Keselowski Scores Third Place Finish at Kentucky Speedway

June 13, 2010

SPARTA, Ky. (June 12, 2010) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished third in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night. The result is a series-leading, 11th top-five finish of the season for Keselowski, and it ties his career best finish at the track.

Keselowski now leads the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 272 points over second-place contender Carl Edwards.

This weekend marked the second week in a row that Keselowski had to pull “double duty” with races being held at different venues. While the Nationwide Series raced at Kentucky Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series set up camp at Michigan International Speedway. The tracks are 200 miles apart with Keselowski flying over 800 miles to get back and forth between the two states over the weekend.

The victim of an early qualifying draw, Keselowski qualified his No. 22 Dodge Charger in the middle of the 43-car field. He posted the 25th-fastest time around the 1.5-mile track as he toured the oval in 31.328 seconds, or 172.370 mph. However, he would methodically make his way to the front of the field.

 As the green flag fell, Keselowski showed great patience as he began to work his way around the cars directly in front of him despite two quick caution periods that interrupted the competition. He radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that the car was tight at the start of a run, but improved as the laps continued. Wolfe brought Keselowski down pit road under a lap 20 caution for fresh tires and fuel, but elected to make no adjustments to the chassis as he sensed that the race was close to entering a long, green-flag run. Keselowski restarted the race in the 16th position on lap 25, the lowest he would run for the rest of the event.

The prophetic call by Wolfe paid off as the race stayed under the green flag for the next 48 laps, during which Keselowski sliced his way through the field to the seventh position before the third caution flag of the day flew on lap 73. Keselowski radioed that he was happy with the balance of the car. Once again, Wolfe called him down pit road for four Goodyear tires and fuel, but made no chassis adjustments.

As the race restarted on lap 79, Keselowski quickly showed that the Discount Tire Dodge could contend for the win. His lap times at the halfway point of the race were faster than those of the race leader. Toward the end of the run, Keselowski began to develop a tight handling condition. A caution on lap 111, with his driver running in the fifth position, gave Wolfe the opportunity to make a track bar adjustment to help the car turn better in the corners. While fueling the car, the pit crew had a problem with the catch can, which resulted in the fuel tank not being completely filled when Keselowski drove out of the pit box. As a result, the team had to adjust their fuel window. Under a lap 132 caution, Keselowski revisited pit road to grab enough fuel to make it to the end of the 200-lap race.

The race restarted on lap 137 with Keselowski running in the 12th position. Five caution periods before the end of the event kept Keselowski from mounting a charge to the lead, but he was able to maneuver his way inside the top-three cars before the checkered flag waved. The finish marks the third consecutive top-three finish for Keselowski in Nationwide Series competition.

Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier led 20 laps before an on-track incident relegated him to an eighth-place finish.

“It was just one of those days,” said Keselowski. “We persevered and brought home a solid finish with our Discount Tire Dodge Charger. We just keep plugging away every race. We’re trying to make no mistakes and get solid finishes to keep that points lead. It’s something to be proud of to take away a solid finish when we were just a little bit off.”

The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will take part in the inaugural Bucyrus 200 presented by Menards at Road America next weekend. The race can be seen live on Saturday evening, June 19, on ESPN2 beginning at 3 p.m. EDT.  The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.


Brad Keselowski Meijer 300 Race Statistics
Start: 25
Finish: 3
Laps: 200/200
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running
Points Position: 1