Keselowski Races to a Third-Place Finish in Daytona 500
February 24, 2014
The Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile superspeedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.)
Sunday, February 23, 2014
The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford
Driven By: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 33
Finish Position: 3
Driver's Points Position: 3
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team started Sunday’s 200-lap Daytona 500 from the 33rd position based on the results of the Duel races that were run last Thursday.
· A lap 22 caution flag allowed the No. 2 Ford to pit at lap 24, as the Team Penske crew changed the two right-side tires and topped off the car with fuel.
· When the racing resumed at lap 26 Keselowski was scored in the 18th position.
· Over the next five laps, Keselowski worked his way into the top 10 and as high as sixth place before a yellow flag slowed the field. Rain then began to fall in Daytona which brought a halt to the race at lap 38.
· After a six-hour plus rain delay, the race restarted under caution until lap 46 with Keselowski scored sixth in the running order.
· On lap 57, Keselowski took the lead for the first time of the race. He led four times over the course of the evening for 13 laps.
· After running up front, Keselowski and the Miller Lite Ford dropped back in the running order midway through the race as various pit strategies played out through the field.
· The pace was frantic over the second half of the race as there were reports of more rain in the area. Over the final 40 laps, the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford was a fixture in the top five.
· A late race caution set up a three-lap dash to the finish with Keselowski running in second place behind eventual winner Dale Earnhardt Jr.
· Keselowski made a strong charge but came up just short as he took the checkered flag in the fourth position while a multi-car accident unfolded behind him. After reviewing the finish, NASCAR determined that Keselowski was passed under caution and he was subsequently credited with a third-place result.
· The finish marked Keselowski’s second consecutive top-five finish in the “Great American Race” to go along with last season’s fourth-place effort.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD
HOW DID YOUR NIGHT DEVELOP IN THE DAYTONA 500?
“I thought our car was really strong, the best car I have ever had here at Daytona. I got the lead from the very back twice and just didn’t quite pull it off the third time. We got really close there in the closing laps with some help from a few others. It was a strong night for sure. We didn’t get the win, which is most disappointing as a driver with a car like that which you don’t get all the time. At least most of us don’t. I had the opportunity tonight and came up a little short on that last restart. I am really proud of the effort and happy for my friend (Earnhardt Jr.).”
THIS IS YOUR BEST DAYTONA 500 FINISH. ARE YOU LEAVING THINKING THERE WAS ANYTHING YOU COULD DO DIFFERENTLY?
“I had the opportunity to watch the replay and I don’t feel there was anything I could have done differently. When the 11 and 18 (cars) broke apart and the 17 split the 18, that was the end of my night. There was nothing I could do. It was just circumstances outside of my control. I could have blocked the 11 and ran second but that was all that was going to happen if I blocked the 11. I really wasn’t interested in running second. I took a shot at a different move that would have given me an opportunity to win but finished third. That is just the way it is.”