Multi-Car Incident Leads to 33rd Place Finish for Keselowski

April 17, 2011

TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 17, 2011) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series (NSCS), finished 33rd in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway (TSS) on Sunday afternoon. The 2009 winner of this event, Keselowski was caught up in a multi-car incident on lap 90 that kept him from contending for his second career NSCS victory.
Sunday's Aaron's 499 tied the NASCAR record for number of lead changes (88) and closest margin of victory (.002 seconds).
After posting a lap of 54.092 seconds, or 177.032 miles per hour, during Saturday's qualifying session, Keselowski started the 499-mile race from the 19th position. When the green flag waved to begin the event, Keselowski hooked up with the No. 78 of Regan Smith as the two began to execute the two-car draft. They began to patiently working their way through the field and, on lap 12, Keselowski captured the race lead for the first time. The two continued to work together though the first run of the race until the caution flag flew on lap 28. Crew chief Paul Wolfe called Keselowski down pit road for four fresh Goodyear radials and fuel. Fast work by the No. 2 pit crew resulted in Keselowski restarting the race from the 10th position on lap 31.
As the race resumed, Keselowski was able to work with his Penske Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, and the two began to take advantage of the tandem draft. The duo was able to maintain their position inside the top-10, even as they regularly swapped positions to keep the car behind from overheating. On lap 53, Busch pushed Keselowski into the lead for the second time of the day.
Following green-flag pit stops on lap 73, the field began to spread out over the massive 2.56-mile oval. Keselowski and Busch elected to take it easy on their equipment and wait for another caution flag to allow the field to bunch back together. However, on lap 90, the cars immediately in front of the two teammates began to slow and Busch made inadvertent contact with the rear bumper of Keselowski, sending the Miller Lite machine into the No. 9 of Marcos Ambrose. Keselowski drove the No. 2 Miller Lite car into the garage area to repair the significant damage caused by the incident. He was able to return to the track on lap 123, but he was positioned 34 laps down to the race leaders. Over the remaining laps, Keselowski worked with the No. 83 car driven by Brian Vickers and was able to pick up two positions before the checkered flag.
As Keselowski crossed the finish line in the 33rd spot, Busch finished 18th Sunday in the Aaron's 499.
Following Sunday's result, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team sit 27th in the Cup Series driver and owner point rankings.
"It was just one of those Talladega deals," said Keselowski. “We were able to get our Dodges together and drive our way up to the front. We made some great moves, but got towards the back in the shuffle and when we did, we caught a big group that just stopped for some reason. We ran up on the group and I just wasn't able to stop quick enough with Kurt (Busch) on my tail and it just spun me right out. It's just racing. I just got on the wrong end of it."
Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite team will enjoy an off weekend before competing in the Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va. on Saturday, April 30. Coverage will be seen live beginning at 7:30 pm EST on the FOX network. The race will also be heard on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.