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Originally published Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 7:39 AM

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Brian Keselowski picks up sponsor for Daytona 500

The feel-good story of Daytona Speedweeks took another turn Saturday when Brian Keselowski picked up a sponsor for the Daytona 500.

The Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —

The feel-good story of Daytona Speedweeks took another turn Saturday when Brian Keselowski picked up a sponsor for the Daytona 500.

The journeyman driver received funding from Discount Tire and was applying the logos to his car before practice.

"It's awesome," Keselowski said. "I've had a lot of calls and a lot of people I'd really like to work with, but when they called up last night and said Discount Tires was interested, I said, 'We need to make this happen.' It's awesome. They've made it happen."

Keselowski has become the biggest surprise of Speedweeks after receiving help from his brother to earn his first Sprint Cup start in NASCAR's biggest race. Budding NASCAR star Brad Keselowski pushed his older brother around Daytona International Speedway in a qualifying race earlier this week to help Brian get into Sunday's season-opener.

Discount Tire also sponsors Brad Keselowski in the Nationwide Series.

Brian Keselowski came to Daytona with two crew members, his father and his uncle, and was a long shot to make the race. Now he'll pick up a paycheck of at least $250,000 - money he can use to climb out of debt and continue his fledgling career.

As of Saturday morning, he still was scrambling to hire a few more crew members to do pit stops during Sunday's race.

Penske Racing was willing to give him a new engine this week, but the car Keselowski is racing - an Evernham-built car from 2006 - is so old that the engine wasn't compatible.

Keselowski says he would like to try to make the second race of the season at Phoenix next week, but his undermanned team might not be able to get his car ready in time.

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