Keselowski Finishes Second at Pocono Raceway
June 9, 2014
Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway (2.5-mile speedway, Pocono, Pa.)
Sunday, June 8, 2014
The No. 2 Redd’s Apple Ale Ford Fusion
Driver: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 3
Finish Position: 2
Driver's Points Position: 5
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Redd’s Apple Ale Ford Fusion team qualified third for the Pocono 400. The top-three qualifying effort earned Keselowski his 10th top-three start this season.
· As the green flag flew to start the 160-lap race Keselowski made an immediate charge to the front of the field as he was leading at the completion of the first lap. The Team Penske driver was dominant over the opening laps as he took a commanding lead over the field.
· Keselowski, the 2012 Sprint Cup Series Champion, relinquished the lead at lap 57 while making a scheduled pit stop. A caution flag fell a lap after he exited the pit lane, which temporarily shuffled him back in the order to 11th. Once the pit stops cycled through the field, however, the No. 2 Red’s Apple Ale Ford was once again atop the scoring pylon.
· As the race developed and incidents began to bring out caution flags, alternative fuel strategies began to play out through the field. This resulted in Keselowski dropping from the lead to as low as 25th at lap 99.
· The Redd’s Apple Ale Ford continued to make its way back to the front, however, and Keselowski ran strong from the point. The Team Penske Ford Fusion led a total of four times for a race high, 95 laps in all.
· A lap 142 caution period set up a 12-lap dash to the finish with Keselowski leading the way. At lap 153, Keselowski reported that the engine temperatures were climbing. On the next lap it was discovered that there was a large piece of debris on the radiator inlet of the Redd’s Apple Ale Ford.
· With just four laps remaining in the race, Keselowski felt his machine losing power and he tucked in behind another car in hopes of drafting the debris off of the No. 2 Fusion. As he attempted to clear the debris, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was able to make the pass for the race lead as Keselowski lost his momentum.
· Keselowski held on and finished second behind Earnhardt, Jr. It was a frustrating result for the Redd’s Apple Ale Ford team after dominating most of the race.
· The second-place finish – Keselowski’s second consecutive top-two result – allowed him to move up to fifth in the Sprint Cup Series championship standings.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 REDD’S APPLE ALE FORD
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE DEBRIS ON THE CAR’S GRILL AND DOWN IN TURN ONE?
“You know, we were just running really hot and the motor was going to blow up so I had to do something so I tried to follow the 10 (car) down in the corner to get the debris off and I just checked up too much. I thought I had more room than I did. The team did a heck of a job, I just messed up a little bit there. We had a really, really good car. It was really a flawless day other than my mess up there.”
WITHOUT THE DEBRIS WOULD THERE HAVE BEEN A DIFFERENT RESULT?
“Well, you would think so but you never know. That is part of the fun of it and the challenge of racing right? We did what we could but it wasn’t going to make it. I thought I had a shot to clean it off and when the 10 car made the aggressive move I just got behind and lost my momentum and Dale (Earnhardt, Jr.) did a good job of taking advantage of it.”