One day after explosions at the Boston Marathon took the lives of three people and injured at least 180 others, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski was honored at the White House as scheduled by President Barack Obama, who touched upon about how life must go on even in the face of tragedy.
“I know the entire NASCAR family shares with me a great sense of loss for the victims, and we pray for their loved ones,” the President said according to NASCAR.com’s David Caraviello. “And rest assured…We’re going to uncover whoever was responsible for yesterday’s cowardly act, find out why they did it, and they will be brought to justice.
“But one of the things I firmly believe in is that America is strong, and we are resilient, and we don’t let such cowardly acts get in the way of our lives.”
In addition to applauding Keselowski and his No. 2 Penske Racing team’s run to the 2012 Sprint Cup title, the President also recognized the Michigan native’s efforts to help wounded soldiers and their families through his Checkered Flag Foundation’s “Race To Recovery” program, which gives those servicemen the opportunity to enjoy VIP treatment at race weekends.
Keselowski later said to reporters that he appreciated that the event took place as scheduled — not because it was he and his team being honored, but because of the importance of the country to move forward and to show that “they won’t rattle us.”
As they checked out his No. 2 Ford Fusion that was parked on the South Lawn driveway, Keselowski had some time to talk with the President, who inquired about how teammate Joey Logano was doing following his post-race shoving match with Tony Stewart last month at Auto Club Speedway.
“I said, ‘Man, I didn’t know you followed it that closely,'” Keselowski recalled.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.