Keselowski Finishes Season's Longest Race with Top-10

May 26, 2014


THE RACE

Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (1.5-mile speedway, Concord, NC)
Sunday, May 25, 2014
 
THE RESULTS
 
The No.2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion

Driver: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 2
Finish Position: 10
Driver's Points Position: 9
 

THE RACE REVIEW

· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team started the Coca-Cola 600 from outside of the front row in the second position. The strong qualifying effort marked the seventh time this season that Keselowski has started a race from the front row.

· In the opening laps of the 400-lap event, Keselowski reported that his No. 2 Team Penske Ford was handling tight through the turns. He fell back to sixth place and held position in the top six through the first quarter of the race.

· As the race advanced into the early evening the track conditions changed and the No. 2 Miller Lite team made adjustments to address the handling issues of their Ford Fusion.

· At lap 163 a caution flag was displayed just 10 laps into a stint and the No. 2 Miller Lite team elected to stay out on the track while running 10th in order to gain track position. Keselowski took control of the race lead and led for 28 laps before settling back into third place.

· As the team looked to maintain track position, the Miller Lite Ford took on two tires on sequential pit stops in the middle of the race. Though the strategy was effective, it made it difficult on Keselowski, the 2012 Cup Champion, as he reported that the car handled very tight with just two new tires.

· The team took advantage of an alternative fuel strategy late in the race and looked poised to challenge for the victory. However, an unscheduled stop at lap 358 for a vibration on the right front of the No. 2 car resulted in losing several positions.

· Keselowski battled back to finish the season’s longest race in the 10th position. He is now ranked ninth in the driver point standings, trailing the leader by 71 points.
 

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD

IT LOOKED LIKE THE MILLER LITE TEAM HAD A GOOD STRATEGY TO WIN TONIGHT, HOW DID THE RACE DEVELOP?

“We had the strategy and were very close to having the speed to win the race and then on that late-race pit stop we left the right-front wheel loose and that ended our chance to win.  We rebounded to finish 10th, which I guess isn’t bad all things considered.  The crew gave me a great car.  I drove my butt off, but we just didn’t get it done on pit road.”

HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO BE RUNNING IN CLEAN AIR?

“Clean air is always pivotal, but we hit it there at that one mark and I thought that was going to be what we needed and it was.  We got there and settled into third or so and cycled through the pit stops and got ourselves some track position.  Some other things threw us back off sequence and we fought back again to get track position and a shot at winning the race with strategy or not with strategy, I think we had a shot at it.  Unfortunately, those were the cards we were dealt. Our Ford Mustang was strong at the end of the race and we feel good about the effort.”