DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile superspeedway, Daytona Beach, FL)
Saturday, February 22, 2014
The No. 48 Discount Tire Ford
Driven By: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 17
Finish Position: 2
Owner's Points Position: 2
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford team started the season opening race from the inside of the ninth row in the 17th position based on the outcome of Saturday’s rain shortened qualifying session.
· Once the race began, Keselowski employed his drafting techniques to his advantage as he moved from 17th to ninth by the second lap.
· After an early caution period, the race settled into a long green-flag run that saw the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang running consistently in the lead pack.
· As the race wore on it became apparent that the inside line was the preferred way around the historic 2.5-mile superspeedway as the cars in the outside lane were not able to keep up with those on the inside.
· Over the middle section of the race, Keselowski would drop as far back as 26th and as high as seventh in the running order as he worked his way through traffic and various pit strategies began to unfold.
· A lap 70 caution flag setup the last pit-stop of the day as the Team Penske pit crew changed the two right side tires and filled the Ford Mustang with fuel gaining two positions.
· When the action resumed at lap 75, Keselowski was scored sixth in the order. At lap 92, he broke into the top-five and then at lap 110 he took the lead after a masterful display of managing traffic and the draft.
· The veteran Keselowski held the lead through a caution period that set up a green-white-checkered restart.
· When the field took the checkered flag, Keselowski was scored second, just .013 seconds behind race winner Regan Smith.
· The result marks Keselowski’s 95th top-five finish and his third second-place finish at Daytona in Nationwide Series competition.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
WALK US THROUGH THE ENDING OF THAT RACE.
“That was a pretty strong day. We got to that one green-flag pit cycle which helped us get the track position at the end that we needed and then we were just kind of picking them off one-by-one as we made our way to the front. We got some help from a couple different people. We got to the high lane and got stuck on the high lane in a couple of restarts which was frustrating as it doesn’t work as well with these Nationwide cars. We made some moves with the help of Trevor (Bayne) and James Buescher and he got that penalty which kind of set the tone for the rest of the race as far as what guys were looking at for driving their cars. From there, we made it to the lead there on that move with the help of Trevor again and I was kind of managing the lanes there until the yellow came out to set up the green-white-checkered. I thought we had a chance to pull it off quite honestly. We cleared the 7 on the restart and he got a really strong push from the 6 and that was too much for me to be able to hold off. Coming off of four we were all real tight there and Kyle wasn’t able to stay with me and push and that was enough to get Regan the win. All in all it was decent day. There was one point in time when I was stuck in the high lane that I thought we would be lucky to have a top-10. From that perspective I am happy to get second; as happy as you can be with finishing second. We have been really strong all of Speedweeks and have come as close to winning all three races that you can that we have been in with the Unlimited and Duels and then here today. We have a lot of momentum for tomorrow and I think my Cup car is the best car we have ever had here by a long way and we are going to try to focus on that.” – Brad Keselowski