Keselowski Races Into All-Star Race, Finishes 19th

May 22, 2011

CONCORD, N.C. (May 21, 2011) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), finished 19th in the NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) on Saturday night. Keselowski raced his way into his third-consecutive All-Star Race by finishing second in the NASCAR All-Star Showdown qualifying race earlier in the evening.

Keselowski qualified his Miller Lite machine in the fourth position for the All-Star Showdown, a race that featured two 20-lap segments. The top-two finishers from the race transferred into the main event to race for $1 million.

Keselowski was able to maintain his position at the front of the Showdown field before electing to remain on the track after finishing the first segment in the fifth position. Keselowski restarted the second segment in the third position, but wowed the crowd with a crafty, three-wide pass for the lead as the cars roared toward the first turn. He was able to build a sizeable lead over the last 20 laps, but eventually could not hold off the No. 6 car of David Ragan as he finished second and began to prepare for his third-career All-Star Race.

The All-Star Race featured four segments. The first segment was 50 laps with a mandatory green-flag pit stop at lap 25. The second and third segments were both 20 laps. The final segment featured a 10-lap dash for the cash. The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team started the first segment from the 20th position. After just 13 laps of racing, Keselowski radioed that he had completely lost his brakes. He nursed his car around the 24-degree banking at CMS until coming down pit road for repairs to the right front brake line during the mandatory pit stop. Unfortunately, Keselowski lost six laps to the race leaders as a result of the repair.

Never ones to throw in the towel, Keselowski and the Miller Lite crew developed a plan that would give them a chance to return to lead-lap racing. After the end of the first segment, Keselowski remained on the track to get his first lap back while the leaders visited pit road. A lap 59 caution flag during the second segment allowed the team to pick up its first "Lucky Dog" award and get another lap back before pitting for tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Several times during the second segment, Keselowski was the fastest car on the track.

The Miller Lite Dodge team picked up another "Lucky Dog" free pass at the end of the second segment, which placed Keselowski only three laps down to the leaders. Crew chief Paul Wolfe continued to tinker with wedge adjustments to alleviate a tight-handling condition entering both ends of the CMS track. Still running in the 21st position, Keselowski received his third free pass of the night when the caution flag flew during the third segment at lap 74. He picked up yet another "Lucky Dog" at the end of the third segment, which put him only one lap down to the leaders at the start of the final, 10-lap segment.

Keselowski continued to feel confident that the final segment would feature at least one more caution period that would allow him to get back on the lead lap. However, the final 10 laps were run without incident and he was forced to settle for a 19th-place finish.

Penske Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, finished 13th Saturday in the All-Star Race.

"We had a great race car most of the night," said Keselowski. "We just needed one more break to get us back on the lead lap there at the end. One more yellow (flag) and I think we had the car to really do some damage. I’m so proud of the recovery we had, getting five out of six laps back, including one on the track. We’ve got something to be proud of. The Miller Lite Dodge was fast tonight and I think we have a good idea of what we need to bring back next weekend for the (Coca-Cola) 600."

Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite team will next compete at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. on Sunday, May 29. Coverage will be seen live beginning at 6:00 pm ET on the FOX Network. The race will also be heard on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio Channel 90.