DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (FEBRUARY 20, 2014) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion finished 24th in Thursday night’s second 125-mile Duel race at Daytona International Speedway. With the finish, Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will start 33rd in Sunday’s 56th running of the Daytona 500.
Team Penske teammate, Joey Logano finished 17th in the first Duel race and will start 35th in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford.
Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team began the Duel from the inside of the second row in the third position. It was immediately evident that Keselowski’s Ford Fusion was fast, as he took the lead at lap two and went on to lead the next 34 laps before pitting at lap 36. NASCAR determined that Keselowski was too fast leaving the pits which necessitated a drive through penalty. To make matters worse upon entering the pit lane to serve the penalty, Keselowski locked up the left front tire which resulted in the tire going flat. He would have to limp around the track to come in for tires losing several laps to the leaders. The No. 2 Miller Lite finished in the 24th position.
“We had a great Miller Lite Ford tonight – one that was capable of winning,” said Keselowski. “We’re not sure what happened with that speeding penalty, but we’ll figure it out and learn from it. That was a tough way to finish this race. Team Penske has built a car that is capable of winning come Sunday and we are going to do our best to make it happen.”
Logano was scheduled to start eighth but had to drop to the back of the field after going to a backup car following a crash in practice on Wednesday. Logano spent little time at the back of the field, racing his way up to fifth. Late in the race, Logano made a charge toward the front and got to fourth-place, but got stuck on the bottom lane and shuffled to the back. Ultimately, Logano got stuck behind the No. 30 car that was blowing an engine and couldn’t get back to the high lane and fell all the way back to 17th at the finish.
“I just made the wrong move late in the race,” said Logano. “We rode for a long time right around seventh or eighth, and the only way to get to the front was to jump to the bottom lane and try and go. We got all the way to fourth and there was an opening up top, and I should have jumped in line, but I thought we would be able to make up a few more spots. Unfortunately, we just lost momentum and then fell back. After that, we got stuck behind a car that was blowing up and just went straight back. We have a car that’s in one piece, and we learned a lot for Sunday’s race. That’s the one that really matters.”
The Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway will air live Sunday, February 23 at 1:00 p.m. ET on