Keselowski relishing chance to prove himself at JR Motorsports

The question to 23-year-old Brad Keselowski was simple -- how much interaction have you had with your new employer, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"Well, he's throwing bottle caps at me right now," Keselowski said, laughing while conducting a telephone interview from Earnhardt's JR Motorsports shop, where he was being fitted for his seat Monday afternoon.

So, things seem to be starting smoothly for Keselowski, the Rochester Hills, Mich., native who will drive Earnhardt's Busch car the next three weekends, beginning Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway.

Earnhardt drove the No. 88 entry at Daytona last Saturday morning, replacing Shane Huffman. He finished 14th.

"We'll re-evaluate where we are after three races," said Keselowski, who is staying at Earnhardt's guest house.

For Keselowski, this clearly is the break he has needed. He has made 13 Busch starts this season with the recently folded Coleman Racing team, a team Keselowski referred to as a "dud."

"We broke down 11 times," he said.

Keselowski got the call from Earnhardt on July 1 and, obviously, jumped at the chance.

"It's a huge deal, a huge opportunity in more ways than I can describe," said Keselowski, whose father, Bob, is a former ARCA champion. "To get this opportunity gives me a lot of credibility. "

Angelique S. Chengelis is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage.