Team Penske XFINITY Series Race Report - Atlanta

February 27, 2016

Start:  Seventh

Finish: Sixth

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  163/163

Laps Led:  Twice for 28 laps

Owner’s Points Position (behind leader):  Leader (+3 pts.)

Recap: Brad Keselowski kept his No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang at the front of the field for most of Saturday’s Heads Up Georgia 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, leading twice for a total of 28 laps. However, the handle on his machine was not quite where he needed to contend for the win, but a sixth-place finish pushed the team into the lead in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner’s Championship, a title they have won for three-consecutive seasons. After starting from the seventh position, Keselowski was able to drive into the top five before making his first pit stop of the day at lap 16. This yellow-flag stop allowed crew chief, Brian Wilson, the opportunity to fix a loose-handling condition on corner entry for his driver. Keselowski was one of the few drivers to pit under this caution period and, as a result, the 2010 series champion restarted the race from the 19th position. When the race resumed at lap 19 it was evident that Keselowski was not content with staying there as he sliced his way to the lead in just 10 short laps. Unfortunately the handling condition continued to deteriorate over the course of a run and Keselowski eventually lost the lead. He continued to keep his Ford inside the top 10 for the remainder of the race – eventually working his way back to the lead for six laps at the halfway point – before crossing the finish line in the sixth position.

Quote:  “It was great to drive to the front and lead laps in the Discount Tire Ford. We just weren’t as strong as we wanted to be, and needed to be, to really contend for the win. We’ll work on it from here and try to find a little bit more speed for Las Vegas next weekend.”