Keselowski’s blog: A story of a friend’s rise and fall

Leave a comment

Brad Keselowski couldn’t have had much better of a weekend in Las Vegas than he did.

He captured his first career weekend sweep in NASCAR for Team Penske, with the Nationwide Series victory on Saturday and the Sprint Cup Series win Sunday.

Winning means a lot of things, but to Keselowski, it means emotions can occasionally come running out.

And the wins this past weekend inspired Keselowski to dig deep and tell a story he had only previously told his closest inner circle.

We first learned Keselowski could write (and rather well, if I don’t say so myself) with his first blog entry on his own website posted a little more than a week ago, about his first race with JR Motorsports.

But this one, filed today, brings us closer to one of Brad’s best friends – a man only known as James – trying to make it in the racing world.

It sounds simple on paper but is obviously much deeper than that. A brief teaser:

But it’s hard to anticipate the emotions that you experience after a big win. Sunday night, flying home after the weekend, I found myself thinking about one person in particular. His story is one that’s deep and personal, one I’ve never shared with anyone but those in my closest inner circle. I don’t think anyone outside that circle even knows about it. That story came to an end on the weekend of my last victory, which came in October 2013 in Charlotte.

You can view the full blog here, as it’s a very well-done piece on this friend’s rise and fall.

Morris Nunn, former IndyCar and F1 engineer, team owner dies at 79

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Morris Nunn, a former Formula 1 team owner and a prominent fixture in the American Open Wheel Racing scene through the 1990s and the early 2000s, died at 79 on Wednesday after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Nunn’s career in racing spans both sides of the Atlantic. He started in the 1960s as a driver before shifting his attention toward the mechanical side of the sport. He then founded a Formula 1 effort, dubbed Ensign Racing, which competed in over 100 F1 races between 1973 and 1982 – the team had a best result of fourth.

However, Nunn may be best known in the U.S. for his exploits in American Open Wheel Racing. He crossed the pond after closing the Ensign outfit in 1982, and was a part of the Patrick Racing team that won the 1989 Indianapolis 500 with Emerson Fittipaldi.

He moved to Chip Ganassi Racing in the 1990s, where he perhaps achieved the bulk of his success. He worked with Alex Zanardi as both his crew chief and engineer during Zanardi’s tenure from 1996 to 1998, and the combination saw Zanardi take Rookie of the Year Honors in ’96, followed by a pair of championships in ’97 and ’98 in the old CART series.

31 May 1997: Alex Zanardi (left) of Italy talks to Mo Nunn , engineer for the Target Ganassi Racing Team, at The Milwaukee Mile in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Nunn also won the 1999 championship with then CART rookie Juan Pablo Montoya.

In 2000, he formed his own team, Mo Nunn Racing, with driver Tony Kanaan – Bryan Herta also contested a trio of events for Nunn that year after Kanaan suffered an injury – and the outfit grew to two cars in 2001, with Zanardi competing alongside Kanaan.

Nunn also ventured into the series that is now called the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2002, fielding an entry for Felipe Giaffone. They went on to win one race that year (Kentucky Speedway) and Nunn’s outfit won another in 2003, with Alex Barron at Michigan International Speedway.

Nunn was a popular and highly regarded figure in the paddock, and a number of people in the racing world took to social media to offer condolences and tributes.

IndyCar on NBC’s Robin Miller offered this detailed look at Nunn’s life in the sport on RACER.com, covering the origins of his career and the impact he had on such drivers as Zanardi and Montoya.

Nunn was 79 years of age at the time of his passing.

Follow@KyleMLavigne