Keselowski Wins Big in Vegas!

March 10, 2014


Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile speedway, Las Vegas, Nev.)
Sunday, March 9, 2014


The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford
Driver: Brad Keselowski

Starting Position: 2
Finish Position: 1
Driver's Points Position: 2


·  Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team started Sunday’s 267-lap race from the front row after Keselowski qualified second during Friday afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series elimination qualifying. The second-place starting position marked Keselowski’s second consecutive front row qualifying effort. It was also Team Penske’s second consecutive front row sweep as Joey Logano won the pole position.

· The race also marked the return of Miller Lite Ford team crew chief Paul Wolfe, who missed the Phoenix race last week for the birth of his first child.

· Over the opening few laps of the race, Keselowski slipped a few positions in the running order as his Ford Fusion was shuffled back to the sixth spot.

· An early caution flag that brought some of the leaders to pit road allowed the Miller Lite machine to take the lead for a few laps until Logano’s Shell-Pennzoil Ford captured the point on the race restart.

· As the racing settled into a long green flag run, Keselowski ran consistently inside the top five while leading several times throughout the day. In all, Keselowski led five times for a race-high 53 laps.

· At lap 122, Keselowski experienced a close call in Turn 3 as the No. 2 made light contact with the wall. The incident resulted in minor damage to the right rear of the Ford Fusion, though it did not seem to adversely affect the handling of the Miller Lite car.

· As the race wound down, the duo of Keselowski and Wolfe orchestrated a strategy that saw the Miller Lite Ford take two right side tires and fuel at lap 222. This decision was crucial to the outcome of the 400-mile race.

· The final restart of the race occurred at lap 225 with Keselowski scored seventh in the running order. By the completion of that lap, he had advanced to second and then slipped back to third place.

· Over the closing laps of the race, the Michigan native passed Carl Edwards for second-place and then chased down leader Dale Earnhardt Jr.

· As the white flag flew for the final lap, Keselowski trailed Earnhardt. But the No. 88 machine ran out of gas on the backstretch of the last lap, which allowed Keselowski to make the pass for the lead and the victory.

· The win marked Keselowski’s 11th career Cup Series victory. Coupled with Saturday’s Nationwide Series win, it was Keselowski’s first-ever Nationwide and Cup Series weekend sweep. The feat has only been accomplished once previously at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Jeff Burton in 2000).

· With Sunday’s result, Keselowski trails Earnhardt, the series leader, by just one point in the championship standings. It also puts the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team in a great position for a berth in the new Chase for the championship playoff format. The win represents the team’s third straight top-three finish and Keselowski’s best-ever start to a Sprint Cup Series season.




“I’m glad to be back here in Victory Lane. It is truly special to get a win early in the year when it’s just such a relief for everyone on the team, and me included, getting that win in early and being able to enjoy the races and opportunities that we have instead of being stressed out about them. I think, if anything, it actually lends itself to better racing. The chance that Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) and Stevie (Letarte) took with the 88 car was way out there, and it was a good risky move on their part because they had nothing to lose because of this format. So I think that shows some of the opportunities that come up and how they can be stress-free days. I’m looking forward to being able to take those same opportunities because, believe me, I’m not scared to take them, and I know Paul’s not, so look out. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”