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Friday, May 31, 2013
A Michigander's week to remember

By Brad Keselowski
Special to ESPN.com

Growing up in Michigan, every kid learns about the Mackinac Bridge. It's one of the industrial marvels in our state, as it finally provided an automotive connection between the lower peninsula and the upper peninsula in 1957. The bridge is 5 miles long and crosses over the Straits of Mackinac at the point where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron come together. It's the third-longest bridge in the world by suspension and is really an impressive structure.

Brad Keselowski
Proud Michigander Brad Keselowski had never seen the iconic Mackinac Bridge -- until Wednesday.

Until Wednesday, I had never seen it.

A fiercely proud Michigander, I jumped at the chance to visit the "Mighty Mac" to celebrate our 2012 Cup Series championship with my friends at Michigan International Speedway and kick off a big month of racing in the state with this weekend's Dual in Detroit for the IZOD IndyCar Series and the upcoming Quicken Loans 400 at MIS.

The day started with MIS president Roger Curtis and I driving a two-seater Miller Lite Ford Fusion across the bridge. (I apologize to those who were caught up in the stoppage of the bridge traffic while we made our trip.) After a brief Q-and-A with fans at Bridge View Park on the "UP" side, we ferried over to Mackinac Island -- another first for me -- to attend a cocktail reception by MIS for attendees of the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference. It was there that Roger, the U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and I talked about the importance of MIS to the state. The speedway is responsible for the economic impact equivalent of a Super Bowl EVERY YEAR!

To top off the night, the bridge was lit in blue at nautical twilight and will remain that way through the Cup race on June 16. It was a cool night. I was humbled and honored to receive such recognition by my home state.

As soon as it was over, however, it was back to preparing for this weekend's race at Dover. As I'm sure everyone reading this knows by now, Paul Wolfe and the rest of the Miller Lite team that was suspended following the race at Talladega will be back. It could not have come at a better time because we need our full complement of guys.

I was proud of the way everyone stepped up in their absence. For the most part, we had a lot of speed in our cars. We missed it a bit in the Coca-Cola 600, which has us in a bit of a hole in the standings. I know my guys, and we will be out with something to prove over these next few races. Paul is absolutely champing at the bit to get back to the track. Going into Dover this weekend as the most recent winner there gives us a little confidence too.

So it's been a good week. I get my crew chief back, and we were able to do some fun stuff in my home state. If only the Red Wings had been able to win one out of the last three games against the Blackhawks …

Brad Keselowski drives the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion. He will share his thoughts on and off the track with ESPN.com readers periodically this season.

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— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) May 30, 2013