Brad Keselowski runs in top spot as Lions fan

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Lions wide receiver Golden Tate talks with NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski in front of the Quicken Loans 400 Ford Mustang pace car during a visit to Lions practice Thursday.

Allen Park — NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski is a Lions fan — he grew up in Rochester Hills — and on Thursday he went to the team's headquarters for the first time to watch organized team activities.

Before Keselowski spoke to media to promote the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway next Sunday, he chatted with Lions wide receiver Golden Tate, who was admiring the Ford Mustang GT that will be the pace car for the Sprint Cup Series race.

The top driver for Penske Racing, Keselowski drives the No. 2 Ford Fusion and told Tate he'll try to pull some strings with William Clay Ford Jr. — executive chairman of the motor company and vice chairman of the Lions — if things go well this season.

"Just go out and win the Super Bowl, and I'll ask Mr. Ford to give it to you," Keselowski said to Tate about the Mustang.

As for what the Lions will do for Keselowski if he wins the Sprint Cup, he suggested that Ford should provide something extra for him. With the final race the Ford EcoBoost 400, Keselowski said he's suggested that Ford make the 2017 GT — a supercar with supposedly more than 600 horsepower — the pace car, and if a Ford driver wins, he should get the keys to the GT. That idea, of course, has not yet been approved.

Keselowski's interest in the Lions is more than just as a casual fan. He tries to watch as many games as possible, but if there's a race at the same time as a game, he'll try to record. Unfortunately, he said someone normally spoils the outcome before he can watch the recording.

Keselowski has also played as the Lions in the Madden NFL video game, and he's in a league with a handful of other drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Regan Smith. He joked that he's poor running the ball, so he hopes second-round pick Ameer Abdullah can improve the Lions' run game, in real life and the video game.

Keselowski's favorite player, though, is wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

"The guy's amazing," he said.