Keselowski Finishes Fourth in Shootout at Daytona Debut

February 19, 2012

 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 18, 2011) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), finished fourth in the Shootout at Daytona at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) on Saturday night. This marked Keselowski’s first start in the annual all-star event that represents the unofficial start to the NSCS season.
Keselowski drew the third starting position during Friday night’s draw party, but was forced to start the race from the back of the field after being involved in a practice incident on Friday afternoon. The Miller Lite team had to bring out its backup car, which resulted in Keselowski moving to the rear of the field. Not wanting to be involved in another incident this early in Speed Weeks, Keselowski elected to hang toward the rear of the field throughout the first 25-lap segment.
As the second and final segment – scheduled for a total of 50 laps – began, Keselowski once again chose a conservative approach as several contending cars were taken out of the race in incidents. At lap 48, the No. 18 car of Kyle Busch nearly spun in front of Keselowski, forcing him to hit the brakes and lose time to the race leaders. However, a lap 55 caution period allowed Keselowski – along with several other cars – to catch back up to the rest of the field. Crew chief Paul Wolfe called his driver down pit road for one final stop under the yellow flag and Keselowski began to make his way to the front of the field.
Proving that he is one of the best restrictor-plate racers in NASCAR, Keselowski worked his way inside the top-five with two laps remaining. The final caution flag of the day flew at lap 74, setting up a green-white-checkered flag finish that pushed the race seven laps past its scheduled distance. Keselowski and the No. 9 car driven by Marcos Ambrose made their way to the front of the pack, but they weren’t able to hold off the tandem of Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart over the final lap. Keselowski crossed the finish line in the fourth position.
Penske Racing teammate, AJ Allmendinger, finished 12th in Saturday’s Shootout at Daytona.
"Restrictor-plate racing is pretty crazy and you just can't predict what's going to happen,” said Keselowski. “It's just a crapshoot. You just hope that you're in the right position and it takes a team effort to do that. The Miller Lite Dodge team did that today and came up just a bit short.”