe.

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Edwards threw two blocks, but Keselowski - making only his fifth Cup start _ refused to go below the out-of-bounds yellow line . With Keselowski holding his ground, the pair made contact. Edwards flew into Newman, launching Edwards' No. 99 Ford into the catch-wire fencing, showering spectators with debris.

Bob Keselowski, 57, an ARCA and NASCAR Truck winner, didn't see Brad take the checkered flag. He was driving back to Rochester Hills from Talladega after Brad had finished ninth and Brian 14th in Saturday's Aaron's 312 Nationwide Series race, in which Brad drove for Earnhardt's JR Motorsports outfit. But he was listening on the radio.

"I was thinking to myself, 'If someone bet on Brad to win (the Cup event), they'd probably have gotten 2-million-to-1 in Las Vegas,' " Bob said. "He'd never run a Cup race at Talladega, and I thought if he finishes 25th it would be a good job. Wow - he wins it."

When Bob pulled into his driveway, Kay was watching post race interviews and wouldn't be pried from the TV.

"Bob walked in and asked, 'What's for dinner?' I told him promptly, probably nothing," Kay said with a laugh.

Brad Keselowski's victory at Talladega has positioned him in a small group of Michigan-born drivers - he was born in Crittenton Hospital in Rochester_to win in Cup competition.

Johnny Benson of Grand Rapids, Mich., the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, won his sole Cup race at Rockingham in 2002. Phil Parsons, who was born in Detroit in 1957, captured his only Cup victory in the 1988 Winston 500 at Talladega.

Cup-winning drivers such as Paul Goldsmith and the late Benny Parsons, Phil's older brother, spent time in the Detroit area but were not born here.

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"I'm feeling really good_I'm ready to do it again," Brad said Monday. "Some people are crying it (the last-lap incident) was too dangerous. I didn't see it that way, apart from the fans who got hurt. It was action and carnage, but it was fun."

-- Copyright (c) 2009, Detroit Free Press/Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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