Keselowski Continues Hot Streak with Third-Place Finish at Michigan

August 22, 2011

BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 21, 2011) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), finished third in the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on Sunday afternoon. The finish marked the third-consecutive top-three result for the Penske Racing driver. Keselowski’s average finish of 2.0 over the last three events is tied for the best in the Cup Series during that period with Kyle Busch, Sunday’s race winner at MIS and the current series point leader.

 Keselowski began the 200-lap event from the sixth position after posting a lap of 38.094 seconds, or 189.006 miles per hour, during Friday’s qualifying session. As the green flag flew to start the event, Keselowski was able to make quick work of the cars immediately in front of him by executing a strong move on the outside line to pick up two positions. Once inside the top-five, Keselowski was able to turn some of the fastest laps on the track, despite a tight-handling condition on the Miller Lite machine. When the first caution flag of the day flew at lap 29, Keselowski had moved into the third position. Team crew chief Paul Wolfe brought his driver down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Quick work by the No. 2 pit crew resulted in Keselowski restarting the race in the third position on lap 34.

 Despite the air pressure adjustment, Keselowski radioed that his car was still handling tight entering turns one and two. In addition, the Miller Lite Dodge was loose on corner exit. While fighting a car that wasn’t completely to his liking, Keselowski was able to maintain his position inside the top-five while Wolfe developed a plan to give his driver the feel he was looking for on the high-speed MIS oval.

Following air pressure and track bar adjustments to the Miller Lite Dodge on lap 54, Keselowski radioed that the car began to turn better as the run progressed. After falling outside the top-10 in the running order, due to several cars electing to take only right-side tires during their pit stops, Keselowski raced his way back up to the seventh position as the race moved past the halfway point.

 A lap 103 caution flag brought the field down pit road for full service, as Wolfe called for additional air pressure adjustments to the Miller Lite car. Once again, Keselowski was edged off pit road by many cars that elected to make two-tire stops and he restarted the race in the 16th position on lap 108. However, it didn’t take long to see that Wolfe and the team had found something that Keselowski could use to race to the front. At lap 120, Keselowski had passed 13 cars and found himself in the third position by turning the fastest laps on the track.

Over the final 50 laps, Wolfe elected to only make air pressure adjustments during subsequent trips to pit road and Keselowski was able to maintain position inside the top-five as the laps wound down. A caution on lap 197 set up a “green-white-checkered” flag finish that extended the race three laps past its scheduled distance. Keselowski, who was running in the third position, elected to stay on the track with the two race leaders while everyone else visited pit road for fresh tires. Keselowski held off a hard-charging Mark Martin over the final laps to cross the finish line in third place.

 Penske Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, finished 34th in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

 Following Sunday’s result, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team improved two positions to 12th in the Cup Series driver and owner point standings. The team currently holds the No. 1 wild card position for the “Chase for the Championship.”

 "It was a good run for the Miller Lite Dodge,” said Keselowski. “The guys did a great job working on the car today. We executed well all day. (Crew chief) Paul (Wolfe) made some great calls on the pit box and we were able to bring home a third-place finish. It's a great run for us here in Michigan, a solid day. I'm proud of my team. We gained some points and had another solid run.”

 Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite team will next compete in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 27. Live coverage will begin at 7:30 pm ET on the ABC television network. The race will also be heard on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio Channel 90.