The Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (1.366-mile oval, Darlington, S.C.) – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Saturday, May 11, 2013
The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
Starting Position: 26
Finishing Position: 32
Current Championship Position: 7
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team started Saturday night’s race from the 26th position after touring the unique oval in 27.663 seconds during the Friday qualifying session.
· As the race began it was clear that Keselowski had a Miller Lite Ford Fusion that was superb in Turns 3 and 4, which is where he was able to make up time on the rest of the field.
· Despite a handling condition that built free over the course of a run, Keselowski was able to work his way inside the top-15 cars before the 100-lap mark of the race.
· At lap 107, just after his second pit stop of the day, Keselowski radioed that the car had developed a wheel vibration. After taking a few laps to diagnose the issue, he entered pit road for four fresh tires that alleviated the problem. However, he lost two laps in the process.
· After receiving a “wave around” by staying out under a lap 125 caution, Keselowski worked to put himself in position to receive the “Lucky Dog” pass back on to the lead lap before being caught up in an incident with Casey Mears and Paul Menard at lap 312. Multiple trips down pit road for repairs resulted in the loss of addition laps for the defending series champion.
· The Miller Lite Ford began overheating late in the event, which forced Keselowski down pit road to cool it down before finishing the race.
· With the result, Keselowski dropped to seventh in the series standings
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
HOW TOUGH IS IT TO GET THROUGH A RACE LIKE THIS WHEN YOU HAVE SO MANY THINGS HAPPEN?
“It was definitely a race we would like to forget. I honestly feel that we had a Miller Lite Ford that could have run in the top five, so to finish 32nd is disappointing. Once we lost those two laps after we picked up the vibration we just couldn’t catch any breaks to get them back. Then things just compounded. From overheating issues to getting caught up in a wreck when I had nowhere to go, it was just one of those nights.”
HOW TOUGH IS IT TO RACE AT A PLACE LIKE DARLINGTON WHEN YOU HAVE DAMAGE AND OVERHEATING ISSUES?
“Darlington is a place that is tough when you have everything going your way. When you have damage and can’t keep up with the pace of the leaders it can be stressful because you really don’t have anywhere to go, nowhere to hide. It’s such a narrow racetrack. I love the fact that it is so difficult. That’s what makes this such a special race and one that everyone wants to win in their career.”