John R. Elliott Hero Campaign 300 at Kentucky Speedway (1.5-mile speedway, Sparta, Ky.)
Friday, June 27, 2014
The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Driver: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 1
Finish Position: 2
THE RACE REVIEW
• Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford team started the race from the front row as he earned his second pole of the season during the Friday afternoon’s time trials. The effort was Keselowski’s 16th-career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole.
• It was immediate from the opening laps of the event that the No. 22 Team Penske Ford was strong as Keselowski set a torrid pace that saw him catch lapped traffic by lap 12. By lap 41, when the first caution of the night flew, he had lapped half of the field and was leading by over 2.5 seconds.
• The Discount Tire Mustang led 139 of the first 150 laps, never running lower than fourth until the last pit stop when NASCAR judged that Keselowski sped in section eight of pit road. The ensuing drive-through penalty resulted in the No. 22 machine losing a lap to the leaders and dropping Keselowski to 17th in the running order.
• A lap-155 caution flag allowed Keselowski to advance back to the lead lap by taking the wave around. When the green flag signaled a restart, he was scored 17th. Over the next six laps, the veteran driver worked his way up to the eighth position. When the yellow flag was displayed again at lap 169, he was scored seventh.
• There were two more yellows over the closing laps of the race which saw the Michigan native race his way to fourth - then third - and finally second place with just three laps remaining in the 200-lap event.
• The 2010 Nationwide Series champion made a valiant effort to reel in leader Kevin Harvick over the closing laps, but had to settle for a second-place finish.
• The solid result marks the fifth top-three finish for Keselowski and the sixth top-two finish and 12th top-five finish of 2014 for the No. 22 team. The effort brings the team to within 48 points of the series leading 54 car of JGR.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
YOU HAD A LATE-RACE SPEEDING PENALTY BUT A GREAT RUN BACK UP THROUGH THE FIELD.
“Yeah, I did put us behind with that, but you still have to give credit to Kevin at the end there. He drove by and took the lead, so he was really good. We had a great Discount Tire Ford and I definitely put us behind and was just one spot away from catching back up. I just made a little mistake, but the Discount Tire team did a great job. They gave me a really fast car, and we just didn’t quite capitalize on it there at the end, but I thought Kevin at the end was just as fast, if not a touch faster, so we had a really good, and like you said, a dominant daytime car, but the race obviously finished at night, and we were all probably pretty equal then.”
HOW DID YOU REGROUP AFTER THE PENALTY TO CHARGE BACK THROUGH THE FIELD?
“It’s just part of the job. It’s a high-stress environment inside of a race car, and it’s our job to deal with it if you’re going to be a professional and win races and be competitive. I’ve gone through some adversity before, and that’s certainly not the worst thing in the world that can happen to you and we got through it the best we could and obviously not quite good enough with finishing second, but still pretty well.”