Irwin Tools Night Race
Bristol Motor Speedway
Saturday, August 23, 2014
The No. 2 Wurth Ford Fusion
Driver: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 9
Finish Position: 2
Driver's Points Position: 3
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Wurth Ford team started Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race from the ninth position based on the results from Friday afternoon’s time trials.
· The race began with Keselowski holding position for the first 20 laps. By lap 30, he picked up one spot and then, at lap 40, he moved up to the seventh position. By the time a NASCAR-mandated competition caution flew at lap 60 Keselowski fought his way up to fifth in the order.
· Early in the race Keselowski reported that his Wurth Ford was handling a little loose everywhere on the track. During the first stop, crew chief Paul Wolfe called for an air pressure adjustment, four tires and fuel.
· As the race continued the track began to tighten up as it took rubber and Keselowski radioed in that his Ford Fusion was handling a little tight on corner exit, but that it did have good drive off of the corner.
· The No. 2 Wurth Ford maintained a steady presence inside the top 10 over the first 196 laps. A lap 197 pit stop under caution resulted in Keselowski dropping back to 14th place as some competitors remained on track to gain position.
· Over the ensuing 64-lap green flag run Keselowski made a determined push towards the front, going from 14th to second in the order.
· At lap 268 Keselowski took the lead for the first and only time of the 500-lap night race. He went on to lead for 46 laps. At lap 312 Keselowski slipped back to second place as he reported that he lost a lot of ability to turn in the car and that the car was very tight.
· Over the last 125 laps of the race Keselowski held strong in the top 10. The race remained under the green flag from lap 437 to the checkered flag. During this time Keselowski drove from seventh to second as he did his best to catch eventual winner and teammate Joey Logano. The veteran driver gave it his all but came up short as he finished second to Logano to give Team Penske a 1 – 2 finish.
· The second-place effort keeps Keselowski and the No. 2 Team Penske Ford ranked third in the driver point standings and third in the Chase Grid standings.
· The strong runner-up finish capped off a remarkable weekend for the team that saw Keselowski earn his first-ever NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory, Ryan Blaney take the win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Logano capture the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to also give Ford a sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 WURTH FORD
YOU HAD A STRONG CAR AND IT LOOKED LIKE YOU CAME CLOSE TO CATCHING LOGANO.
TALK ABOUT YOUR NIGHT AND THE WEEKEND OVERALL.
“That was a hard night. First off, the race pace here is really brutal and aggressive. With the cars having all the extra downforce this year and tires improving and some of the new rules compounded by grinding the track and the track’s high lane having a lot of speed, I swear this is the most grueling race of the year. So it feels good just to complete it and be able to kind of look myself in the eye and know I gave it all I had and it just wasn’t enough, but I didn’t fall out of the seat. I’m damn near as proud of not falling out of the seat as I am anything else, but it was a heckuva weekend for everyone at Team Penske. All three drivers winning races this weekend. I think that’s a testament to how bright the future is for Team Penske and I look for more big things to come in years to come, but certainly don’t want to lose sight of tonight’s accomplishments and accomplishments to date. Joey and I both have three wins. We’re entering the Chase strong in a lot of different ways, and I think we’re both legitimate threats to win the championship this year and I’m proud of that, and along with the Nationwide car and the success they had last night, then winning in the Truck Series – just a huge weekend, not just for me personally but for everyone at Team Penske and hopefully we can keep that momentum rolling in weeks to come. As far as tonight and the rest of it is concerned, running second is certainly something to be proud of. I’d love to have that one more position, but it just wasn’t there. Every time I’d get close to Joey I’d pick up a massive aero-push up off the corner and just couldn’t do anything. I lost too much speed to really even do anything. I couldn’t even get close enough to really do a bump-and-run. The last lap I just dive-bombed it in there on a prayer and kind of hoping it would stick or he would slip or something would happen for me, and made it look cool, but it really wasn’t that close. Still, it was a really good night. I think our two cars were really, really equal and whoever got out front and got the clean air first was gonna win the race and Joey was able to do that.”