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The Backstretch Blog: Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

What makes Daytona special from other races? It's the history, it's the pageantry, it's knowing that you are racing, where all the greats raced before you. That's why, generally speaking more people show up at this race than any other all season long. It is the essence of NASCAR, anyone with a car and a dream (and NASCAR approval) can race here.

Now truth be known, I have never been much of a Brad Keselowski fan. I always thought he was brash kid who's equipment and ego always out weighed his talent. But what he did on Thursday, has made me take a second look.

Enter his brother Brian. The older, but obviously not quite as talented brother. Not that Brian doesn't have talent, cause to get to this point, you have to have some talent. But he's not on the level of little brother. And that has to be tough.

"There's always a little bit of jealousy," Brian told the Associated Press. It's something many of us can relate to.

And the two admit, their relationship has been a little rocky as a result.

So here we are, the Daytona Duel. For guys like Brian Keselowski, it's their only chance to make the Daytona 500. He, is in an underfunded ride, run by him, his dad and his uncle.

Brad, on the other hand, is racing for NASCAR powerhouse Penske racing, and is safely locked into the show. But he had a little trouble in his Daytona duel (the qualifying race for the Daytona 500), and likely counldn't win the thing. So what does he do? The only thing a brother can do. Lock onto the back of the big brother's bumper and push him to a 5th place finish and into the biggest race of Brian's life.

"It's just an awesome feeling,'' Brad said. "You can't always do something for your family, but when you can, you try to. I was able to do something for him.''

"I'm really, really, really glad that that happened," Brian said "I can look everybody in the eye again and say, 'Thank God this worked.' I told everybody this is going to work, just hold on, please help', and they did."

It's a story that even touched other drivers.

"That was awesome,'' Michael Waltrip said. "I loved seeing that. Brad was committed and he made it work out. I don't know about you, but I thought that was a really cool story.''

It's is a cool story Michael. It's one of those that makes us remember what we love about racing. And it's the only kind of story you can get it racing. It's story of perseverance, of family and triumph. He probably won't win. But in this case, getting there really is half the battle, maybe even the whole thing.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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