NASCAR’s Brad Keselowski On Squandering A Golden Opportunity To Invest Early In Tesla: ‘One Of My All-Time Dumb Moves’

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Don’t cry for Brad Keselowski, folks.

The Team Penske driver is the second of just four drivers to win a title in both the Cup Series and the Xfinity Series, founder of 3-D printing company Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing that specializes in space rocket parts, and most importantly, made an important cameo in the critically-acclaimed film Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

He will be okay, even after letting a silver-plated opportunity to become Big Rich find the bottom of a trash can a decade ago.

Keselowski appeared on our Endless Hustle podcast to discuss buying Tesla “before it was cool” in 2009, fresh off his first driver contract, when Tesla had released just 147 Roadsters and was on the cusp of receiving a $465 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Elon Who…

“I wanted something nobody else had. And I heard about this electric car company in 2009 called Tesla. I happened to be going to California for a race and they had one dealership in 2009 and it was in downtown L.A. I was going to downtown L.A. for a party with Dale Earnhardt Jr. with Pepsi. Before the party, a couple friends and I went to the one Tesla dealership, pulled in there, and it was maybe like 5,000 square-feet, it was pretty small. And just as I pulled in, Elon drove out and somebody goes, ‘Oh that’s the owner!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah whatever, I just want to see the car.’ So I totally blew him off. That was the first mistake. That was not the only mistake I made there.”

The Second Mistake:


“So I went and drove the car. It was awesome, so I bought the car. So I owned a Tesla before Tesla was cool. After I bought that Tesla, I got a letter in the mail from them asking for two things:

  1. We want to advertise that you own our car, which was a quick no because I have other automotive relationships.
  2. Since you bought one of our first cars, we want to let you in on the IPO early.

This is one of my all-time dumb moves. You know what I did with that letter? Threw it away.

When I got the letter, it was circa ’12. Right before the IPO. From what I could tell, it was probably a 400x, so if I put $100 in, what would that be? $40,000.

It was a huge mistake. We’ll leave it at that. Huge, huge mistake.”

TSLA first sold shares for $17 in June 2010. Nearly a decade later, a $1,000 investment in Tesla made in 2010 would be worth more than $36,000 as of Feb. 2020. There’s a punch to the adam’s apple.

Again, don’t cry for Brad.

We also asked Keselowski, a Car Guy, what his experience with the Tesla’s been and if the hype is substantial. His answer was insightful.

Check out our entire interview with Brad Keselowski below. We discuss:

  • His space-geared 3-D printing compan
  • Gifts from fans (incarcerated and otherwise)
  • The mentality of coming in second.
  • More!
  • And a bonus interview with UNC basketball great and MJ teammate Matt Doherty!

Subscribe and listen to the Endless Hustle below, and follow us on Twitter @Endless__Hustle.

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Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.